Fri, 18 Apr 2008 19:10:06
By Dex A. Eastman, Press TV, Tehran
As the calendar reads September 23, 1980, Iran recalls the spirit of its mythical archer and hero, Arash Kamangir, to launch Operation Kaman 99, its largest ever Air Force retaliation against US-backed dictator Saddam Hussein, just a day after Iraq launched surprise aerial attacks on the Islamic Republic.
On September 22, 1980, a war-experienced Iraq initiated massive air strikes on strategic locations in the newly-established Islamic Republic of Iran in the hope of crippling the country's Air Force and gaining air supremacy.
At 1:45 pm local time, 6 Mig-23 fighter jets bombarded an airbase near Ahvaz in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan.
Iraqi jets attacking Iran on September 22, 1980
Half an hour later, 3 Mig-23 jets carried out surprise attacks against Tehran's Mehrabad Airport; subsequent assaults followed as formations of warplanes stormed some 8 other military bases throughout western and central Iran.
While the Iraqi assault yielded a mere 5-bomber casualty on Saddam's side, Iran was gearing up for a unique show of Air Force might.
Designing Operation Kaman 99, personnel of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) were wide awake through the night as they worked on a 99-page military plan while MK-82, 83, 84 and cluster bombs as well as Maverick and heat-seeking missiles were mounted on Iranian aircraft.
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