Tor system suspected of downing plane is very efficient


FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 file photo, debris at the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. The crash of a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran this week that killed all 176 on board comes as a test for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who took office less than eight months ago with no prior political experience. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

MOSCOW (AP) – U.S. officials believe the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed in Tehran this week hours after Iran launched a series of strikes at air bases in Iraq may have been brought down by a Russian Tor system.

The Tor short-range air defense system, code-named the SA-15 by NATO, was designed during Soviet times to shoot down aircraft and precision guided weapons.

The missile explodes near a target, taking it down with shrapnel that devastates engines, fuel tanks and other vital components. The Tor system is highly efficient, reportedly scoring up to 100 percent of hits during tests.

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