Thoughts on the Mystery in the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Shoot Down

Dr. Menachem Levitas teaches the following ATI courses: Radar Systems Design & Engineering course Advanced Developments in Radar course Radar 101 – Fundamentals of Radar course Radar 201 – Advances in Modern Radar course Fundamentals of Radar Technology course Principles Of Modern Radar course Principles of Naval Weapons course Here are his thoughts on the […]
Dr. Menachem Levitas teaches the following ATI courses:

Radar Systems Design & Engineering course

Advanced Developments in Radar course

Radar 101 – Fundamentals of Radar course

Radar 201 – Advances in Modern Radar course

Fundamentals of Radar Technology course

Principles Of Modern Radar course

Principles of Naval Weapons course

Here are his thoughts on the mystery in the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 shoot down. Without being too technical, here are a number of comments on who may have fired the missile – the Ukrainian government or the rebels – which I have not seen discussed in the media: (a) The Ukrainian government knew which aircraft it was since it’s FAA equivalent, tasked with air traffic control, has been tracking it continually by radar and receiving its ID, origin, and destination information through its IFF; (b) The rebels could not know it since they do not have these resources, nor the knowhow and responsibility. (Whatever radar the rebels were using – probably just the radar that comes with the weapon system – they evidently did not have IFF communications capabilities, nor radar discrimination capabilities which is not yet an established technology). Clearly this evidence alone points to high likelihood that the aircraft was downed by the rebels. Dr. Menachem Levitas received his BS, maxima cum laude, from the University of Portland and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1975, both in physics. He has forty two years experience in science and engineering, thirty four of which in radar systems analysis, design, development, and testing for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and FAA. His experience encompasses many ground based, shipboard, and airborne radar systems. He has been technical lead on many radar efforts including Government source selection teams. He is the author of multiple radar based innovations and is a recipient of the Aegis Excellence Award for his contribution toward the AN/SPY-1 high range resolution (HRR) development. For many years, prior to his retirement in 2011, he had been the chief scientist of Technology Service Corporation / Washington. He continues to provide radar technical support under consulting agreements.


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UKRAINE CRISIS: There is At Least One Place the U.S. and Russia Are Still Getting Along. It’s Not on Earth

International Space Station (ISS)  is jointly operated by the U.S., Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. Currently, there are three Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese astronaut on board the station currently orbiting earth. Roughly 250 miles below, however, the relationship between the two superpowers is a good deal different, with Vladimir Putin refusing to rule […]
Expedition 38 crew members proudly sport their national flags in this March 2014 picture from the International Space Station. Pictured (clockwise from top center) are Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, commander; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, all flight engineers. Credit: NASA Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/110010/budget-2015-ukraine-crisis-not-disrupting-russian-soyuz-flights-nasa-admin-says/#ixzz2vCxFYTDY
International Space Station (ISS)  is jointly operated by the U.S., Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. Currently, there are three Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese astronaut on board the station currently orbiting earth. Roughly 250 miles below, however, the relationship between the two superpowers is a good deal different, with Vladimir Putin refusing to rule out using military force in Ukraine and the Obama administration accusing the Russians of creating a “pretext to invade.” The ever-increasing tension between the United States and Russia does not, according to NASA, extend to outer space, via the Washington Post:
“Everything is nominal right now with our relationship with the Russians,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden during a teleconference Tuesday. With the space shuttle retired, the U.S. relies on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to get to and from the space station. Russia charges about $71 million per seat. There is no other way for American astronauts to get back to Earth.
Tuesday’s teleconference was set up to allow Bolden to discuss the White House’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, but he wound up fielding numerous inquiries from reporters about whether the Ukraine crisis has affected NASA’s strategic planning. No, Bolden said repeatedly. He noted that past flare-ups between the U.S. and Russia have not affected operations in space. “We have weathered the storm through lots of contingencies here,” Bolden said.


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Russia’s Phobos-Ground To Crash Into Indian Ocean

Russia’s space agency predicts that the fragments of a failed Russian space probe’s could fall into the Indian Ocean, far away from any populated areas. Roscosmos said yesterday that the Phobos-Ground’s debris could fall between Saturday and Monday anywhere along a broad swath between 51.4 degrees north to 51.4 degrees south. That includes the bulk […]
Russia’s space agency predicts that the fragments of a failed Russian space probe’s could fall into the Indian Ocean, far away from any populated areas. Roscosmos said yesterday that the Phobos-Ground’s debris could fall between Saturday and Monday anywhere along a broad swath between 51.4 degrees north to 51.4 degrees south. That includes the bulk of the land surface, but spares most of Russia’s territory along with Scandinavia and a large part of Canada. The agency said the mid-point in the three day window at 1448 IST Sunday when fragments could come crashing down correspond to a place in the Indian Ocean, about 1,700 kilometres west of Jakarta. Roscomos said, however, that the forecast will be clarified as the probe’s orbit draws closer to Earth.


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Russian Mars probe lost after launch: Can $163-million probe be saved?

It has to be depressing to be a Russian space scientist interested in the Red Planet. In more than half a century, Russia has made about 20 attempts to send probes to Mars, with almost no success whatsoever. Missions have failed to get into space at all, gotten stuck in earth orbit, flown past the […]
It has to be depressing to be a Russian space scientist interested in the Red Planet. In more than half a century, Russia has made about 20 attempts to send probes to Mars, with almost no success whatsoever. Missions have failed to get into space at all, gotten stuck in earth orbit, flown past the planet instead of going into orbit, lost contact, hit the planet too hard. The closest the country came to success was in 1971, when Russia managed to land on the surface, 20 seconds after which the lander died, and in 1973, when it got an orbiting probe into a planned Martian orbit, but it died after just a few days. Now it’s looking as though the Russians may endure yet another failure. The latest mission, Phobos-Grunt is currently lost in Earth’s orbit. The experts say that the problem is with the software.  If it is the case, there is a good chance of uploading some new commands and getting the mission back on track and on its way to Mars. If there is a problem with the hardware itself, however, the mission will probably be a failure.


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RUSSIAN SEVERODVINSK SUB TO ENTER SERVICE SOON

The Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk in northern Russia says it will finally deliver a nuclear-powered attack submarine to the navy after it was financially challenged for two decades, reports RIA Novosti.   Construction of the Severodvinsk sub began in 1993, but financial problems led to numerous delays.   The boat was launched last June, is being readied […]
The Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk in northern Russia says it will finally deliver a nuclear-powered attack submarine to the navy after it was financially challenged for two decades, reports RIA Novosti.   Construction of the Severodvinsk sub began in 1993, but financial problems led to numerous delays.   The boat was launched last June, is being readied for sea trials in May and expected to enter operational service before the end of the year.   The Severodvinsk can carry up to 24 cruise missiles and has eight torpedo tubes. The sub can also be armed with mines and anti-ship missiles. Commissioning of Severodvinsk-type nuclear-powered submarines will significantly enhance combat capabilities of Russian Navy, reported RIA Novosti citing Vladimir Pialov, director and general designer of Malakhit design bureau (the project developer). “This new generation of Russian submarine fleet meets standards of 21st century”, Pialov said commenting SSGN Severodvinsk to be launched atSevmash shipyard.  According to expectations, President Dmitry Medvedev will attend the launching ceremony of lead sub Severodvinsk. He is also about to inspect salvage tug Zvezdochka In contrast to 4-gen SSBNs (Yury Dolgoruky armed with SLBM Bulava), weapons of SSGN Severodvinsk have already passed all trials.  “Those are long-range cruise missiles”, said Pialov not specifying the missiles’ features due to classified information.  He only pointed out that those missiles were capable to hit sea and land targets at significant distances.  As for now, the second submarine of this type (Project 885 Yasen) has been laid down at Sevmash‘s slipway.  SSGN Severodvinsk will become the Navy’s first nuclear-powered attack submarine of the newest 4th generation. She is capable to accomplish all tasks assigned for general-purpose naval force which are about delivering strikes upon various underwater, sea surface, and land targets. It is planned to deliver SSGN Severodvinsk to Russian Navy in 2010-2011.  Initially, launching of SSGN Severodvinsk from Sevmash‘s covered slipway had been scheduled on May 7, but was postponed due to technical reasons connected with the shipyard’s workload, informed RIA Novosti referring to a source in United Shipbuilding Corporation. In any case, the sub will be launched this year and pass all trials scheduled in 2010, underlined the source.  Project 885 Yasen nuclear-powered 4-gen attack submarine (on NATO classification, GRANAY) designed by Malakhit Maritime Engineering Bureau (headquarters is in St. Petersburg, director and general designer is Vladimir Pialov), was laid down atSevmash shipyard in 1993. Extended building period was conditioned not only by economic difficulties but crucially new hull architecture and arms.  SSGN Severodvinsk is a double-hulled single-shaft nuclear submarine with reduced level of acoustic field. Conning tower has streamlined oval shape; strength hull is subdivided into 10 compartments. For the first time in Soviet/Russian shipbuilding, torpedo tubes are located not in bows but behind central station; that enabled to use bow space for advanced sonar antenna.  Eight vertical launch tubes are designed for missile arms. Powerful weapon system includes supersonic cruise missiles and multipurpose deep-water homing torpedoes. The sub is also equipped with state-of-the-art communication hardware and navigation aids, powered by crucially new nuclear powerplant. Latest developments of Russian military industry will provide Severodvinsk-type subs with incontestable superiority in silence characteristics among foreign analogs.  Displacement of SSGN Severodvinsk is 8,600/13,800 tons; dimensions are 119 x 13.5 x 9.4 meters; test depth is 600 meters; speed is 16/31 knots; crew is 90 (32 officers).