U.S. F-16 fires on Patriot missile battery in friendly fire

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Unread post28 May 2005, 17:15

This is a discussion topic for the F-16.net news article: "<a href="news_article787.html" target="_top">U.S. F-16 fires on Patriot missile battery in friendly fire incident</A>". You can read the <a href="index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=3161.html" target="_top">full forum discussion</A> in the F-16.net forum.
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Gamera

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Unread post28 May 2005, 17:15

On Monday, 24 March 2003, at 15:40 local time (07:40 Eastern Time), about 30 miles south of An Najaf, Iraq, an USAF F-16CJ Block 50, en route to Baghdad, was locked-on by an US Army MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 SAM battery. As self-defense, the F-16CJ launched an AGM-88C HARM and hit the radar of the Patriot battery, without causing any casualty.

The Patriot battery was forward-deployed to protect elements of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanised) ("Rock of the Marne"), US Army, heading towards Baghdad.

(This friendly fire incident was despite the US$3 billion, since the 1990-1991 Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, that the US DOD expended to enhance the Patriot.)


Does anyone in this forum know the details of that F-16CJ? Air base, pilot, serial number, unit, etc...?
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Gamera

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Unread post29 May 2005, 05:57

FYI, the US Central Command site has official investigation reports of the Patriot vs Tornado, and of the Patriot vs Hornet friendly fire incidents, at
http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/Inve ... efault.asp
but doesn't seem to have a report of this F-16 vs Patriot incident.
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Ender_Wiggin

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Unread post29 May 2005, 08:36

I bet the Patriot spooked the pilot by locking up on him, and he fired back in defence, ive read quite a bit about Patriot's locking up and sometimes firing on friendlies.
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Guysmiley

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Unread post29 May 2005, 15:38

Wasn't there a study that indicated "ghost returns" coming from multiple Patriot batteries painting the same target would sometimes look like a short range ballistic missile. The Patriot battery would then automatically begin engaging the target. (I think there are even some modes where the system does not need HIL (Human In the Loop) and will fire automatically.

I seem to remember the whole thing being blamed on having too many Patriot radars in too small an area. The difference between the Hornet and Tornado incidents vs the Viper one was the F-16 pilot saw he was being painted and rammed a HARM up the radar's A@#!

[Edit: It wasn't an official gov't report, it was an "informed guess" by an MIT professor. It sounds plausible, but probably best with a grain of salt.]
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Patriot ghosting
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TenguNoHi

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Unread post29 May 2005, 15:56

Im surprised the Air Force doesn't correspond with the Army in using their IFFs to protect forces in the air from our own forces on the ground...

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Unread post29 May 2005, 19:18

Had nothing to do with IFF. The F-16 pilot made damn sure the Army didn't hone on him anymore. I've read that it was a software issue but of course nothing is official. Bad deal when a friendly shoots at a friendly. Personally I think they need to get the patriot out of there.
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TC

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Unread post30 May 2005, 05:55

We do strive to get our IFFs singing off of the same sheet of music, so to speak, however, I trust that Chickenlegs is right here.

Now, IFF did play a factor in the Eagles' shootdown of the Blackhawks following ODS. The Army did not have the current IFF code, and the Eagles did what they were told to do.

The Weasel driver was in the right in this situation. What needs to change is the automated firing system. I believe in the Patriot. It is a fine SAM, probably the best in the world at its INTENDED job, but a human needs to make the final decision when it comes time to bring down an aircraft.

I have another idea for the Patriot, but I'm not ready to spread it over the internet...

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
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shiz302

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Unread post30 May 2005, 08:50

This pilot survived, the others weren't as lucky. F-16 > Pat site.
Ex 16 CC workin 'hawks.
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VPRGUY

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Unread post30 May 2005, 16:57

chickenlegs wrote: Personally I think they need to get the patriot out of there.


Personally seeing the patriot batteries wrapped around me sitting here in south korea gives me a nice comfy feeling. They may not be perfect, but they're damn sure worth having around when the shooting starts (ask almost any vet from Iraq about the scuds that patriots killed- didn't get 'em all, but I'd rather have a system that kills most of the missles than no system at all).
Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
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chickenlegs

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Unread post30 May 2005, 17:42

Personally I felt better about our F-16's going after them.............
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Patriot battery at my deployed location. Chickenlegs
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Unread post30 May 2005, 17:51

I think the Patriot ADA system got a bum rap in GWI, its an anti-aircraft SAM system, and wasn't intended for ABM use. They had some software/hardware in development at the time that gave the PAC-II some chance at ballistic missile defence, but it wasn't fully tested and "all-there".

The PAC-III is a huge improvement (totally different missile), but as we saw in a congested, high activity area, there were still some kinks in the software.
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locum

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Unread post30 May 2005, 21:49

Regarding Patriot friendly-fire incidents, take a look at the thread 'Best SAM today?' page 2, of 12 april 2005.
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moto

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Unread post06 Aug 2005, 08:24

I hope I'm not taking a tangent here but it seems to me that the patriot mission is Air Superiority in the vicinity of friendly forces. It's an AF mission. Patriots should be controlled by a AF commander. The Army's cavaleer attitude about Fratricide is not a good match for something as lethal as the Pac 3.

I heard a while back that McPeak tried to trade CAS for ADA. Army wouldn't buy it. If you ask me, it was the best idea the man had. The rest were primarily crap!
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sferrin

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Unread post06 Aug 2005, 16:45

I think it's a good idea to keep the SAMs with the Army. For one thing it's convenient. Secondly you'd have Patriot competing with the F-22 for air defense dollars. Talk about a conflict of interest. "The Patriot is really unnecessary so we'll cancel it and funnel it's dollars to the F-22". In this case I think it's best to leave well enough alone.
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