ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iranian F-5 fighter jet crashed in a military airbase southwest of Tehran, Iranian news agencies reported on Sunday.
The incident occurred as the jet was landing in the 4th military airbase in Dezfoul, 460 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of the capital, Iranian Mehr news agency reported.
“The fighter jet crashed in Dezfoul (a city in Khuzestan province) and Colonel (Manouchehr) Fattahi, the pilot, was martyred,” Fars News Agency reported Dezfoul Police Chief Ali Elhami as saying.
Elhami mentioned that Fattahi’s co-pilot survived and was transferred to a hospital.
The cause of the crash is under investigation, Elhami added.
The crash comes only a few days after the country unveiled its homegrown new fighter jet dubbed the “Kowsar,” which has been likened to the almost identical US-made Northrop F-5s, sold to Tehran in the 1960s and 70s during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah.
The country still has 48 more F-5 jets in service, according to the latest estimates by Jane’s IHS Markit.
Editing by Nadia Riva