1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown

The 1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown was an incident on 21 June 1978, when four Boeing CH-47 Chinook of the Imperial Iranian Air Force strayed into Soviet airspace during a training mission, with the end result being that two of the aircraft were shot down by the PVO.[1][2][3]

1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown
CH-47 Iran Air Force Esfahan March 2011
an Iranian Army Chinook similar to the Iranian examples shot-down
Date21 June 1978
SiteInside the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union, after straying from the Iranian border
Aircraft typeCargo helicopter
Aircraft nameBoeing CH-47 Chinook


During the 1970s, numerous incidents, probably including Project Dark Gene occurred on the Soviet-Iranian and Afghan-Iranian border, forcing the Soviets to station a regiment of MiG-23s at the Ak-Tepe AB, near the border with Afghanistan, in what was then the Turkestan Military District. One of the most serious of these occurred in the early morning of 21 June 1978, at 06:21 AM, when a Soviet radar site near the village of Bagir, not far from Ashkabad, detected four slow moving contacts which came from Iran and penetrated 15 to 20 kilometers into the Soviet airspace near Dushak, in Turkmenistan.

Five minutes later, these targets were detected by the radar site of Ak-Tepe Air Base, and deputy commander of the 152 IAP, Lt.Col. J. A. Miloslavsky, ordered one MiG-23M, flown by Capt. A. V. Dem'janov, to scramble. Once over the area, Dem'janov found only one helicopter, but misidentified it as a friendly Mil Mi-6. In addition, he got a command from the command post, "not to turn weapons on and not to come too close to the target". Because Dem'janov's answers to calls from the GCI station sounded uncertain, he was finally ordered back to Ak-Tepe AB and instead, at 06:52 AM, Lt.Col. Miloslavsky dispatched another MiG-23M, flown by Capt. Valery I. Shkinder.

Shkinder approached four contacts, identified them properly as Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters of the Imperial Iranian Air Force and got an order to attack. At the time, the Iranian Chinooks were flying in two pairs to the northwest along the Qaraqum Canal, but when their crews detected the interceptor over them, they made a turn to the southwest and flew towards the Kopet mountains and the Iranian border.

Diving behind the two rear Chinooks, Capt. Shkinder fired two Molniya R-60 IR-homing air-to-air missiles. Both missiles found their mark and struck the rearmost helicopter, the wreckage of which crashed near the village of Gjaurs, killing all eight crew members. Capt. Shkinder informed his base of the destruction of the first target and got an order to attack the second helicopter. Turning around, he positioned his MiG-23M behind the damaged helicopter and opened fire with GSh-23L 23-mm gun, spending a total of 72 rounds in two passes and hitting the starboard engine of the CH-47C. The Iranian pilot was lucky enough to manage a landing near the Soviet border post at Gjaurs. All four crew members survived, but were subsequently captured by Soviet border guards. The remaining two Chinooks escaped, crossing back into Iranian airspace.


Despite a severe loss of life for the IIAF, the incident was played down by both sides, and the Soviets subsequently permitted the damaged Chinook to be repaired by Iranians and flown back to Iran, together with all four crewmembers: Capt. Valery Shkinder was also not decorated for his feat, with the proposal for him getting a Combat Red Flag Award with Kremlin rejecting the proposal "due to a very complex international situation". Ten years later in 1988 in a similar incident, two Soviet MiG-23s shot down a pair of Iranian AH-1Js[4] that had strayed into western Afghan airspace. The Soviets were occupying Afghanistan at the time and were withdrawing. 15 years before this incident at least another shoot down had occurred in which an Imperial Iranian Army Aviation (IIAA) Aero Commander 560 had been shot down by a Soviet MiG-17P.[5]


  1. ^ Times, Special To The New York (18 July 1978). "Soviet Downs Iranian Helicopter After It Strays, Killing the Crew". Retrieved 30 April 2017 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ "The Day - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Soviet Air-to-Air Victories of the Cold War", ACIG Journal, 23 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-01-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)


was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1978th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 978th year of the 2nd millennium, the 78th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1970s decade.

Boeing CH-47 Chinook

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol (later known as Boeing Rotorcraft Systems). The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of modern-day Washington state.

The Chinook was originally designed by Vertol, which had begun work in 1957 on a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. Around the same time, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the piston engine-powered Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. During June 1958, the U.S. Army ordered a small number of V-107s from Vertol under the YHC-1A designation; following testing, it came to be considered by some Army officials to be too heavy for the assault missions and too light for transport purposes. While the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as the CH-46 Sea Knight, the Army sought a heavier transport helicopter, and ordered an enlarged derivative of the V-107 with the Vertol designation Model 114. Initially designated as the YCH-1B, on 21 September 1961, the preproduction rotorcraft performed its maiden flight. In 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.

The Chinook possesses several means of loading various cargoes, including multiple doors across the fuselage, a wide loading ramp located at the rear of the fuselage, and a total of three external ventral cargo hooks to carry underslung loads, as well. Capable of a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h), upon its introduction to service in 1962, the helicopter was considerably faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. Improved and more powerful versions of the Chinook have also been developed since its introduction; one of the most substantial variants to be produced was the CH-47D, which first entered service in 1982; improvements from the CH-47C standard included upgraded engines, composite rotor blades, a redesigned cockpit to reduce workload, improved and redundant electrical systems and avionics, and the adoption of an advanced flight control system. It remains one of the few aircraft to be developed during the early 1960s – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that had remained in both production and frontline service for over 50 years.

The military version of the helicopter has been subject to numerous export sales from nations across the world, typically using it as heavy-lift rotorcraft in a military context; the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force (see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)) have been its two largest users. The civilian version of the Chinook is the Boeing Vertol 234. It has been used for a variety of purposes by a range of different civil operators, having often been used for passenger and cargo transport, along with niche roles such as aerial firefighting and to support various industrial activities, including logging, construction, and oil extraction.

List of aircraft shootdowns

This is a list of aircraft shootdowns, dogfights and other incidents during wars since World War II.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.