At least nine holes in the skin of downed Malaysian airplane MH17 are characteristic of the effect of an “air-to-air” missile which excludes the “Putin’s missile” version of the event. New investigation summarized by livejournal.com
Just seven seconds passed after the moment of the last response by the MH17 crew until the loss of the connection with the airplane. The crew didn’t have enough time to tell the dispatchers about any threatening situation (if we believe the authenticity of the “missing” records from the air traffic control office in Dnepropetrovsk). So, the events in the pilot cabin unfolded rapidly.
After the impact the Boeing was turned around, it sharply lost airspeed — from 900 km/h down to 400 km/h and later it was gliding from the height of 10 thousand meters down to the height of about 2 thousand meters. The residents of Grabovo and Torez heard two very loud bangs in the sky. After going below the clouds, the Boeing started to disintegrate — a large piece of the fuselage landed in a forest plantation the closest to the original place where the plane was hit. This was a part of business-class and of the second compartment of the economy-class. They were found in Petropavlovka. Next to it, in Rassypnoye they found the separated pilot cabin and the bodies of 40 more people. The tail and the central part of the fuselage, along with the landing gear and the wings flew the farthest — in the field of the Grabovo village.
Between July 2014 and February 2015 the majority of the Boeing pieces were found. The right wing and the right side of the business-class, and also the nose of the “Boing” are missing. Up until now three passengers of the plane have not been identified. Overall, there were 298 people onboard. Metallic fragments were found in the body of the pilot, according to the Malaysian press. Overall, 25 metallic objects that triggered investigators’ suspicion were found.
The left side of the cabin, the skin of floor of the cabin received the most damage from the shrapnel elements. Numerous holes are visible in the crew commander chair, and several holes in the chair of the second pilot. At least four holes are visible in the body of the crew commander. All of these holes have round shape.
Considering the remains of the soot and a large number of small black dots — the traces of impact by the detonation products, the missile charge was engaged in exactly this area — outside the pilot cabin at close range.
Considering the height of this flight – 10 thousand meters, the cabin could be reached either by a SAM complex (S-300, “BUK”) or by an “air-to-air” missile.
And because there are no traces of the impact of rod-shaped sub-projectiles in the pilot cabin, but there are many holes with jagged edges — it was a fragmentation charge that exploded there. Such shells with round contact elements are used in the GSh-30 aircraft cannons, they are also characteristic for the S-200 and S-300 SAMs.
Because there are no cross-shaped traces — the dominating sub-projectiles of the BUK missile, and because the actual explosion occurred at the distance of no more than 5 m, we may reject the version of the use of BUK. The S-200 complexes are “not used” in the Ukraine since 2001, nobody recorded a launch of S-300 missiles in this area.
Thus, the version of one or two Su-25M1 attack jets arose. These are modernized attack jets, which are present in Ukraine (by the moment of the tragedy, the Ukrainian air force had five such jets — one of the six Ukrainian Su-25M1 was shot down one day before the Boeing catastrophe).
The modernized Su-25M1 has digital gun sights, which improves the targeting precision by 30% compared to the standard analogs. The practical ceiling of a Su-25M1 is 10000m. The maximum velocity is 975 km/h.
Russian website Military Informant.com writes: “Due to installing a satellite navigation system, the airplane is able to hit the targets even if the pilot is not visually identifying them but when he knows their coordinates. The airplane is able to use its regular weapons against ground targets during both day and night, under the conditions of low visibility and without the need to leave clouds. The altitude on which it is possible to use the weapons was increased substantially, by almost a factor of 3”.
Besides the object found among the wreckage, which is similar to the rod-shaped sub-projectile of the R-60M missile, this version is confirmed by the fragment of the air intake of the right engine of the Boeing.
The fragment faces us upside-down — on the left side we can see a piece of the internal skin that was torn out and the right side is the other side with faint RR letters — if this piece is turned, then this will be a part of the air intake of the right engine. The edges of the hole are torn to the outside, so in this case the piece of shrapnel penetrated the air intake by flowing from the tail side.
There is another piece of the engine — the rim of the turbine with the traces of the inbound holes, however it is impossible to determine which of the engines it belongs to. It is known that this fragment was found in the outskirts of Petropavlovka, where the right air intake was located. However, the left door was found here as well, which is located in front of the left engine.
If this is indeed a fragment of the right engine, then the fire was performed using an aircraft cannon from the right and the back and later from the right side through the broadside and the right engine towards the pilot cabin. Most likely fire was opened at close range (about 500-700m).
The right side of the Boeing skin between the cabin and the second door on the right wasn’t found (at least, there are no photos of it in the open access). Wall Street Journal published the photos of the baggage shelves from the right side of the business-class. At the Gilze-Rijen air base the journalists were not allowed to come close to precisely these fragments of business-class by covering them with squares because the objects are of interest to the investigation.
The pilots didn’t see the attack jet in front of them — they were mortally wounded from the back. Already after this the Su-25 attacked the cabin from the front, when the Boeing was turned around. This is how the numerous entry and several exit holes on the cockpit plating were formed.
A combined strike from a Su-25 M1 attack jet was performed against the Malaysian Boeing. The first attack from the Su-25M1 was performed on the course of the Boeing flight in pursuit — most likely the attack jet was located on the right side of the tail of the Malaysian airplane and fired while moving towards the right engine — in this direction the jet made several shots using its 23 mm or 30 mm aircraft cannon.
The pilots died after the first attack, a large-scale decompression occurred in the cabin, the electronics went out of order, the plane turned right and the Boeing was probably attacked by the attack jet again, but this time on the left side, in the cabin area from the side of the crew commander using the aircraft cannon and a R-60M rocket in the area of the left engine and the left door, on which the traces of penetration by rod-shaped sub-projectiles remained.
About the Su-25
The aircraft is equipped with double-barreled immobile GSh-30 cannon on the left of the airframe in the lower nose part of the fuselage (the caliber is 30 mm, the ammunition load is 250 shells), which is mostly supposed to destroy weakly armored targets like APCs. Additionally, up to 4 GSh-23L cannons may be mounted, each of which has a mobile barrel that can veer down by 30 degrees (the ammunition load is 260 shells), and also two “air-to-air” missiles R-60 or R-27. In some variants it is possible to mount the R-77 missiles.
Either the aircraft cannon GSh-30 with armor-piercing or fragmentation ammunition with the caliber of 30 mm or the four cannons GSh-23 with the ammunition of 23 mm caliber could be used for shooting. Several holes on the discovered piece of skin of the pilot cabin and also the back of seat of the second pilot were most likely damaged by the shrapnel no bigger than 20-30mm, which flew from the side of the tail.
How a BUK missile fires
The 9М38М1 missile, which is used in the “BUK-M1” complexes, consists of the fragmentation warhead 9Н314, which weighs 70 kg In its base there are 32 kg of sub-projectiles (4500 såub-projectiles, each weighing 8 g in the shape of an I-section [something between the shape of Н and Х] and of 1500 cubes, each weighing 4 g). If this type of the ”ground-to-air” missile was used to attack the ”Boeing”, then the majority of the shrapnel holes would leave characteristic rectangular-shaped traces (the I-shaped fragments have better penetration force capabilities than the cubes).
One of the ”Livejournal” users conducted an experiment — the ”BUK” would have to leave the following type of traces in the skin of the ”Boeing” if at least several sub-projectiles out of 4.5 thousands flew into it at an angle close to the right angle. On the skin of the discovered fragments of the Boeing there is not a single hole of this size.
It is well-known that on June 29 of 2014 the militia fighters captured the military unit 1402 in Donetsk, where there was one defective ”BUK” vehicle. However, at that time the DPR representatives said that they are not going to repair it. It is also known that the ”Osa” complexes that are present in Ukraine are also able to hit the targets like An-26 or Su-25 at the height of 6000 m.
The Wall Street Journal cataloged and mapped some of the debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which fell across three Ukrainian villages after the Boeing 777 was brought down on July 17, allegedly by a surface-to-air missile.
The Ukrainian aviation factory in Zaporozhye, undertook the assignment of the modernization of the Ukrainian Su-25 Frogfoot. The project included the reinforcement of structural components, the installment of advanced electronic navigational equipment and