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View Diary: President Obama statement on downed airliner, situation in Ukraine (286 comments)

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  •  Two things (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, jrooth, dougymi

    One - flying over an active conflict zone is unhealthy.  Given the fact that aircraft had already been shot down in the area just recently, I question the thinking of a commercial carrier flying over there.  

    Two - While complex, the SA-11 is not THAT hard to operate.  It is a Soviet era system and was designed for Soviet era training.  A peer system for us is the Hawk missile.  I could teach someone how to operate a Hawk in a day.  Now maintenance is an entirely different story.  I am willing to bet we are going to discover Russians were doing the maintenance but the button pushers were not Russian.  Maybe one was standing behind saying "Da, Da, NEYT!, Da."

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:31:55 AM PDT

    •  I guess I would distinguish "operating", (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      which means hitting something, and being well trained, which means avoiding civilian aircraft.    

      Sooooooooo.................you don't have any questions for me after all?

      by Inland on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 08:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My bet is that the radar operator... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, rb608

      ...would be the immediate source of the decision. Not sure if the SA-11 has integrated radar system for detecting incoming or not, but it just seems hard to believe they knew what they were shooting at. That doesn't excuse anything, of course, and really I'm just speculating.

      •  Russian initiative...what a concept.....Old saying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ditsylilg

        that the Russians wouldn't take a dump without orders.

      •  The Wiki entry on SA-11 (0+ / 0-)

        says there are several different models.

        Buk missile system

        Some of them have thermal camera tracking, and some are radar only.  I don't know what kind of image you would get and if it would be enough to differentiate a passenger liner with a cargo plane.

        •  Reported that the route the plane was on was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ditsylilg

          well-traveled.

        •  So what is a 777? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffSCinNY

          What a lot of people don't understand is that these things are used for both.  The 777 is an excellent cargo plane as is the 747.  I saw all manner of aircraft in Afghanistan including (incredibly) some DC-3s.  Absolutely no way to tell if some were "commercial" or "military" even in visual range.  

          Im not excusing anything but on a radar its just a blip.  

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:12:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  a trained operator would presumably know that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ditsylilg, skillet, msdrown

            "this blip" is on a commercial flight path at a altitude that is traveled by civilian airliners, and has a transponder identifying it as a civilian airliner.  It was their responsibility to identify what they were shooting at.

            Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

            by JeffSCinNY on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:35:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that when we get details (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiesIrae, tardis10

        the "operators" thought they were shooting down a transport aircraft, possibly an AN-26.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:07:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I don't know about the SA-11 but for the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ksuwildkat

        SA-8 you can get the documentation and even a full simulator pretty easily online.  Just google "samsim".

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:07:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good example (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Throw The Bums Out

          The SA-8 is a peer to the Chaparral system.  Another one that can be learned in a day.  The SA-11 comes from the SA-6 family - a bit more complex but for anyone growing up in the digital age nothing too hard.

          I grew up in Air Defense and the hardest part was getting people to think in three dimensions and beyond line of sight. Teaching them to take what they saw on the screen and being able to project that into the real world and act on it.  I was a gamer from way back (think Pong) so it was not that tough for me but for some kids it was a bridge too far.  To them it was too much like TV - not real time, not reality, not interactive.  For this current generation - kids who grew up in the video game/virtual world age - not an issue.  

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:19:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I doubt that. Perhaps if you only cared about (0+ / 0-)

            shooting down stationary target balloons but good luck trying to shoot down military aircraft (even without jamming) with only a day of training and practice.  Much less shooting down a U2 or take out a F-117 with a SA-3.  And yes, it has several wartime scenarios for you to choose from.  Here is the simulator with documentation (and while the docs are translated, all of the buttons on the equipment are in their original Cyrillic, just as if you had bought/stolen a real Russian system) and here is a DKos diary/review from our very own Major Kong.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:47:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Military expert on CNN said that they would need (0+ / 0-)

        a separate radar component to detect incoming.  He suspected that they didn't have a lot of time to react and just pushed "launch" without thinking.  They probably weren't even aware that commercial airlines operated in the area.

    •  hindsight (11+ / 0-)

      apparently it is a commonly used route,  there were restrictions below 32,000 feet, but it was thought safe above that altitude, and other civilian craft had flown the same path without being shot down.   There is now a change for all civilian aircraft in place.

    •  Considering that 2 Ukrainian aircraft (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksuwildkat

      had already been shot down this week, somebody among the Russian separatists knows how to operate the things.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:17:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Operation isn't difficult, but accurate operation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      is.

      It takes knowledge of radar and how it works to pinpoint your target effectively.  

      Second point: this was not an active conflict zone from the air until late June.  Only military planes had been shot down and they fly at lower altitudes.  You could argue that ICAO was slow to close the airspace, but Ukraine maintained air traffic control for dozens of planes that flew daily through June and most of July.

      In fact, at the time MH-17 was shot down, there were a half dozen planes in Ukraine airspace.  TWO HOURS LATER an El Al flight passed within 10 miles of where MH-17 was shot down.

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