Photo by ARMENPRESS News Agency
He said that back during August 13-14 when the joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises were completed the F-16s did not withdraw from Azerbaijan and remained stationed at the local airports. The defense ministry has raised this issue to relevant bodies, he said.
Addressing Azerbaijan’s “we don’t have F-16s in our air force” statement, Hovhannisyan said: “We know very well what fighter jets they have. And we know very well that their fighter jets are unable to carry out missions and that’s why the F-16s are there. We know very well that they have been working with F-16s for a long time now in exercises. Armenia possesses relevant information, including radio-technical intelligence means.”
He said the evidence will soon be released.
The Turkish F-16s were conducting reconnaissance and tactical flights days before, he said.
“The F-16s were taken there because the Azerbaijani air force was unable to carry out those missions, they don’t have that level and experience, second of all, the Turkish air force also transported there other devices, for example the Bayraktar and other UAVs, which aren’t compatible to the MIG-29 or SU-25 – meaning they couldn’t have been used in terms of tactical situation management. And therefore they needed the F-16 to solve the compatibility. We understand very well, we have experience, that the F-16 is airborne, it is working and providing support to the Bayraktar, paired with an airborne radio-technical communication and guidance Turkish aircraft flying on the other side of the border. We know this very well, we know their call signs, numbers, we know how they are working in pairs. We know that only an F-16 was capable of detecting the SU-25 from 60km distance and from that altitude, because the pilots had experience and knew how to approach tactically. Not a single anti-aircraft measure was capable of detecting them at that moment, only the F-16 could. And the F-16’s AIM-120 and AMRAAM missiles have a range of up to 90-100 kilometers, only the F-16s are capable of doing so, the MIG-29’s missiles don’t have the capacity to down a SU-25 in those conditions, terrain and distance,” he said.
He said the Armenian side is willing to provide evidence to international experts.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense released images of the Armenian Air Force SU-25 jet which was shot down by Turkish Air Force F-16 on September 29 in Armenian airspace.
The SU-25 was on-duty above Vardenis, Armenia and was repelling the Azeri attacks on Armenian civilian settlements in the regions.
The Turkish F-16 took off from the Azeri Gyanja airport and shot down the Armenian plane from 60km distance and 8200 meter altitude.
The pilot of the SU-25, Major Valery Danelin of the Armenian Air Force, was killed.