Report: Fighter crashes in Iran, two pilots killed

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A fighter jet crashed in the desert in central Iran on Tuesday, killing two pilots, local media reported.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that the aircraft crashed at the Anarak training ground near the central city of Isfahan. The National Intelligence Service, an agency close to the Armed Forces, was unable to determine the cause of the crash and the authorities are said to be investigating.

The Iranian Air Force has a range of US-made military aircraft purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. There are also Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi aircraft. Decades of Western sanctions have made it difficult to obtain spare parts and maintain aging aircraft. Occasional clashes occur between unstable fleets. In February, a fighter jet crashed on a football field in the northwestern town of Tabriz, killing both pilots and civilians.

Iran is believed to have modeled the F-7 fighter jets on the Chinese jet J-7, which is considered a copy of the Soviet-era MiG-21. Beijing built the aircraft for export to countries including Pakistan, Iran, Sudan and North Korea. Iranian pilots have been using the F-7 in training for years, but there have been some accidents.

Four years ago, an F-7 similarly crashed near Isfahan during aerial training as it was later explained as a technical problem.


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