[Photo] Iranian F-4 Phantom (as one of those taunted by a U.S. F-22 Raptor in a Top Gun-like encounter)

Sep 20 2013 - 9 Comments

The following image depics an Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) F-4E Phantom landing at Tehran – Mehrabad International airport at the end of its test flight over overhaul activity conducted at the local Mehrabad center.

Noteworthy, the image was taken in March 2013, hence in the same days of the weird, Top Gun-like intercept of two F-4s that were getting a bit too close to an American MQ-1 Predator drone flying an intelligence gathering mission in international airspace some 16 miles off Iran: as already reported, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh explained that an F-22 stealth fighter escorting the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) silently flew next to the two Iranian Phantoms, checked their armament, popped up on their left wing and then radioed: “you really ought to go home!”

Something like the famous “Watch the birdie” of Goose and Maverick in Top Gun.

Reportedly, F-4E Phantoms of the IRIAF (multi-role aircraft mainly focused on the air-to-surface role), armed with AIM-9Ps and AIM-7E air-to-air missiles fly routine patrol flights over the Persian Gulf.

Image credit: Babak Taghvaee

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  • Christian Colbert

    HAHA I love this. You aren’t trying if you aren’t cheating .. Bet the Double Ugly pilots had to change suits upon wind down.

  • BernardP

    So the cost-effective Predator drone needs to be protected by a F-22?

  • Bruce Meligan

    And if they don’t like we’ll shoot down another one of their Airbusses.

    • tms5510

      This attitude is why US will not be the only superpower in 2050

      • Bruce Meligan


  • Iran has AIM-9J, not P.

  • Tom

    Might need to stop being so belligerent when they have their nuclear deterrent…

  • StanSki

    What a beautiful plane. And what a load of propagandizing bullying by the USSA propaganda masters regarding the story. Just like the movie cited, the USAF bully boys are only tough when they have several thousand pounds of weapon in front of them. Otherwise they are absolute cowards who talk a big game.

  • sengo