Is Iran slowly inching towards building an indigenous civil aircraft?

The Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), also known as the Aerospace Industries Organization, is an Iranian, state-owned organization, overseeing the civil & military aviation industry of Iran.

According to a report by Touraj Dehqani Zanganeh- head of the country’s Civil Aviation Organization, the country now might be heading towards building a commercial aircraft of its own, with a capacity of about 100 passengers.

Representative | Wikimedia Commons

The US has often, and categorically accused Iran of unveiling aircraft models that are supposedly mock-ups or modified versions of outdated planes. Due to US sanctions, Iranian experts have had to rely on in-house capabilities to cater to its defence needs. The imposed sanctions are also one of the reasons why Iranian airlines are often found operating older aircraft models- like the Airbus A300, Fokker 100s, MD-80S and other vintage models.

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president is seen waving to a fighter pilot before an inauguration ceremony of an aircraft, Iran, on August 21, 2018, | Representative | Caspian News

Apparently, the ministry plans to manufacture civil aircraft as the government looks to expand its partnership with private players.

In the field of aerospace and automotive industries, we (Iran’s Defense Ministry), have tried to help the prosperity of these two industries with technological assistance and meeting the needs of automakers

Deputy Defense Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Brigadier General Reza Talaei-Nik said at a press conference during a technological exhibition
The Iran -140, loosely based on the An-140 | Representative | FlightGlobal

Coincidentally, the news of the development of a new passenger aircraft comes as the Iranian fleet faces an acute shortage of new aircraft.

According to Dehqani, there exists a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  between Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Ministry of Defense, and the Transport and Urban Development Ministry.

We have planned to build 70- and 100-seat aircraft inside the country, and in this regard, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Defense to be able to use the country’s existing military capabilities for the construction of commercial aircraft

Touraj Dehqani Zanganeh

Apparently, there are numerous knowledge-based companies in the country-Mapna and other potential companies that are currently building gas turbines- Dehqani further added.

Nevertheless, the country still produces fighter jets like the Kowsar and Qaher-313 although most of them appear to be heavily based on vintage US airframes.


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