a poor radar setting at the origin of the drama

The origin of the drama of Ukrainian Boeing that was killed on January 8 near Tehran with 176 people aboard is a “human error,” Iranian Civil Aviation reported on Saturday. The poor adaptation of the military radar system and poor communication in the air defense are questioned.

The circumstances of the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 connecting Tehran to Kiev were made clear on Saturday, July 11 by Iranian civil aviation. On the night of January 8, Iran’s air defense was in high esteem for fear of a US attack. The Islamic Republic had just attacked a base used by the US Army in Iraq in response to elimination, in an American strike in Baghdad, by General Qassem Soleimani, architect of Iran’s regional strategy, and expected a copy of Washington.

It is in this context that the Iranian revolutionary guards shot down the plane by launching two air-to-air missiles after the plane took off from the airport in Tehran. The 176 people on board, mostly Iranians and Canadians, but also 11 Ukrainians (including the nine crew members) perished. The Iranian authorities then acknowledged a “catastrophic error”.

“A radar system setup error caused a human error. An operator forgot to adjust the system after moving to a new position, an error that contributed to an erroneous reading of radar data,” a report published on Saturday, July 11, said. for Civil Aviation (CAO).

“Dangerous chain”

This initial error “is derived from a dangerous chain (of events) that could of course be dealt with if other measures had been taken,” CAD writes. However, according to his document, presented as a “report on facts” and not as the final report on the investigation, other errors occurred in the minutes that followed.

Civil aviation thus finds a shortcoming in the transmission of data on the target identified by the radar to the coordination units of the defense units. An Iranian general said in January that many communications had been disrupted that night. The CAD notes that despite the inaccurate information he had available about the aircraft’s trajectory, the operator of the radar system could have identified his target as an aircraft, but on the contrary, he had errors in analysis and there was “misidentification”.

The report also states that the first of the two missiles fired at the plane was fired by the operator of a defense battery “without receiving a response from the coordination center” on which he was dependent. the second missile was fired thirty seconds later, taking into account “the continuity of the trajectory of the detected target,” the report adds.

Technical assistance from the French BEA

In late June, the French Bureau of Investigation (BEA) reported that Iran had formally requested technical assistance from Iran to repair and download the black box data. Work on the black boxes should begin on July 20, according to BEA.

In early July, Canada announced that, in principle, it had reached an agreement from Iran to begin compensation negotiations for foreign victims of families. According to Ottawa, the “coordination group” of countries whose citizens died in the crash (Canada, Britain, Ukraine, Sweden and Afghanistan) signed a “memorandum of understanding” that formally paved the way for negotiations with Tehran.

With AFP and Reuters