Feeds

'System error' downed RAF Tornado

Gulf Patriot strike killed two crewmen

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

A new approach to endpoint data protection

An RAF Tornado which was struck by a US Patriot missile while returning from a sortie over Iraq last year was downed by a 'system error', UK defence minister Ivor Caplin has admitted.

In a written statement, Caplin said that there were several contributory factors which led to the deaths of crewmen Flt Lt Kevin Main and Flt Lt David Williams in March 2003: "Like most aircraft accidents, no single cause was to blame. The board of inquiry has established the causes of this tragic accident and has highlighted the various factors that contributed to it."

These factors include failure of the aircraft's "identification friend or foe" (IFF) system and the "wide classification criteria" of the patriot's anti-radiation missile recognition system.

Put simply, the Tornado failed to identify itself as friendly, and was then classified as an enemy rocket by the Patriot battery, which promptly shot it down.

Furthermore, an inquiry into the incident "painted a picture of inexperienced US troops, heavily reliant on technology to make decisions, but lacking crucial equipment which could have helped them identify the Tornado as a friendly aircraft".

Mr Caplin summed up by saying that the board of inquiry "has established the causes of this tragic accident and has highlighted the various factors that contributed to it. The board's recommendations are now being implemented". ®

Related stories

Ukrainian nukes go AWOL
DiY $5k cruise project shut down, missile goes into hiding
US forces to target enemy mobiles with P2P WLANs

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?