Air Enthusiast 2003-03
T.Cooper, F.Bishop - Fire in the hills
Mi-25 of the 4th Squadron IrAAC, as used during the fighting in autumn 1982. This example was captured by the Iranians in 1986, and is now displayed (with its serial overpainted) in Tehran. In an effort to help improve the identification process, the IrAAC started to paint large national flags on several sections of its helicopters (including underneath).
A well-known photograph of the IrAAC Mi-25 thundering low over an Iraqi mechanised formation on the flat plain around Shalamcheh.
Phantom really meets Mi-25: as an IRIAF RF-4E thundered low over the forward Iraqi airfield near Suleimaniyah, in 1982, it took this photograph which shows two parked Iraqi Mi-25s.
A MiG-21MF in the colours of the Iraqi Air Force, as seen at the al-Huriyah Air Base, near Kirkuk, in September 1980.
SA.342L Gazelle c/n 1837, wearing the IrAAC serial 4237, survived the fierce battles in 1982 and for several years afterwards, but was shot down by Iranian air defences near Faw in 1986.
The Iranian fleet of F-14A Tomcats remained fully operational and were used to excellent effect during the war. F-14A, 3-6079, was the last example delivered to Iran and one of the most distinguished during the whole war. At least a dozen Iraqi aircraft were shot down by different pilots flying this Tomcat alone.
A MiG-23MS in the colours of the Iraqi Air Force, as seen at al-Rashid Air Base, near Baghdad, in October 1980.
Flying in a classic formation, resembling that seen so often when UH-1s of the US Army operated in South East Asia, a section of IRIAA AB.205s taken from another Iranian helicopter while transporting troops deep behind the Iraqi lines on the southern part of the Moharram theatre in autumn 1982.
The carnage on Iraqi-Iranian battlefields was massive, as the war could at best be described as a series of eight or nine fierce campaigns, fought over a period of eight years. Iranian authorities documented wrecks of several hundred Iraqi fighters and helicopters found behind Iranian lines. This was an Su-22M, shot down by MIM-23 SAM close to Vahdati Air Base, near Dezful, in south-western Iran, in 1982.
Iranian Air Force Cessna O-2A, belonging to the 21st COIN Squadron IIAF, which was permanently stationed at Tabriz, TFB.2.
An AH-1J Cobra 'International' (of which 62 were modified to use the AGM-71A TOW ATGMs), in the livery of the 'Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation' (IRIAA) at a forward.
An IRIAF Northrop F-5F leading an F-5E low over the south-western Iranian Province of Khuzestan.
IRIAF F-4E from TFB.3 armed with four Hunting BL.755 CBUs seen from a Boeing 707-3J9C tanker during a refuelling operation high over the Iraqi border.