Major Movses Manukyan

Armenian Military Jet Crashes During Training Mission, Killing Two

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GYUMRI (Armenpress/RFE/RL) — An Armenian military aircraft crashed during a training mission on Tuesday, December 4, killing its two pilots.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-25 jet disappeared from radar screens 14 minutes after taking off from the airbase in the city of Gyumri.

Lieutenant-Colonel Armen Babayan

The ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian, said two pilots on board, Lieutenant-Colonel Armen Babayan and Major Movses Manukyan, died in the crash.

There was no word on possible causes of the deadly accident. Armenia’s Investigative Committee reportedly launched an inquiry.

Soviet-designed Su-25s are the principal type of military aircraft making up Armenia’s small Air Force. None of them are known to have been crashed in the past.

Advisor to the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Armenia Sona Truzyan wrote on her Facebook page, “According to the preliminary information, the military SU-25 aircraft conducting a routine training flight crashed on December 4 at about 10:20 am in the vicinity of Karaberd village located in the region of Maralik town of Shirak Province. As a result of the crash, First Class Pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Armen Slavik Babayan and 3rd Class Pilot, Major Movses Gevorg Manukyan have been killed.”

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She added that an investigative group headed to the scene immediately, led by Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee, Artak Krkyasharyan.

“The black box has been discovered during the examination of the scene. More information will be provided on the process of the investigation,” Truzyan wrote.

Speaker of the Parliament Ara Babloyan sent a letter of condolences to the families of pilots.

“At this moment of loss I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the killed pilots, share their grief and wish tenacity”, the Speaker said in the letter.

 

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