First of all SU-35 is not “maintenance heavy” if that is what you are implying especially in comparison to Chinese engine in the J-10.
Second Iran can already build or rehaul the F-5 via the Kowsar variant so no need to reinvent the entire wheel for an advanced trainer or light fighter when it already has a production variant ready. Even 24 Yak-130s would be better than another fruitless effort to build ANOTHER light weight fighter.
The main issue for Iran (besides AESA airborne radar and a ultra modern EW/ECW/sensor package) is the engine. Until you have a heavy engine....you are stuck. And no country in the world is turning over heavy engine tech. China had to spend decades mastering their heavy engine and they had the most access as any country in the world to the latest Russian engines and technology via espionage and other means.
So I’m tired of having this same argument every other week.
Until the engine tech is solved there is no future Iranian fighter. And no country semi friendly to Iran is turning over heavy engine tech. Look what India got in SU-30MKI and SU-75 ToT joint production deal....next to nothing.
Su-35 heavy-weight with dual engine and PESA vs single-engine medium-weight AESA aircraft.It is always nice to research before posting. Iran already produces (from scratch) its own HESA Kowsar-I fighter which is probably the most advanced F-5E/F derivative in the world with a 4.0 Generation combat suit. It is equipped with a local newly built turbojet called OWJ and has a BVR engagement capability up to 93-94 KM (8 x target detection; 2 x simultaneous engagement). If equipped with PL-12 for WVR + R-73E/M (45-60 deg off bore) for WVR combination with HMD, this jet can take on any 4.0 generation fighter jet in the region. The problem of IRIAF is the requirement for a long-range air superiority aerial fighter. Had we acquired some 150+ F-14A instead of 79 we would not have this shortage. So unless we start domestically producing some futuristic version of F-14A or we get Mig-31BM/Su-35S this problem will sustain. We do not need strike aircraft as our missile power (BM and CM) both and UCAV fleet is enormous and combat-proven.
As for Kowsar, If you guys are happy with it, good for you, but when I talk of light-weight aircraft, I don't meant LIFT platform but rather a 4.5 Gen aircraft with composites, single-engine fully digital fly by wire, AESA radar along with good EW suite/net-centric capability.
Of course, engine is an issue along with some other things, and that is why I suggested in my previous post to JOINTLY produce an aircraft, something like we have done with China with JF-17. You can secure those parts which can't be domestically produced yet and keep yourself equipped with latest/advanced technologies in the meantime. If you want to do it all alone, Good Luck!
What I opined is keeping in view the budget restraints too of IRIAF. Despite CM/BMs, Airpower is essential in any conflict since last century. There is no alternative to it and with Iran's enemies having/soon to induct latest variants of aircraft like Typhoons, Rafales, F-16s,F-15s, I don't think you people can ignore such threats.
Unfortunately, I observe too much arrogance from many of you guys which doesn't help you in anything at all. I will take my leave. Best of Luck to IRIAF!