Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) F-4E Phantom II fighter jet crashed near Tangestan beach, north-west of home base 6th Tactical Air Base Bushehr (Iran).
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted a local official as saying the crash was caused by a technical problem. Abdolhossein Rafipour, the governor of Tangestan, said the plane went down near the coastal town at 12:30 p.m. local time.
Luckily both crew members managed to eject in time and parachuted safely to mother Earth. Their unfortunate Phantom crashed into the Persian Gulf.
Regular patrol flights of F-4Es are common in the region, but this crash comes amid tensions in the Gulf region between the US and Iran. Earlier, on Aug. 4, Iran announced it had captured a foreign oil tanker, which, according to their statement, was smuggling fuel to an unnamed Arab state in the region.
Possibly, the F-4E was involved in a top cover mission when things went wrong. A spokesman of the IRIAF said the crew of the crashed F-4E reported technical issues before they ejected.
IRIAF possibly still operates some 40 to 45 F-4Es, of which some ten are operated by the 61st TFS. Besides Bushehr, these magnificent aircraft are operated from Bandar Abbas air base (3rd TAB, 91st TFS) and Hamadan air base (9th TAB, 31st TFS).
Photo credit: Iran News