Iran's new stealth fighter jet caught out by bloggers in 'faked' Photoshop image blunder

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

The image of Iran’s new stealth fighter patrolling the skies was designed to induce awe among the country’s enemies. But Iran’s claim to military superiority crumbled after bloggers discovered that the jet had actually been superimposed upon snowy mountain peaks using Photoshop.

Experts had already expressed doubts over the Qaher-313, Iran’s second domestically-produced plane, unveiled this month at a special ceremony attended by President Ahmadinejad.

The jet, said to combine the features of the US F-35 and the F-22 fighters, could not fly because it was too small and made of plastic, critics claimed. Lacking rivets and bolts, the plane was a miniature model or a working prototype at best, aviation experts said.

So the Khouz News website published an image of the Qaher-313 in majestic flight, soaring over a mountain peak.

Iranian bloggers however spotted that the image of the plane was identical to that issued at the February 2 unveiling in Tehran. The angle of the plane, the reflection of the light and shadows were the same.

All that had changed was that the image had apparently been superimposed on to a background of Iran's Mount Damavand, taken from the stock image site, PickyWallpapers.com and slightly lightened.

Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s Defence Minister, had claimed that the plane could fly low to avoid radar, carry a weapons payload and was constructed of “high-tech materials”.

However the “faked” flight shot confirmed the view of sceptics such as David Cenciotti, who writes for the Aviationist blog.

Analysing the initial image released by Iran he said the cockpit appeared to be too small to accommodate a human pilot, and was filled with controls “of a type you expect to find on small private planes”.

The plane appeared to be “nothing more than a large mock-up model made out of plastic”, lacking “the characteristic rivets (and) bolts all aircraft, including stealthy ones, feature.”

Mr Cenciotti said: “The air intakes are extremely small whereas the engine section lacks any kind of nozzle: engine afterburners could melt the entire jet.”

Aviation magazine Flight International said that the poor-quality footage released by Iran of the aircraft in flight was most likely of a remote-controlled plane fashioned to resemble the Qaher-313.

John Reed, military and defence expert at Foreign Policy magazine, said: “It's seriously unlikely that such an aircraft has room to carry the avionics, radars, electronic countermeasures, heat masking gear, and, most importantly for a fighter, the weapons that make modern stealth jets effective.”

Iran dismissed the doubts as “enemy propaganda.” But the publication of the photo on Khouz News, a website focusing on news from the southwest province of Khuzestan, suggests the regime is primarily seeking to impress an internal audience with “evidence” of scientific advancement.

Although the Islamic Republic may be no closer to building the perfect stealth fighter, it is getting better at using Photoshop. Previously Iran was caught out when the authorities digitally added a fourth missile to a 2008 picture of a missile test.

Claims that Iran successfully sent a monkey into space this month were questioned when two different animals were featured in the pictures released by state media.

Last year Iran claimed to have built the Koker 1, the world’s first vertically launching drone. After closer examination of the photos, pilot and blogger Gary Mortimer concluded that the design bore a striking similarity to a vehicle which had been built and launched by a team from Chiba University, Japan, in 2008.

A fine art: History retouched

The curious case of the extra missile

Iran

It seems Tehran has form for this sort of thing. This picture, released in 2008 by the infamous Revolutionary Guard and syndicated by Agence France Presse, purported to show four missiles soaring skywards as Iran demonstrated its military prowess to the world. On closer inspection, the weapon third from the left looks suspiciously like the first, and so it proved when Associated Press released their version of the picture, received from a different source. The revelation came too late for the LA Times, the Financial Times and the Chicago Tribune, which had all used it on their front pages. It also appeared on the BBC and New York Times websites.

Follow the leader

Egypt

With his jet-black hair and youthful complexion, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is clearly sensitive about his image. In September 2010 he was still one of America’s biggest friends in the Arab world and was invited to the White House for peace talks with the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan. Striding towards the East Room they were snapped by AP’s photographer Pablo Martinez Monsivais – Obama in the lead, Mubarak behind and to his right. By the time the picture appeared in Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, Mubarak was at the head of the group. Less than six months later he was ousted from office and now languishes in custody.

Mourning has broken

North Korea

Never ones to welcome disorder at the best of times, the government in Pyongyang was certainly not about to start for Kim Jong-il’s funeral. Stragglers who were making the six-deep crowd for the Dear Leader’s snow-bound procession in 2011 look untidy were simply airbrushed out of the official pictures, leaving behind an almost perfectly ordered array of mourners. Whether the handful of men met with a similar fate in real life has not been confirmed.

Goebbels? Gone

Germany

In 1937 Hitler went to Berlin to meet the film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, who had been in thrall of the  Führer since hearing him speak at a rally in 1932,  and who would go on to direct propaganda films  for the Third Reich.

He also took Josef Goebbels, although he was mysteriously erased from a picture of the gathering afterwards. Some have speculated his removal was due to Hitler’s anger at his propaganda chief’s affair with a Czech actress.

Other leading figures of the Second World War were similarly partial to creating their own versions  of history: Stalin had a commissar who had  displeased him excised from a group photograph, while Mussolini erased a horse-handler to make himself appear more heroic.

And the images at the bottom right, showing King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on a trip to Banff shortly before the outbreak of the war in Europe, reveal that even moderate leaders were at it. The Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King wanted to look powerful next to the Queen Mother – so simply made her husband disappear.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data/ MI Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Behaviour Support Worker

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Sheffield: SEN Education Support Worker ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments