Originally Posted by FalconWings
Countermeasures like chaff and flare dont really work by themselves. You also have to manouver your plane away from the path of the missle. The flares just try to confuse the missile while you change path. Chaff blocks their reciever.
I dont think you want commerical planes taking evasive manouvers. I mean, if we have to go that far..........that would mean certifying commercial airframes to military shock-loads. Note feasible.
It is easier to select a government with clear diplomatic postures.
Precisely. A fighter jet can maneuver much tighter and quicker than a full sized jet liner, and chaff and flare need to be deployed while the a/c is making some serious maneuvers. Chaff and Flare is only effective if the a/c has been maneuvered in a way where the incoming weapon is "tricked" into thinking the flare is the jet's actual exhaust. In order for that to be accomplished, the a/c needs to make some really serious maneuvers in a very tight timeframe. I don't think a full sized jet liner has those maneuverable capabilities, and if it was even attempted, the jet might sustain structural damage because they aren't designed to be operated in such environments.
Plus adding chaff and flare components not only adds additional risk because they are either deployed with an explosive of some type or highly flammable in regards to the flare (delta class fire), but if you're adding such components, I think it would move the classification of "civilian" a/c closer to that of "military" a/c. Plus you'd have to set up an entire structure within the airlines that would be responsible for supporting such added systems from installing, PMS, etc. etc. It would have been more logical to have avoided the entire area completely. Communication is the biggest risk factor there is and this tragedy could have been the result of bad and/or miscommunications between all parties involved, as in, they may have been instructed to fly the route because "all parties" in the conflict are aware they are a civilian a/c. Too early to tell right now but I'm sure more information will become available as the investigation proceeds. Reminds me of the South Korean civilian airliner (KAL007) that was shot out of the sky by the Russians decades back. If you got time, take a look and read up on that incident.