A few days ago, I posted about Iran’s space monkey.
Unsurprisingly, it appears as though it was more a case of Iranian monkey business.
On Monday, Iranian state television announced that the country had successfully launched a monkey into space and received him back safely, an event the world regarded with a mild dose of skepticism. The country has been known to embellish in the past, as we pointed out on Monday.
But the existence of a potential rocket launch worried other countries, as the technology used to propel an adorable primate into suborbital space could also be used for nuclear weapons. NowThe Telegraph is reporting that the monkey held up to the media as a successful space traveller looks nothing like the one shown prior to launch.
For one thing, there’s the case of the missing mole: The monkey shown strapped into a rocket in photos had a red mole over his right eye, but the “returning” monkey did not. The original monkey also appeared to have lighter hair.
The founder of Space Israel, a non-profit organization determined to send an unmanned Israeli space ship to the moon, hypothesized that the actual space-faring monkey might have died of a heart attack or “that the experiment didn’t go that well.”
According to The Telegraph, international observers have decided either the poor guy died in space, or the launch never occurred at all. However, what is undoubtedly true is that there is now video of a monkey wearing a tuxedo at a press conference.
Now today, Iran unveiled it’s new advanced fighter aircraft, Qaher 313, or “vanquisher.”
However, once again, it seems as though this also is about as real as Pamela Anderson’s..well, you get my drift.
At first sight, the Qaher 313 does look like a fighter with stealth capabilities and is externally similar to the F-22 and F-35. A closer look at the example presented to the regime’s leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi looks like little more than a glorified mock-up which seems to have been build from leftover props of a cheap science-fiction flick. Since the Iranian media broadcast the first pictures Friday, aviation and military online forums have been debating the aerodynamic failures of the plane. It seems that it will probably never take off, let alone make it into aerial combat.
The list of the plane’s design flaws is long and varied, we will mention just a few. The inlets which are supposed to supply air to the jet engine are too small and situate on the plane in a position which will not ingest enough air at some angles. The engine doesn’t even have a nozzle from which it powers the aircraft. The cockpit is too small (the pilot who was supposed to ‘model’ the fighter barely managed to get his legs and torso inside) and its instruments seem to have been taken from a much less advanced aircraft. The forward “canard” winglets which are supposed to improve control are fixed without any maneuverability. The blurry video published by the Iranians which purports to show the Qaher 313 in flight seems to show not a manned fighter-jet but a small radio-operated drone.
The Qaher 313 won’t cause any panic in the Israeli Air Force’s intelligence wing, or at any other serious intelligence organization. The only serious question the new “plane” that almost certainly never appeared on an aeronautical engineer’s drawing table but doubtlessly took thousands of Propaganda Ministry man-hours to construct raises is who are the Iranians trying to kid? Do they think anyone in the west or their rivals in the Middle East are stupid enough to swallow this? It seems more likely that they are trying to impress their own people, whose financial suffering from the international sanctions is worsening by the day, with yet another glorious achievement of the Islamic revolution.
Unfortunately, their hatred for Israel and nuclear ambitions are all too real.