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April 16, 2011

Video: Iran Air Force IL-76MD AWACS Plane Crashes During 2009 Military Parade

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New video has emerged of an Iran Air Force Ilyushin IL-76MD AWACS crashing during a flyover of a military parade on September 22, 2009.

All seven crewmembers were killed in the crash, which reportedly was initiated when the IL-76 collided with a HESA Saeqeh fighter jet escort. The footage was apparently shot from the back of a refueling aircraft.

The incident occurred during a flyover of an annual military parade, which celebrated President Ahmidinejad’s scheduled address to the United Nations General Assembly the following day. The Russian-built jet crashed near the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeni.

In an odd twist, the downed jet was actually built for Saddam Hussein in the 1970s. Iraq flew it to Iran for safekeeping during the second Gulf War, and Iran kept it, possibly getting some radar upgrade help from Russia before putting it into service. It was Iran’s only AWACS-capable aircraft at the time.

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