US says MH17 shootdown may have been a 'mistake'
Senior US intelligence officers say that the Ukrainian separatists could have mistakenly shot down Malaysia Airline flight MH17 after they possibly misread radar images on the surface-to-air missile launcher provided to them by Russia.
According to Stuff.co.nz, officials believe that the launcher that fired the SA-11 heat-seeking missile used a rudimentary radar system that gives an incomplete picture of what is flying above.
Officials said that such anti-aircraft systems are designed to be linked to other radar that helps in distinguishing between a military and a civilian aircraft.
The pro-Russian separatists, according to US officials, did not have secondary radar images available, and therefore they probably mistook MH17 for a Ukrainian military plane.
An unnamed US official said that an "ill-trained crew" probably fired the missile that downed the flight.
At least 298 people and crew were killed last week after pro-Russian separatists shot down a Malaysia Airline passenger flight flying over Ukraine.
(Posted on 23-07-2014)