English name: Lightning

TYPE: Attack fighter.

PROGRAMME: Said to have been designed at Owj Industrial Complex, replacing abortive Azarakhsh programme. Modified Northrop F-5E, rebuilt in twin-finned configuration and probably incorporating experience gained in Project Simorgh work on building new fuselage sections to convert in-country F-5As into two-seat F-5Bs. Photo of model shown on Iranian Students’ News Agency website in 2003. First Saeghe airframe reportedly about 70 per cent complete by November 2002 and expected to be completed within next six months. Reported by Iranian news agency as having made its maiden flight on 8 July 2004, although other sources give 30 May 2004 as true date. Name has also been transliterated as Sa'eqeh-80. Flight testing still in progress at end of 2005, attaining speeds approaching Mach I.