Iranian engineers have created a
computer simulator for its F-4 fighter pilots. Iran bought 225 F-4 Phantom jets
in the 1970s, and several dozen are still operational. Spare parts are obtained
via a smuggling network, with some of the less complex parts manufactured
5,195 F-4s manufactured, some 5-10 percent are still in service. It's a 1950s
design that, for its day, was quite advanced. The two seat, 28 ton aircraft is
still a credible fighter bomber, able to carry eight tons of bombs and
missiles. Normal combat radius is about 700 kilometers. The average sortie
lasts about two hours.
shortage of spare parts, the Iranians
want to keep their remaining F-4s on the ground as much as possible. Moreover, a
lack of refineries means Iran has to import most of its aviation fuel. Thus the
need for simulators.
Iranian F-4 simulator cost about a million dollars to develop and build, but
few details were provided. It probably used a lot of off-the-shelf hardware and
software. With that approach, and an F-4 cockpit wired into a PC running the
whole thing, you could create a credible simulator. Large screen flat panel
displays and high end video cards can provide a reasonable approximation of the
dome type displays used in high end Western simulators (which go for $40
million and up.)
the Iranians often over-hype their local military equipment developments. This
is done to reassure Iranians that, despite three decades of arms embargo, the
religious dictatorship was still able to defend the nation.