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Flight 752: How easy to target a civil plane as hostile?

Tehran, Iran - The Iranian government has admitted that UIA Boeing 737-800 was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile. On Jan. 8, the Ukranian International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed shortly after Iran hit the American bases in Iraq with ballistic missiles, a period when the Iranian Air Defense forces could be on high-alert status. ( More...

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The iranian general who took the responsability of the accident told about a "radio jamming" that prevented the missile launching officer from getting the launch order and then took the decision himself. Since there are plots of the plane from different community ADSB/AIS platforms, it seems the transponder of the flight was in function. Sh... how they did not see it !!
Greg S 7
The Iranian general made several claims, most of which were not believable. I *do* believe they shot it down by accident. I don't believe there was any radio jamming or transponder whatever nonsense.

My theory: the fat-fingered the launch button by accident (very unlikely) or they somehow mistook it for a drone (more likely). But we'll never know the truth.

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Tom Lowe 2
Get a grip John
Greg77FA 8
The real truth: Got a guy barley making ends meet, sitting in the back of a pickup ready to pull the trigger and scared as hell he is about to die.
sharon bias 4
Some of the comments posted seem to imply that the plane shouldn't have been flying. This comes very close to the situation where a criminal says the victim asked for the crime to be committed. The criminal is still the bad guy, and the victims had little to no input in the situation. The poor person who pushed the button has to live with killing many of his fellow citizens. Many of our troops come home with PTSD from what they've seen and done. I imagine it's no different for Iranian troops.
bbabis 5
My first reaction upon hearing of the 'accident' in Tehran was "what the hell was a civilian aircraft doing flying around there at that time!" And I immediately assumed it had been shot down. With rockets and missiles flying around it should have been a no-brainer to suspend flight operations. Any airline that accepted the risk of operating at that time owns the result irregardless of the other ingredients in the pie.
SkyAware123 7
You are assuming the airline even knows about it. That's not the job of the airline, it's the job of whoever controls the airspace. This is what you get when you put modern(yes even this old system) into to the hands of incompetent people. Most likely the system was set to automatic launch. Due to the size of the target it followed up with a second launch.
John Prukop -1
No one has revealed exactly what the particular Iranian airspace protocols were at the time of this tragedy, but it appears that with imminent retaliation expected, Iran was attempting to get some key people out of the country on Ukraine PS752, including, apparently SIX nuclear scientists and some 60 Canadians who were working in-country.

Most likely neither Ukraine Airlines or Iranian authorities anticipated sabotage/electronic hacking of the flight several hours after Iran launched missiles into U.S. assets. With hacked avionics, e.g., no transponder, no comms, no electrical and no nav-lights, the crippled airliner was purportedly attempting to RTB when it was struck by two exploding TOR missile warheads. Iran's Russian made TOR defense missile system works by seeking out FRIEND OR FOE. In this case, Ukraine 752 appeared as a FOE hostile, like a cruise missile, and it was mistakenly fired upon in the fog of war.

BTW, you can hold a lit match over a 50-gallon open drum of JET-A and nothing happens. But if you suddenly compress JET-A and cause both compression & misting of the fuel with an ignition source, JET-A will explode. Visions of TWA-800 on July 17, 1996 with the China Lake like expanding warhead that sliced off the nose and cutting through the forward part of the center fuel tanks. See some of the video examples from the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Weapons Testing Center in California. Very nasty stuff.
Greg S 1
I think you're confusing Iraq and Iran, Iraq is where all the missile attacks were, but your point still stands.
bbabis 4
Thank you for the clarity Greg. Yes, Iraq was the landing site of most attacks but it is very clear to the World who the combatants are declared war or not. Flying around Tehran was no place to be that evening.
Greg S 3
Absolutely. I wonder if there's anybody around asking that question. They're always busy with fuel calculations, aircraft prep, weight calculations, ... everything under the sun. But do they ever ask themselves, "say, how close are we to the nearest shooting war, and when was the last attack?". I don't think so. In this case the answers were "not far at all" and "about 3 hours ago".
dcmeigs 4
I think you have it right, Greg. A very short period of time elapsed between the Missle launch on Iraq and the departure of 752. The flight crew were probably already aboard and preparing for the flight when the shooting started. It’s on the Iranians for failing to close their airspace as they should have. Recall that they expected retaliation.
How easy? As easy as pushing a button. It's happened many times before.

In the end, there is nothing that would keep anyone from shooting down an airliner.

Sanity and following regulations and verifying the target is not friendly would have gone a long long way to avoid this. Mistaking an airplane for a missile is junior level crap. Taking off in a plane in the middle of a potential war zone is just plain NUTS!!!
SkyAware123 1
Even easier, these systems can be set to automatic launches.
Geoffrey Luck 2
The only problem with the nice explanation by the ex-NATO bloke is that the Iranians claimed they launched the missiles because they thought it was a missile attack.
Matha Goram 2
Will the Iranian government release the data from the recorders so that there is a clear demonstration of the flight path? There are too many lies from the Iranian sides (civil and military) to satisfy even neutral observers. For example, was the flight being tracked at all at the base near the airport?
Jim DeTour 2
Figures the Iranians were under intense jamming during that period. Then when the airliner took off it was probably detected by both sides. The American forces can even project multiple targets to enemy radars that are not present. Figures nobody in their right mind would play the game of electronically projecting targets when an airliner is in the air. But then seeing the faces of the generals when Trump gave his speech after the attack, like he was covering their backs, it looks like they felt they blew it.

Sad affair. Maybe even like the Malaysian Airlines over Ukraine when Russian missiles needed dealing with because they prevented air superiority. Seems Ukraine is in the light again as the subject of messed up.

How easy is it to target a civilian aircraft? Real easy when electronic warfare is employed and planes without friend or foe identification are in the air. Then even if so there's still the jammed sides systems which makes the Ukrainian plane in a 100% probability of being targeted zone.
bxlmale 2
I suspect that this air defence missile site had a fairly primitive radar, and limited connections with other sources of data. It would have almost no time to get info from other sources. With a lack of data, and a heightened state of alert, the local commander made the wrong decision. It is horrible, but not a surprise.
Colin Seftel 4
This has happened before. Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board were killed. Source:
Norman West 3
Same process should apply and this makes those shootings suspicious.
Norman West 3
As mistake I mean.
belzybob 3
I was in the Persian Gulf up until shortly before the Vincennes shoot down. US Navy ships were sitting directly beneath the main air route over the gulf, challenging any civil aircraft that flew near them. So dumb that they were making those calls on the UHF guard frequency!
airuphere 4
This whole story is so fucked. What a disaster.. I can only imagine what the crew up front went thru. It shouldt be that easy.. mistaken for a cruise middle??? Really climbing out of Thran thru 8000ft and climbing and they thought it was a cruise missle.. total BS either total idiots make up the IRGC (well..) or something else intentional was at play,
I think so that something intentional was at play... When this general told about "radio jamming" can we consider that the ADS-B frequencies could have been jammed or maybe the transponder spoofed by an enemy ?
Greg S 2
Yeah, "we thought it could have been a cruise missile", that was a hilarious lie.
airuphere 2
I know.. crazy
Let us not forget Iran Air flight 655 . Look it up on line
Greg S 1
Let's also not forget the Iranian response to that terrible "accident".

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Now , now Lewis . There is no hint of retaliation or justification in my comment , it is a point of interest to those who may not be aware of the 1988 incident .
Have you taken your meds this morning ?
jbermo 1
For a future warfare scenario, could a cruise missile or drone be made to briefly masquerade itself as a friendly when in range?
Greg S 3
If you mean could it be made to appear to be a civilian airliner, yes, that would be easy ... and it would be a war crime.
Tim Payne 7
You do realize that the ONLY countries that follow the "war crime" rules are NATO, right? The Geneva Convention does nothing for the 'wars' of today other than cripple NATO from waging war without millions of arm chair quarterbacks chiming in.

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the hobbs 4
You do realize that the FAA has zero authority to restrict foreign aircarriers in foreign airspace right? The best they can do (which they did mind you) is restrict that particular airspace for American registered aircraft... Which is all they could have done.

I get that you have a political agenda you keep trying to push but have you considered stepping back from the armchair quarterbacking?
Ken McIntyre 0
A comment from the peanut gallery. Leading a country is not easy.
Greg S -2
No president should allow American citizens to be killed with impunity. The US strike on the general was justified, proportionate, and limited. And, to be honest, so was the Iranian missile attack in response. That was the end of the affair for both countries.

Now, in the depths of your idiocy and ignorance, you seem to be blaming the US for the Iranian failure to erect a no-fly zone around their own international airport and a vital cog in their economy. You're probably not the right person to be casting stones and comparing people to 5th graders.

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Adam zeliger 0
do someone expect the Iranien admit deliberately shut it down ? but worst is the hiding attempt and lying. this action occur in international departure rout from Tehran international airport and mark on the screen of the radar operator as a civilian commercial flight, identified with its transponder.
John Prukop -4
Yes, Iran DID shoot down the Ukraine airliner - BUT - it was the Zionist State of Israel and its Mossad who sabotaged/hacked the electronics, turned the avionics bay off, disabled the electrical system, in order to make the Boeing 737/800 appear as a cruise missile. The Russian made TOR missile defense system seeks out FRIEND OR FOE - only in this case with a disabled system on board the Boeing it was place in harms way. The Ukraine airliner was turning back to the airport at the time of the two missile hit. And of course there would be no air to ground communications with avionics hacked, sabotaged and rendered inoperable. Israel has been trying to get the United States into a war with Iran for 20-years. Read up on the history from 1953 on. Think people, think!
This was not a "mistake". They verified no Americans were on that aircraft and picked that one for target practice, otherwise President Trump would remove Iran from the face of the earth.


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