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I did not want to clog up @GKABS Ukraine Airlines crashed in Iran thread with this question so I started a new thread. 

With the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 incident in Iran on January 8th, 2020 and looking back at past events with the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shoot down over Ukraine on July 17th, 2014, and the USS Vincennes's (CG-49) shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3rd,1988 it got me thinking. What kind of safety procedures do nations with actively deployed SAM defenses have in place in order to prevent accidents like these from happening?

I am thinking both about how it was done in the past when the US, UK, and other NATO nations had Bomarc, Nike, Bloodhound, and HAWK batteries as well as their Warsaw Pact counterparts SA-1, SA-2, SA-3, SA-5, etc. during the Cold War as well as how nations with modern deployed SAM systems like Israel's present missile defense systems, Russia, South Korea, etc. do it today.

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I guess there are certain procedures before a SAM operator pushes the button. Especially during 70s and 80s when NATO and Warsaw Pact operated a large number of Nike-Hercules, HAWKs, SA-2s, SA-3s, SA-5s etc, I can not imagine that all these dense SAM networks were operated without strict safety procedures. However things get more difficult on areas with an ongoing conflict. 

I guess tracking an aircraft on elevation, azimuth and range can give important information concerning its flight. Any radar or SAM operators around to share their knowledge?

 

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In peacetime the SAM batteries in WP were under strict control. They were integrated in a hugh air defence network with central command structure. Without order of the central command it was not allowed to open the fire. Even the activation and direction of radar was limited. Violation of the rules was punished.

Trigger happy soldiers never had the chance to come close to the fire button.

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First of all, if an aircraft not responds or does not have the proper IFF signals then the QRA bird(s) get raised and intercept it, and try to make contact. Process for SAM batteries were like Gepard described. Multiple authorization layers to ensure no trigger happy chaps start WW3 by accident. Circumstances could dictate faster responses from time to time. During the Cold war period, daily alerts were always on the menu to test response time and training levels, so those went up to the point of getting authorizations, whether it was practice or actual alert the crew never knew ahead, only at the end when waited for the "go".  Missile defenses might also put on alert with the lift of QRA and if that can not locate the AC then SAM might take over if justified. 
During the Serbian-Croatian war around our nuclear reactor (Paks) the SAM batteries did have good authority given due to the object they defended, but even then first they had to try to get in contact with the AC, and QRA was always lifted, if needed from multiple bases, and only when the AC entered the no-fly zone had permit to take actions "on its own", but always an officer giving the OK, never the operator.
Back in those days, there were "corridors" where civilian traffic was allowed, if a flight detoured for any reason even the slightest and not corrected, Intercepts were raised.  Given today's "always fly the shortest as possible" attitude those corridors barely exists, so things changed/eased a lot from a civilian standpoint.

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all this IFF then QRA work only when your government in your country are normal and have adequate brain. if govenments are thieves and "monkey" with granade all technology do not work. i personaly seen how (pro)russian paramilitary troops shoot at comercial An-24 in 2014 y at Ukraine. The missile missed. i thought oh my god! they ll kill pessenger aircraft sooner or later. and they did. The same in Iran i see.

Edited by bazillius
grammar mistakes

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Best to install anti-missile defense systems, like the Israeli passenger jets have!

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3 hours ago, Nesher said:

Best to install anti-missile defense systems, like the Israeli passenger jets have!

I wonder why it's not standard procedure. I guess it would increase costs. But the passengers' lives are not expendable; all means to ensure their safety should be taken. In a different world maybe...

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