Weapon Suspected in Malaysia Jet Crash Can't Tell Planes Apart

The missile system thought to have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines jet, killing 298 people, over Ukraine Thursday was not designed to be used in commercial airspace, according to a weapons expert. The powerful Cold War-era Buk missile system was built to protect Soviet army units from attacking aircraft during wartime and typically wouldn’t have information from air-traffic control centers, said Steve Zaloga, a senior analyst for the Teal Group Corp. in Virginia. An analysis by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly concluded the Buk system is the only mobile weapon in Ukraine capable of reaching that altitude to strike the jet, however it cannot distinguish between military and civilian craft.

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