Monday, April 14, 2008

Iran Fighter Jet Crashes in Tehran

IRIAF Su-24MK Jet Fighters
(File Photo)

An Iranian military Sukhoi jet fighter today crashed at Mehrabad airport in Tehran at around 7pm local time.

The pilot and co-pilot could parachute out of the plane and were unharmed.

Reports from Tehran indicate that fire broke out at parts of Mehrabad airport after the crash.

UPDATE: The Iranian military officials have not released any more details on the incident. As reported here earlier, the pilot and the co-pilot parachuted to safety, indicating the fighter jet was a two-seat version of Russian-built Sukhoi fighter.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) operates Su-24MKs with a crew of two, the pilot and weapons system operator. The jet that crashed today could well be an IRIAF’s Su-24MK.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corp Air Force (IRGC-AF) also operates Sukhoi fighters. IRGC-AF version, however, is the single-seat Su25’s. If today’s jet belonged to IRGC-AF, as suggested by one of our commentators, then it must have been a two-seat trainer version of the same aircraft, Su-25T.

Note on photo: The photo above shows two of IRIAF Su-24MKs. I uploaded the new picture after our informed commentator, Mark Pyruz, rightly pointed to the fact that the picture circulated by Fars News Agency was not a Sukhoi.


Mark Pyruz said...

I believe the Fars image you are using may actually be that of a Dassault Rafale fighter plane. (Iranian press photos are routinely published based on needs of expediency over accuracy.)

The video still at Press TV appears to be a Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft. Perhaps it was one of the seven examples flown from Iraq to Iran during the First Gulf War? It would also be interesting to know if the aircraft was IRGC/AF or IRIAF. (I've reason to believe it was the former.)

Nader Uskowi said...

Thanks so much, Mark, for your sharp eyes and informative commendatory, as always. I have updated the post, with notes on changing the photo. Thanks a million.

The plane was definitely a two-seater, as two pilots ejected to safety. It could have been either a Su-24MK of IRIAF or the trainer version of a Su-25 which has a crew of two.

Mark Pyruz said...

Well detailed update, Nader. Thanks.

You're correct to point out the aircrew configurations of the respective Sukhoi warplanes. Press TV seems to have withdrawn its story and accompanying photo of a Su-25. Should I come across any further details or informed observations, I'll be sure to comment on them here.

Joseph Sixpack said...

I'm guessing some routine maintenance was neglected.

According to Jane's Information Group, "Iran's armed forces are limited, despite their size, by a very poor maintenance record caused by a lack of spare parts and by very poor training."


Mark Pyruz said...

Two more details have emerged from Iranian news sources: 1) It was a training sortie, 2) There are reports that the aircraft belonged to the army. (This could very well be a journalistic mistake.)