Military Review

How the Americans destroyed the Iranian airliner

How the Americans destroyed the Iranian airliner

Cruiser USS Vincennes (CG-49). Photo from

This tragedy, like many other similar ones, has two versions of events, two conclusions and two finals. stories. Naturally, sympathizers of the United States, of course, consider the Iranians themselves to blame for everything, and the opposing side - the relatives of the victims - still curse the American sailors, considering them to be involved in a war crime.
What happened on the morning of July 3 1988 in the Persian Gulf?

Iran Air liner Airbus A300B2 of Iran Air Airlines (IR655 flight) took off from Bandar Abbas airport and headed for Dubai. Since the distance was relatively small, the liner was supposed to rise to the height of the entire 4300 meters. But just seven minutes after takeoff, in 10: 54 Tehran time, flying about 75 kilometers, he was shot down over the Persian Gulf by an anti-aircraft missile of the American cruiser Vincennes.

16 crew members and passenger 274 died, 65 of whom were children. A total of 290 people, among whom were not only Iranians, but also citizens of Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, India and Yugoslavia.

But further discrepancies began in the assessments of what happened. The Americans claimed that the cruiser fired a rocket while on the "border" of Iranian territorial waters. Moreover, the cruiser "defended", and the passenger liner was identified as the Iranian F-14 fighter because of the "technical error".

The version of the Iranian side looked different - the American cruiser invaded the territorial waters of Iran, where it destroyed the Iranian Erbas. Moreover, the plane flew in a special air corridor, which was used only by civil aircraft, and the Americans should have known this.

American "excuses" about technical errors seem to be untenable for what reason. The Americans did not have a ship of any kind, but a new cruiser, equipped with the latest Aegis system. The very same, a modified version of which is now used on American destroyers of the class “Arly Burke” and on anti-missile defense bases in Romania and Poland.

That is, the cruiser “Vincennes” was not the galoshes of the times of the First World War with a crew oriented by the stars, but one of the most modern ships at that time, not only in the American navybut also in the world. His Aigis information management system had no analogues at that time. And this very vaunted system took a huge passenger airliner for a relatively small fighter.

Moreover, the liner gained altitude, and did not dive to the cruiser, and even flew with the included transponders. Whether the Aegis system is a junkie, or it is serviced by its idiots, one way or another, the cruiser commander William Rogers decided to shoot down the plane. What happened in 10: 54.

Will Rogers. Photo from

The investigation into this incident began immediately, but ... it was classified until the 1993 year. That is, for five years, its results were available to a very narrow circle of people.

Nevertheless, interesting details surfaced almost immediately. The cruiser requested the Iranian airliner ten times - seven times on the military channel and three times on the civil one. Why it was necessary to request a plane with the transponder on - it is not clear. Yes, even on the military channel. The Americans tried to get out again awkwardly, saying that they were on the cruiser - that's bad luck - it turns out that there was no equipment capable of negotiating with civil aircraft. The Aegis system at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars is there, but there was no lousy transmitter for a hundred bucks. So, it was necessary for prophylactic purposes to fire a rocket from the Iranian territorial waters along the Iranian take-off liner, mistaking it for a fighter diving to the cruiser. Americans are not guilty that the liner did not respond?

The Iranians, in turn, do not understand how the pilots of the liner, with all the equipment turned on and properly working, allowing to identify the aircraft’s civilian identity without any problems, could they answer the cruiser’s requests through the military channel? They are confident that the advanced equipment of the cruiser without any problems allowed him to identify the civilian airliner flying, moreover, in the international air corridor, but the Americans deliberately destroyed it.

But the Americans do not consider themselves guilty. And Captain W. Rogers, on whose conscience 290 ruined lives, is also not to blame. This clever piece of iron "Aegis" gave him information that the cruiser was attacking, and he gave the appropriate order. What is his fault? Moreover, his actions were recognized as correct, and for the victory over the Iranian passenger plane, he was soon awarded the Legion of Honor.

The Iranians tried for a long time to seek justice in international courts, filed lawsuits, but, as expected, they only achieved compensation payments to the relatives of the victims. But not an apology. Moreover, President D. Bush Sr. soon declared: “I will never apologize for the United States, despite all the facts.”

Here is someone who needs to learn from our authorities! The daddies of Katyn on a platter with a border to the “partners” will be brought up, for which they will hate us even more, the black boxes of the South Korean Boeing shot down over Sakhalin in 1983 will be handed over with clasps. But the American presidents directly send all the disgruntled to a known address. And “common people” are not offended to the depths of their souls with such boorish statements, but on the contrary, they applaud enthusiastically and call the USA a great country.

From this whole story, you can draw the following conclusions. If 29 years ago, even with the presence of a second center of power in the person of the USSR, the USA already behaved like shameless and unprincipled "masters of the Universe", then what can we expect from them now? When they have long been no words across can not say. Clearly nothing good.

If earlier they, without much hesitation, shot at passenger planes, now, it seems, they will also demolish any country without thinking if they suddenly do not like it.

There are even more questions about the acclaimed American technology. The Aegis inflamed system could not distinguish the liner from the fighter, and, as the investigation showed, it incorrectly determined its speed and height. But these systems are not only floating around the world, being the standard equipment of class destroyers "Arly Burke", but also are on duty in Romania. And it is difficult to say how they will behave in the event of a contingency. Yes, and the staff serving the American technology, raises a lot of questions. It is in the Hollywood cinema that the US military acts as a single coordinated mechanism, and what will happen if the human factor overlaps with a technical failure? After all, 3 July 1988, it was just the place to be.

And finally, the last. Americans will never admit their mistakes. And war crimes even more so. Therefore, one should not expect from them a “civilized” dialogue. The United States should be treated the same way as the gopnik waiting for you in the doorway with a baseball bat. Therefore, before you go there, it would be nice to get a cudgel heavier. And better - shafts.

This is exactly what the Soviet Union did, and that is why it was considered. In all other cases, Americans will talk like cowboys in westerns - first shoot with both hands, and then think. Maybe they will even pay some money later, as happened in 1996, when all compensation issues were settled with the relatives of the victims of flight IR655. That's just 290 people from the world without any compensation can not be returned ...

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. parusnik
    parusnik 9 July 2017 07: 47
    But the Americans do not consider themselves guilty
    ..And when they considered themselves guilty ..
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 9 July 2017 11: 10
      The liner did not know about this at all.
      Quote: parusnik
      But the Americans do not consider themselves guilty
      ..And when they considered themselves guilty ..

      their mistakes have a long history.
  2. Olgovich
    Olgovich 9 July 2017 07: 47
    cruiser "Defended”, And the passenger airliner was identified as an Iranian fighter

    This is the same as becoming yourself with MANPADS at the end of the GDP of a civil airfield and shooting down airliners on the grounds that they are trying to attack you. But the liners just fly in, and you yourself need to be at any other point, and not there ...
    Americans are funny in their excuses. The bad news is that no one demanded that the United States be held accountable for this crime except Iran.
  3. Monster fat
    Monster fat 9 July 2017 09: 25
    I remember the time caricature of the Wisconsin cruiser commander: The picture shows the cruiser itself, bristling with guns and rockets, debris, suitcases and bodies of passengers of a downed Iranian airliner floating around the sea and flying desperately smoking the only one piston engine biplane-maize aircraft. On the cruiser’s bridge, the ship’s commander, surrounded by officers and sailors with a cigarette in his mouth, watches his flight and clenches his teeth: “Another F-14th .....”
  4. Sergey-svs
    Sergey-svs 9 July 2017 09: 34
    As the teacher on Tactics and Strategy liked to repeat to us: "For us, an American soldier can be good only when he is dead!" 30 years have passed, and these words have become even more relevant today. yes
  5. perm23
    perm23 9 July 2017 10: 41
    Correctly . for some reason we just always apologize. prove. that we are not to blame. But they just don't give a damn and they do everything, whatever they want. We are all afraid to give a reason. Not realizing that. that if someone wants an excuse he will always find. And damn no HAAG on a downed liner.
  6. Curious
    Curious 9 July 2017 12: 20
    The author, for the sake of the moment, snatched up a fact to expose the bestial animals grinned at American imperialism. In fact, the problem is much deeper. Indeed, in the entire history of civil aviation, about two dozen aircraft were shot down by missiles or otherwise exploded in the air. And this happened not only by mistake, but also deliberately, to achieve certain political goals. Moreover, I am not talking about terrorists, but about states.
    And in most cases, crimes against civilian aircraft went unpunished. Many countries escaped with insignificant material payments to the families of the victims, without bothering themselves with an official apology, and some did not admit their guilt.
    Only against Libya after the terrorist attack on Lockerbie in 1988, serious sanctions were introduced by the United Nations and the United States.
    So there are several problems. On the one hand, technical, since the world is becoming more and more saturated with various weapons systems and the question has long been standing on how to protect people from these weapons. How to prepare people serving these systems so that in the conditions of continuous military-political confrontations the hand on the "trigger" does not flinch?
    On the other hand, a moral and ethical issue, when even the leaders of states consciously go to the killing of innocent people to achieve political goals.
    Strange as it may seem, the beginning of the gloomy list of fatal incidents involving civilian aircraft was laid not by “military militarists”, but by small Bulgaria on July 27, 1955.
    Departing from Vienna, the Israeli Lockheed L-049 Constellation aircraft deviated from the course on the way to Istanbul and flew into the airspace of Bulgaria. The Bulgarian MiGs drove him right up to the very border with Greece, where they shot him down, preventing the violator from leaving the country’s sky. The Bulgarian side tried to hide the fact of the shooting of the aircraft, but was subsequently forced to apologize to Israel, recognizing that the fighter pilots made a "too hasty decision." Both pilots were demoted, but they were not judged, as the Bulgarian Air Force General Velichko Georgiev said that they only carried out his order. An international court in The Hague rejected Israel’s lawsuit: at that time Bulgaria was not in its jurisdiction. Eight years after the disaster, the Bulgarian authorities agreed to pay compensation, but the amount was insignificant - $ 195 thousand to the relatives of all 58 victims.
    Regarding technical errors. It is possible that the USSR was a pioneer, although there is no absolute information.
    On June 30, 1962, the Russian Aeroflot Tu-104 airliner, flying on flight 902 from Khabarovsk to Moscow, via Omsk, exploded in the sky over Krasnoyarsk. Onboard 76 passengers and eight crew members were killed.
    The cause of the incident was called a fire or other incident in the passenger cabin. However, it later became known that one of the air defense units, stationed in the Magansk region, conducted training launches of anti-aircraft missiles. At the same time, one of the missiles, having lost its target, retargeted on a civilian plane and hit it on the port side.
    And the events of July 3, 1988, have their own background. It didn’t happen all of a sudden.
    In 1979, the loyal US regime of Shah Pahlavi was overthrown in Iran, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed in its place under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini.
    Khomeini’s regime was equally hostile to both the United States and the USSR.
    The United States began to look for an effective counterweight to Iran in the region. Neighboring Iraq, headed by Saddam Hussein, was chosen as him.
    A quarter of a century later, the Americans would send Hussein to the gallows, however, in the early 1980s, the United States not only regarded the head of Iraq as an ally, but also actively supplied him with weapons that were used to invade Iran.
    The Iran-Iraq conflict lasted for many years. By 1988, Iran began to use the so-called "tanker war" against the enemy - the Navy of the Islamic Republic attacked oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, trying to deprive Iraq of the opportunity to earn "oil money" for further military operations.
    However, disruption of oil supplies from the Middle East directly threatened US economic problems. In this regard, US Navy ships were sent to protect tankers in the Persian Gulf.
    On April 17, 1987, the American frigate "Stark" in the Persian Gulf fell under fire under attack by the Mirage ... the Iraqi Air Force. As a result of the "friendly fire" killed 37 American sailors, and the ship was seriously damaged. Saddam Hussein apologized for the attack and paid $ 400 million in compensation.
    On American ships, new rules were introduced that allowed the firing of potentially dangerous air targets. The cock cocked.
    So it’s impossible to solve problems with shafts. You cannot defeat a rocket flying into a plane on which anyone reading this article can be.
    1. d.gksueyjd
      d.gksueyjd 9 July 2017 23: 05
      You forgot to report on the downed APU civilian liners of Russia and Malaysia, and this is only for 25 years of the existence of Ukraine.
      1. Curious
        Curious 9 July 2017 23: 24
        I have not forgotten anything. It is simply a desire to give you the opportunity to be noted by a comment.
  7. Vadim12
    Vadim12 9 July 2017 14: 05
    The culprit is one - Iran. Do they not know that it is impossible to let anyone into their own territorial waters, especially the impudent Americans? Or was there nothing to expel or were afraid? To avoid a nightmare and war on your territory, you need to fight for your territory, like Koreans or Vietnamese. The Serbs poured - they rolled them in, sawed them to the organs, but the kidneys were transported to European clinics.
    1. Kenxnumx
      Kenxnumx 9 July 2017 17: 51
      Poor knowledge of the history of this confrontation does not allow you to draw the right conclusions.
  8. Kenxnumx
    Kenxnumx 9 July 2017 17: 45
    I am wildly sorry and the author is aware of what a transponder is.
    1. Curious
      Curious 9 July 2017 21: 22
      What confused you?
    2. d.gksueyjd
      d.gksueyjd 9 July 2017 22: 55
      Aircraft range transponder - repeatedly increases the detection range of the aircraft, reports the aircraft code, altitude, course, fuel balance, etc. depends on the generation
  9. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 9 July 2017 19: 26
    For such a level of "analytics" it is necessary to shoot. Snowballs, from a distance of 100 meters and to death
  10. Retvizan 8
    Retvizan 8 9 July 2017 19: 46
    Because there is nothing for their military around the world to roam! They would sit within the borders of their state and grief for people around the world would be much less! And then forever where they do not climb, everywhere they will cause troubles!
    What did their ship do off the coast of Iran? So America is not here at all!
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 9 July 2017 20: 00
      Quote: Retvizan 8
      What did their ship do off the coast of Iran?

      So maybe you will first find out WHAT the US ship did off the coast of Iran, and then we’ll swear at what the light is? :)))))
  11. Kudrevkn
    Kudrevkn 14 July 2017 22: 07
    He was a witness of those events, being on the BS in the Persian Gulf - several times met at sea and with the "heroes of triumph" ... of democracy ?! Is the scale of this crime comparable to the 1986 mirror situation in Libya? (by the way, and there, "lucky" just?).