Iranian Missile brought down Ukrainian jet, U.S. believes
January 10, 2020 - Claims by Western leaders suggesting that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile mistakenly brought down a Ukrainian passenger jet, possibly in error, are being rejected by Tehran.
The Iranian civil aviation chief said he was “certain” that the plane was not hit by a missile.
The crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 with the loss of 176 lives came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
Newsweek quoted Pentagon and senior U.S. intelligence officials, as well as an Iraqi intelligence official, as saying they believed flight PS752 was hit by a Russian-made Tor-M1 missile.
The Tor, also called the SA-15 Gauntlet by NATO, is a short-range system that integrates the missile launcher and radar into a single tracked vehicle.
It is designed to be mobile and lethal against targets at altitudes up to 6,000 meters and at ranges of 12km, according to the Federation of American Scientists.
Tor missiles are guided by radar and fly at almost three times the speed of sound. They have a small warhead – about 15kg of high explosive – but are designed to spray fragments of shredded metal, like bullets, into a target upon detonation.
The Tor is among the most modern air defense systems owned by Iran.
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