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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iran's only AWACS crashes

On Tuesday, I reported that a plane had crashed in Iran and seven people had been killed. Defense News is reporting that the plane that crashed was participating in Tuesday's military parade in Tehran, and that it was Iran's one and only AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System).
Iran's sole Simorgh AWACS aircraft was lost during a military parade Sept. 22, one of two Iranian military aircraft that crashed in Tehran while participating in a display to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force operated a single Simorgh, a former Iraqi Air Force Adnan. The Adnan AWACS was in turn a modification of a Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-76 transport.

The Simorgh collided with one of the Air Force's Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighters over the area of the Imam Khomeyni Shrine, southern Tehran. According to eyewitnesses, the crash occurred immediately after the parade. Apparently, no mayday call was issued.

Both aircraft crashed in flames. Initial reports indicate that seven crewmembers were killed in the crash.

In total, Iraq built three AWACS aircraft, one Baghdad, and two Baghdad-2s, the latter later renamed Adnans. One Adnan and the Baghdad were evacuated to Iran during the 1991 Gulf War, while the second Adnan was destroyed on the ground by a coalition air strike in January 1991.

The exact status of the Iranian Simorgh and its onboard systems was long uncertain. However, photographs suggest that the aircraft was equipped with a newly fitted functioning radar suite.
DEBKA adds (Hat Tip: Danny A):
Dubbed "Simorgh" (a flying creature of Iranian fable which performs wonders in mid-flight), the AWACS' appearance, escorted by fighter jets, was to have been the climax for the Iranian Air force's fly-past over the parade. Instead, it collided with one of escorting planes, a US-made F-5E, and both crashed to the ground in flames. All seven crewmen were killed.

Eye witnesses reported that the flaming planes landed on the mausoleum burial site of the Islamic revolution's founder Ruhollah Khomeini, a national shrine. According to Western observers, no distress signals came from either cockpit indicating that the collision and explosions were sudden and fast.

DEBKAfile's military sources say the disaster was a serious blow to the Iranian Air Force not long after its first and only AWACS went into service in April 2008. It was a renovated version of the Russian Ilyushin 76, part of Saddam Hussein's air force before it was transferred to Iran in 1991 during the first Gulf War.

Tehran hired Russian technicians to carry out renovations and install up-to-date radar. At the launching ceremony of the upgraded AWACS, Air Force commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Miqani boasted its new radar systems were made in Iran and able to spot any airplane or missile at a distance of 1,000 kilometers from Iran's borders.

The loss of this airborne control system has left Iran's air force and air and missile defenses without "electronic eyes" for surveillance of the skies around its borders.
Iran's English language Press TV reports that the Iranian Air Force is denying that Tuesday's crash was connected with what it calls the 'aerial maneuver.'

The picture at the top is Iranian F-4 aircraft in action at Tuesday's parade.

I did not see any indication that the Mossad has been asked for comment.



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There is raw video of the crash's aftermath here.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Good job Mossad! The planes crashing on Khomeni's grave was a nice touch.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Peg C. said...

Wow. I feel a bit sorry for the dead crewmen's families, but if this isn't just desserts, it'll do. AND it landed on the burial site of the Islamic Revolution's founder. Double points!

As Michael Ledeen says, faster please!

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The Hidden Hand?

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

Wow. At such an event. In such a place. Timing is really everything!

You know, I beginning think that Israel doesn't have to do anything to stop Iran. Their own incompetence seems to be doing it for them.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Denny, Alaska said...

Is that the sound of applause I hear? "Nice mid-air maneuver. Uh, check your two o'clock, Mohamed."

At 7:26 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

G-d is behind history. As you guys can see, Ahmedinejad is being paid back literally to his face for his gruesome threat that Israel has no future. There are now Iranians with no future. The irony of it is lost on him and the mullahs in Tehran.


At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I would be pleased to find out this was a Mossad job, it is probably just an accident.

The entire Muslim world put together cannot field a single competent military force, except for the Turkish Army.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Biff said...

It took me 10 minutes to stop laughing.

If it was Mossad, congratulations.

If it wasn't Mossad, congratulations anyways.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger RebeccaH said...

If that's not a sign from Allah, I don't know what is.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Baruch Hashem. Ken Yirbu.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger shmu said...


At 11:45 PM, Blogger shmu said...


At 12:31 AM, Blogger paladin3001 said...

*snicker* *shnort* Crashed on Rulloah Khomeni's Mausoleum? Bwwwwwaaaaahhhhhaaaaa..


At 12:53 AM, Blogger Disco Prime said...

One of two planes to have crashed during the parade? Really? REALLY?!?


If these clowns can't even keep a plane up during an event wear the women wear their best burkas and the men polish up their dynomite belts, Israel really has nothing to worry about.

Just wait till the Iranians finally finish their nuke plants. I am sure the parade for that will be an extravaganza. Ha Ha Ha.

Maybe they should have saved the spectacular crash scene for after the parade.

What a bunch of losers.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Callahan23 said...

To combine Biff's and shmu's comments I'd say:


At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video puhhhleeeeaaaase!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger chegoone said...

video of this accident


whats that thing from sec 0 to 40?????????

could anyone tell me

At 9:27 AM, Blogger chegoone said...

this is the video of this accident
can someone tell me what is that thing from sec 0 to 40????????/



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