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missile explodes within 65ft of target
Analysis: The shrapnel came from outside the plane.
Mr. Foster said the contour of the aluminum and the blistering of the paint around many of the holes indicate that small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel entered the aircraft externally. Mr. Foster said the two most likely causes were an engine explosion or an exploding missile.
So what are the likely scenarios:
Ivan the Separatist got a hand off from a tracking radar, maybe from the Russian side of the border, or just a lucky shot.
It wasn’t Ivan the Separatist. It was the Ukrainian Military who tracked the FLIGHT and handed it off to one of its own SA11 sites not realizing that it was a commercial flight – the fact that in prior weeks they lost 2 military aircraft, their judgment or command and control may have been impaired.
Given the overt effort on the part of the Ukrainian government to release COMINT intercepts to CNN and the media, I’m incline to think the truth may be closer to scenario number 2. I’m still struggling with the idea of making a public disclosure that you are monitoring COMMUNICATIONS between Separatist and Russian Intelligence.
Weight SM-2 – 1,558 lb (707 kg)
Length 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Diameter 13.5 in (340 mm)
Warhead blast fragmentation warhead
radar and contact fuze
Engine dual thrust, solid fuel rocket
Wingspan 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)
40 to 90 nmi (74 to 167 km)
Flight ceiling > 24,400 m (80,100 ft)
Speed Mach 3.5
SM-2MR Block IIIA Command and Inertial midcourse guidance with monopulse semi-active radar homing in the terminal phase of the interception. SM-2MR Block IIIB missiles have dual infrared/semi-active terminal homing. SM-1MR Block VI missiles have monopulse semi-active radar homing without command and inertial mid-course guidance.
On July 3, 1988, USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300B2, using two SM-2MR missiles from her forward launcher. In 1988 the Iranian Kaman-class missile boat Joshan was sunk by RIM-66 Standard missiles during Operation Praying Mantis.