Cold War Mystery over Armenia 1981

Autore: Gustavo Marón

Codice: 283425

€ 25,00

Attraverso 58 foto a colori, 85 in bianco e nero e 8 profili a colori, uno sguardo sul mistero dell’abbattimento del Canadair CL-44 argentino su territorio armeno nel 1981.


On July 18, 1981, a Canadair CL-44D Swingtail cargo plane from the Argentine company Transporte Aéreo Rioplatense, mysteriously disappeared over the Soviet Republic of Armenia while on a flight between Tehran (Iran) and Larnaca (Cyprus).

Four days later, on July 22, 1981, the Vremya television news broadcast in Moscow, the information provided by the TASS news agency, according to which, a plane of unidentified origin had entered Soviet territory in the vicinity of the Armenian city of Yerevan. According to the official TASS agency, the plane had ignored calls from air traffic control services, while carrying out dangerous manoeuvres, by virtue of which, it had ended up colliding with another Soviet aircraft, crashed and burned.

With this cryptic information began one of the most impressive and least known stories of Argentine civil aviation: the shooting down of the freighter registered LV-JTN by the Soviet Air Defence. The episode, severely covered up by Moscow, was part of a much larger geopolitical scenario: the clandestine transport of American weapons that was taking place between Tel Aviv and Tehran by virtue of a secret agreement between the Iranian and Israeli governments, at a time when it weighed heavily on Iran, a total embargo on arms sales ordered by the United States after the hostage-taking that occurred in 1979 at the US Embassy in Tehran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, formed as a result of the Islamic Revolution that had broken out that same year, was an avowed enemy of Israel, whom it considered a mere Zionist regime to be eliminated. The Iranian religious leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, did not recognise the State of Israel, which he referred to simply as ‘little Satan’. However, the Iranians desperately needed supplies of US weapons because a few months earlier, on 22 September 1980, they had been invaded from Iraq by Saddam Hussein’s forces, starting the Persian Gulf War. The Israelis saw the possibility of carrying out a sideline business and thus, embarked on a supply operation that was as secret as it was clandestine.

The intelligence services of the Soviet Union soon became aware of the secret arms trafficking and decided to divert one of the compromised planes to force it to land in their territory with the aim of exposing the operation and all the protagonists involved. By interfering with radio communications and manipulating aids to navigation, the KGB managed to divert the plane from its route, making it fly within the Soviet Republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia. But the Sukhoi Su-15TM fighters dispatched to intercept it, failed in their mission so the control centre ordered the downing of the Argentine plane before it left Armenian airspace.

The Soviet conspiracy of silence began after discovering that its Air Defence had destroyed an Argentine-flagged civil plane, with an Argentine crew, which was flying empty. The Moscow government’s cover-up was soon joined by that of Israel, Iran, the United States and Argentina, whose governments sought to keep the issue of arms trafficking the closest of secrets.




illustrato con 58 foto a colori, 85 in bianco e nero e 8 profili a colori




21 x 30