The air defense system that shot down a Ukrainian airliner near Tehran in January 2020 was moved shortly before the crash, according to an updated report by the civil aviation Organization of Iran, dedicated to the investigation of the incident.
In a release published on the organization’s website, it is said that on January 8 (at night, Iran hit the location of American troops in Iraq),” the readiness level” of air defense systems was changed.
The military notified the civil air control authorities that planes that have been issued permission to take off by the army could take off.
These procedures were passed by the Ukrainian aircraft: the air space control center at 5.53 am local time passed the request of the Ukrainian aircraft for departure to the air defense coordination center, which provided it.
“One of the Tehran air defense complexes was moved, which led to a change in the geographical location and direction of the complex,” the report said.
The organization reported that “due to human error,” data was not reconfigured after the move, as well as “mandatory actions after the move” were not performed.
This, in turn, led to an error in the data when detecting the aircraft in such a way that the air defense system recognized it as “a target moving from the South-West direction towards Tehran” (Iraq is Iran’s Western neighbor).
In reality, the plane was flying North-West from Tehran, not from the South-West to the capital of Iran, according to the report.
Thus, according to the report, the goal was an exchange of data between air defense and center, leading “to another chain of events” in which the operator identifier the plane as an “enemy target” and getting no response from the coordinating center of defense, launches the first missile at the aircraft, then the second.