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Multiple Failures Led to Iran’s Accidental Attack on Jetliner

  • Technology, methodology failed to stop accidental shoot down
  • Ukrainian plane on normal route mistaken for cruise missile
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Details about why Iran air defense forces mistook a Ukrainian airliner for a cruise missile remain murky, but one thing is clear: Safeguards for operating surface-to-air missiles are supposed to prevent that kind of mistaken identity and all of them failed.

The error, which killed all 176 people aboard the plane on Wednesday, is probably the result of multiple layers of failure that extend into high levels of the government and military, said Steven Zaloga, senior analyst for missile systems at the Teal Group.