Incident 444: US Air Force's Patriot Missile Mistakenly Launched at Ally Fighter Jet, Killing Two

Description: Acting on the recommendation of their Patriot missile system, American Air Force mistakenly launched the missile at an ally UK Tornado fighter jet, which killed two crew members on board.


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Alleged: Raytheon and Lockheed Martin developed an AI system deployed by US Air Force, which harmed US Air Force , UK Royal Air Force , Kevin Main and David Williams.

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Khoa Lam
Tornado crew shot down after friend or foe system failed · 2004

With 60 seconds to decide whether the dot approaching at a rapid speed from 23,000ft was a friendly bomber returning from a mission over Baghdad or an incoming Iraqi missile, an American Patriot anti-aircraft battery opened fire.

The split-…

Patriot missile: friend or foe? · 2004

Our recent story on the 2003 friendly-fire incident which saw a US Patriot missile down a RAF Tornado with the loss of both crew members, prompted several reader comments on the weapon's chequered history.

Long before Gulf War II, there was…

Understanding the errors introduced by military AI applications · 2022

On March 22, 2003, two days into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American troops fired a Patriot interceptor missile at what they assumed was an Iraqi anti-radiation missile designed to destroy air-defense systems. Acting on the recommendati…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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