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Soviet 166th Guard Fighter Air Regiment PVO at Marneuli, Sandar airport in 1981

On seventies, more Turkish F-100 Supersabre and Iranian F-4 Phantom II military and other civil aircraft intruded into Soviet airspace over the Caucasus region.

Example an incident on the Iranian border occurred on 18th July 1981. An unidentified aircraft flying at about 8,000 m (26,250 ft) briefly entered Soviet airspace but then left it and the pair of 166th Guard Fighter Air Regiment PVO's Su-15 'Flagon-Ds' which had taken off to intercept it was ordered back to base.

A few hours later, however, another unidentified aircraft intruded into Soviet airspace; this time a single Su-15 'Flagon-D' of 166th Guard regiment flown by Capt. V.A. Kulyapin and armed with two R-98s scrambled to intercept it. The intruder turned out to be a Canadair CL-44 freighter leased from an Argentinean airline and flown by a Swiss crew. The fighter gave the customary ‘follow me’ signals, trying to force it down at a Soviet airfield, instead, the big turboprop started maneuvering dangerously, making sharp turns in the direction of the Su-15.
 

 

Next pictures: Soviet 166th Guard Fighter Air Regiment PVO at Marneuli, Sandar airport in 1981.

Soviet Air Force Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport in 1981 USSR Su-15UT Flagon-C at Marneuli Sandar airport in 1981
Soviet Air Force  Marneuli Sandar airport map Soviet Air Force pilots Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport in 1981
Soviet Air Force pilot Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport Soviet Air Force pilot Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport USSR pilots Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport
Soviet Air Force Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport in 1981 USSR Su-15 Flagon-D at Marneuli Sandar airport in 1981

Later the 166th Guard regiment flew than fighter bomber air regiment between 1983 and 1988 with Su-17M3 ‘Fitter-H’ bomber type.

166th Guard Fighter Air Regiment PVO’s Su-15 ‘Falgon-D’ armed with R-98 'AA-3 'Anab' medium-range air-to-air missile and GP-9 twin-barreled 23 mm cannon pod under the fuselage


The pursuit continued for more than ten minutes; eventually Kulyapin received orders to destroy the intruder. Since the border was very close and the target could get away before the fighter could move away to a safe distance for a missile launch, Kulyapin chose to it crashes the target. The attack was skillfully executed; moving into line astern formation, the Su-15 'Flagon-D' pitched up into a climb, slicing off the CL-44’s starboard tailplane with int fin and fuselage. The freighter plummeted to the ground, killing all on board; however, Kulyapin’s aircraft was seriously damaged by the collision and the pilot ejected, landing safely not far from the wreckage of both aircraft.

This time the wreckage fell on Soviet territory, furnishing irrefutable evidence of the border violation. For this act Capt. Kulyapin was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

Text source: Red Star: Sukhoi Interceptors, Yefim Gordon