Iran blames misaligned radar for ‘human error’ behind Ukraine plane downing with 2 missiles
An Iranian air defense unit that “forgot” to adjust its radar system triggered the “human error” that led to the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane with two anti-aircraft missiles in January, murdering all 176 people aboard.
“A failure occurred due to a human error in following the procedure” for aligning the radar, causing a “107-degree error” in the system, the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) said in a report.
This error “initiated a hazard chain” that saw further errors committed in the minutes before the plane was shot down, said the CAO document, presented as a “factual report” and not as the final report on the accident investigation.
The report also noted that the first of the two missiles launched at the aircraft was fired by a defense unit operator who had acted “without receiving any response from the Coordination Center.”
The second missile was fired 30 seconds later, “by observing the continuity of trajectory of the detected target”, the report added.
Flight 752, a Ukraine International Airlines plane, was struck by two missiles and crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on January 8, hours after a series of coordinated Iranian missile attacks on US forces in Iraq, in retaliation for the elimination of arch-terrorist Qassem Soleimani.
Iran denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft.
Several days later, Iran admitted that its forces “accidentally” shot down the Kyiv-bound plane.
Three Brits, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans and 4 Germans were killed when the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down near Tehran.