Coroner not best pleased over MOD cover up.


War Hero
Technology is catching up with this issue, there have been serious problems making a foolproof ground IFF (identification Friend or Foe) system not the least of which is "how do you prevent any IFF system giving away your position" Here is a good article for those interested which explains the technologies available, current methods employed and how they are developing, article was written in late 2004 things may have moved on a bit, anyone up on this?


War Hero
Bergen suggested that the press will be on an aspect of this thread pronto. Indeed they are/were and so some editing and deletions have taken place. They have been mirrored on ARRSE. I'll stop short of locking it but would ask again that anyone with inside info or is personally acquainted with any of those involved in the air, on the ground, in the Coroner's Office etc. etc. STFU.

If any of the usual champions of 'free speech' the 'unofficial nature of RR ' and 'public domain' wish to complain to the COs, please do.
It is obvious from the radio chatter that these A10 pilots had doubts regarding the legitimacy of our armoured vehicles as a target, if you have doubts you don't attack and it's as simple as that.


War Hero
Re: How many times has this got to happen

Hawkeye said:
....why oh why with the modern technology we have can we not prevent this from happening..................

Any combat identification system which involves a transponder can also act as a beacon, to remain secure it would need crypto and the more crypto you have in the field the greater your risk of having it compromised by OPFOR. If you compromise your combat ID system then you risk the same system identifying OPFOR as friendly. That said, technology can make a big difference, but it changes the risks rather than doing away with them.

That's a lot less of an issue where you have control of the battlespace, but as Bergen already pointed out, where the FEBA is pretty unclear and the picture gets confused then it is difficult. With current technology then the place where it's most needed is the place where it's least useful. Note that I'm not involved in current work on combat ID, these are just general principles.

All that means that knowing where people and vehicles are is really important, and visual indicators become important. Combat ID isn't a single thing that you can bolt on to a vehicle, it depends on some kit, some markings, effective training (incl recognition), situational awareness and a sizable portion of luck.

None of that makes this whole affair any less tragic, you take the proverbial shilling in the full knowledge that it might happen, but you don't really expect it to be from your own side :(


War Hero
chieftiff said:
...Here is a good article for those interested ...

Interesting, thanks for that chieftiff.

I'm intrigued about what BTID might do to the noise floor if there are a lot of them around, not that I expect we'll find out in open source. And the RF teags suggestion raises a lot of questions, especially if radar can see them without modification.

Food for thought


War Hero
Karma said:
I'm intrigued about what BTID might do to the noise floor if there are a lot of them around, not that I expect we'll find out in open source.

My thoughts exactly Karma, I suggest these systems will rely as much on some pretty potent processing power as anything else. The RF tags idea does seem somewhat insecure to me although I suspect we are (rightly)being denied info on the full technology.


The reaction in the USA to the Sun's release of this information has been interesting; the immediate reaction from the US Government was that the video was Toppo Secret and that heads were going to roll when the US investigation found who had leaked it to the media. Wiser heads have since prevailed and now there is general agreement that the video will be fully available to the Coroner.

None of this needed to have happened and someone in the MoD should be held accountable. The entire incident has been handled in the most unbelievably cack-handed manner over the past 4 years and Lance Corporal of Horse Hull's family deserved a lot better treatment from the MoD than this. It seems to me that the only person to have emerged from this fiasco with any professional honour [apart from the British soldiers involved] has been the Coroner himself.

Anyone who accused him of grandstanding after his viewing of the video must now realise the serious implications of what he had viewed and his justified reaction to the MoD's stance.

There are a lot of posts defending the actions of the pilots and the situation that they were in. I have no doubts whatsoever that everyone involved felt sick to their stomachs and that the incident was and is sincerely regretted. This doesn't change the facts and as long as the UK remains as a junior partner to the USA then nothing will change, particularly if the USA continues its policy of taking little or no disciplinary action against personnel involved.

It is about time that people in the UK wake up to the bigger problems of the US/UK 'special relationship' and the dangers that it presents especially the unbalanced application of the 2003 Extradition Act. It remains within the bounds of possibility that the US could investigate the leak and apply for the extradition of anyone involved for trial in the US and there wouldn't be a damn thing that HMG could do about it.

Bergen raises several good points, having seen the tape on the news I find it very surprising that thecoroner has been told the tape can only be shown in his court if the press and public are excluded, rather like bolting the stable door. Also in my humble opinion the only reason for restricting the tape in any way is as part of a cover up, haven't people realised that cover ups never work in thelong run and usually create more grief in the end than coming clean at the start. Handled better the tape would never have needed tobe displayed in public.

I think the US and the UK really do need to resolve how these cases are dealt with and lookat creating greater awareness of the problem. From the tape it is clear that those involved only considered blue on blue after the event, and clearly one of the biggest protections is always going to be thinking about it before weapon release.

I think every one would have more confidence if work was started now on both proper procedures for dealing with fratricide events in a joint manner rather that the current independant investigations, and openly raising awareness of the risks and dangers involved in these cross force activities.

Finally whilst technology can, if the investment is made, help we should not simply rely on the black box to solve this problem it is as much a human problem as a technological one.
it seems the coroner who demanded the tapes isn't getting his contract renewed, walk in the woods with a small penknife anyone? I smell shite, labour shite..
wet_blobby said:
it seems the coroner who demanded the tapes isn't getting his contract renewed, walk in the woods with a small penknife anyone? I smell shite, labour shite..

To be fair he was only ever on a short term contract any way to clear the backlog. He has done that so thepoor sod has workerd himself out of a job.

Little to do with this case I think