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I guess your question has something to do with the plane that was shot down yesterday killing all on board :( :(

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It has something to do with the idiots who allowed a commercial airliner to over-fly a warzone, full of irregular troops with itchy trigger fingers.

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Last time I went on a plane they had to wind the elastic band up first.

 

Only ever been out of the country once, unless you count wales and scotland. My passport expired about fifteen years back and it only got used that once.

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Takes more than an "irregular with an itchy trigger finger" to shoot down an airliner flying at 500mph over 6 miles up!

 

This was a deliberate shoot down carried out using an extremely capable weapon system which requires highly skilled and trained operators.

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Even if your correct, which your not (most of the seperatists are ex-military personel):  the point is, civil aircraft just shouldn't have been there - end of.  British Airways and all US carriers had the IQ to avoid the area since March.

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It seems they 'thought' it was safe to fly over there but they have now changed their routes  :|  

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/malaysian-airlines-changes-route-over-eastern-ukraine-after-mh17-shot-down

To be honest I've not seen it on the news since reading part of one news report which showed a young childs teddy on the ground, white flags to mark the dead and some photo's of a few of the young British lads who died and I couldn't read or watch any more.

There are too many evil barbaric b******s in the world and even if they track these ones down there will be more ready to fill their place!!   Where, when and how on earth can it ever be stopped :(  

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This incident was probably an accident by inexperienced operators; but when there's tons of high explosives flying around someone's going to get hurt - it's called war. We've got the same argument in Gaza, with the Arabs lobbing rockets into Israel, and the Israelis responding in kind; unfortunately the Arab launchers are sited amongst civilians, so it's not surprising that "innocent" civilians are being killed. War being an extension of (political) policy by other means; still holds true, and anyone with the answer to end it must qualify for sainthood.

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Obs how on earth can someone 'accidentally' hit a civilian plane full of people or are you saying that whoever did it might have thought it was a war plane and that they were under attack ?

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Experienced operators would verify the target first; given that the separatist had already shot down Ukrainian "civil" aircraft carrying troops; one can imagine the lack of discipline and professionalism that would give rise to such an event. However, the real issue imo, should be the use of air space above a known conflict zone; whoever authorised it should be held responsible. Alas, it won't suit international politics to write the incident off in such a way; world leaders will trying further to alienate Russia and by so doing, take us further down the road to further conflict.

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In order for a BUK/SA-11 missile system (BUK is the launch vehicle, SA-11 is the actual missile) to shoot down a high speed, high altitude target (like a 500+mph airliner at 33,000ft) it needs to be receiving data from both long range, short range and height finding radars.

 

The missile itself has a maximum range of only 28km, and since 33,000ft is about 10km straight up this only leaves about 20km of travel across the ground from when a target at that altitude comes into range to when it is out of range again - and even that assumes that the target flys directly over the missile launcher.

 

At a typical airliner speed of 550mph it'll have only taken about 90 seconds for MH-17 to completely cross the range in which a BUK/SA-11 could hit it, again assuming that it flew directly over the launcher. If the airliner was just a couple of miles off to one side of the launcher then the launch window reduces to well under a minute.

 

The BUK launcher is designed to have a transit to ready time of 5 minutes, meaning that it can go from driving to ready to engage targets in 5 minutes, and a tracking to launch time of 22 seconds. Flight time of the missile would be around another 20 seconds out to max range.

 

These basic facts about the capabilities of the weapon system dictate a number of things:-

 

1). The launcher must have been pre-positioned quite precisely under the airway.

 

2). The launcher was already in a ready to fire state well before MH-17 came into the range of it's missiles.

 

3). The launcher MUST have been receiving targeting data from other radars well before it could track MH-17 itself.

 

4). The transit time of MH-17 through the "bubble" of airspace the launcher could hit was very close to the absolute minimum time the missile system needed to hit it - this implies a VERY well trained and experienced crew.

 

 

There is no way this was just a case of some rogue irregulars with itchy trigger fingers - this was a deliberate shoot down requiring the use of multiple radars and an integrated air defence network with sophisticated command and control, and secure (probably satellite based) data links. Something that the separatists on their own simply don't possess.

 

The Russians and Ukrainians had both informed the ICAO that aircraft at altitudes above 30,000ft would automatically be classified as non-combatants by their air defence networks. ICAO responded by closing the airspace to civillian traffic at all altitudes below 32,000ft to give an additional safety buffer zone.

 

Either the Russians or the Ukrainians deliberately targeted and shot down a civilian airliner. And the fact that an official Russian news agency was reporting on its website that an airliner had been downed at 16:13 when MH-17 didn't disappear from international radar until 16:20 makes me think that it was almost certainly the Kremlin that ordered this.

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One thought occurs to me about obs original question.

 

How would security react to somebody asking for the flight plan of a particular aircraft??

 

Given the level of "terrorist threat" then i could forsee quite a long spell in a cell with some very interested people wanting to know why you wanted to know and who the name of your contact is that you would pas this information onto.

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It would be politically pointless and embarrassing for "Putin" "to order" the deliberate downing of an identified civilian airliner. Several Ukranian aircraft have been shot down over the past weeks, which suggests operators failed to properly vet the target, in this instance. According to unconfirmed news reports, a separatist commander is alleged to have reported, on social media,  hitting a Ukranian aircraft at the time of the incident; this has since been deleted. At the end of the day, in these "who done it" scenarios, you have to ask "who benefits", and it ain't the Russians. However, the question that should be asked, is why an airline were operating over a known war zone, given their duty of care and the fact that BA and US operators had had the good sense to avoid this airspace since last March.

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Airlines fly over minor war zones all the time - because they know damned well that at 30,000ft they are out of the range of ANY weapons systems that separatists or guerilla fighters could possibly employ.

 

Like I say, this shoot down required the use of multiple long range radars, satellite data links, and a highly skilled and well drilled missile crews. If it wasn't a Russian soldier who actually fired the missile, there were certainly plenty of Russian military resources involved in enabling the launcher to lock on to its target.

 

Maybe Putin gains by this, maybe he doesn't. Maybe he wanted things to get real bloody in Eastern Ukraine so that he could send in his crack "peacekeepers" and steamroller straight through the Ukrainian Army division which is currently positioned between the separatists and the Russian border. Maybe Putin didn't order this and it was purely an FSB operation, or the brainchild of a senior Russian military commander.

 

Whatever the motivations, the FACTS are that this shoot down required the full use of a sophisticated wide area air defence network - something only the Russians have access to in that region - to destroy an airliner flying in airspace which the Russians had already commited to keeping safe.

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Inky, while I agree with most of what you say, is there any clear evidence that this plane was shot down by a surface to air missile, or even an air to air missile? It seems to me that there is a great deal of speculation about the whole event and the early evidence seemed to come from the US, which immediately raised my doubts.

 

There is even speculation that the whole thing was arranged by the US to frighten Putin who apparently flew over the same area on the way to Brazil, and the flight paths intersected albeit with a time delay.

 

The pro Russian rebels state they haven't got the firepower, only for Kiev to say that one of their missile launchers was stolen by the rebels.

 

It's strange that there doesn't seem to be any cast iron evidence that points the finger at the rebels , Kiev, Russia, the EU or the yanks.

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Well that's funny, I've just been reading the opinion of a "defence expert", who claims the launcher can be used independently, WITHOUT the area command and control radar systems, which would account for the lack of precision in identification of the target. He even used the phrase "itchy trigger fingers", when referring to the alleged operators !  Que Bono?  Russia has absolutely no political benefit from this incident, in fact quite the opposite has we're seeing in the feigned outrage of world politicians. This isn't the first incident where a SAM system has "accidentally" brought down an international airliner, the Russians, Yanks and Israelis have all had previous "accidents". So with that in mind, any assumption of a war zone being "safe" is gross negligence on the part of the carriers. As for the wider issue; Putin has made a rod for his own back, by failing to annexe the whole of E/Ukraine up to the Dneiper River; this would have been the neat and tidy solution; and he could argue he was merely following the example of the US and UK, in invading a sovereign country (a la Iraq and Afghanistan), in order to restore the legitimate Government.

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Obs, nothing you alleged "expert" says explains how a bunch of knuckle dragging separatists managed to a). acquire an intact and armed missile launcher (complete with the firing authorisation codes which are unique to each launcher and changed at least weekly), B). acquire the skills to operate it - something which takes months of training in simulators even in peacetime, c). position the launcher almost directly under the flightpath of MH-17 well in advance of it entering the area, d). track and engage a high speed, high altitude target with a relatively short range missile system in a window of opportunity of only seconds more than the absolute minimum necessary, e). rapidly reconfigure the missile launcher into its travel configuration and get it out of the area.

 

Yes, the BUK can operate independently - but not against high speed, high altitude targets. In independent mode it would only really be effective against lower speed targets such as helicopters or ground attack aircraft. Remember, the missile only has a maximum range of 28km and it takes at least 22 seconds to lauch one even once a target has been detected and tracked for long enough to determine its speed, course and altitude.

 

Ain't no way on earth this was an independent mode engagement. At the altitude it was flying, MH-17 simply could not have been within range for long enough. 

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Not according to the article by the "expert".  Whilst the whole scenario is in the realms of speculation at this stage, there are some known facts. 1) Several Ukranian aircraft had been brought down in the previous weeks, presumably by these "knuckle dragging seperatists using SAMs.  2) The Leader of one separatist group is alleged to have posted a reported hit on a Ukranian aircraft, on social media, which was subsequently deleted. 3) It has also been reported that Ukranian SAM launchers could have been captured and possibly some of their crews, by the knuckle draggers. 4) Some at least, if not most of the seperatists will be ex-military, some of whom could have served in Ukranian or Russian SAM units. 5) There is previous history on airliners being brought down by SAM systems, by Russia, Ukrain, Israel and the US Navy (USS St Vincent?). No doubt it may all come out in the wash or not; but I'll put my money on an accident by hyped up and ill diciplined operators.

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Four aircraft have been shot down by ground based missiles over rebel held areas of Ukraine in recent months.

 

June 6, an Antonov AN-30 surveillance plane - a slow, twin propellor driven aircraft.

 

June 16, an Ilyshin Il-76 military four engined jet transport.

 

Both of the above were shot down by man-portable (MANPADS) shoulder launch missiles which have a maximum altitude of 11,500ft - so both aircraft must have been flying below this level.

 

July 14th, an Antonov AN-26 military transport flying at 21,000ft - almost certainly shot down by a Kub/SA-6, a 1970's missile system with a maximum effective range of about 10 miles and no chance of hitting anything above 25,000ft.

 

Additionally on 16th July there was a Ukranian Su-25 fighter which was most definitely shot down air to air by a Russian Federation air force fighter.

 

Then on 17th July we had the high altitude shoot down of MH-17 - well above 30,000ft, using an advanced and complex missile system which required the active co-operation of multiple radar sites operated by the Russians, and in airspace which the Russians had already guaranteed as being safe.

 

Like I said, maybe a separatist pressed the button which launched the missile. But no way did he do it without active help from regular and highly trained Russian armed forces equipment and personnel.

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Anyone could have pressed the launch button. But your assertion of a single rogue unit of inexperienced separatists completely falls apart when you look at the number of different radar, communications, and command and control units - some of them exclusively Russian and located in Russia itself - which must have co-operated closely and worked together to enable an SA-11 to hit MH-17.

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What it says in the manuals and what can happen on the ground, are often two different things!  Accidents/errors occur all the time; hence the previous examples of SAMs bringing down airliners; and we've been fed on a diet of precision weaponry to make war more acceptable to the public , yet we continually see blue on blue incidents in war.

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