Wreckage points to rocket used in MH17 downing
It is becoming increasingly clear that it was indeed a rocket that was responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The New York Times today published photographs of the wreckage riddled with holes that experts say offer further proof of a rocket strike.
Two New York Times reporters discovered a piece of wreckage a few kilometers from the crash site. The piece was analyzed by defense analyst Reed Foster from IHS Jane's. The expert says that the damage visible on the piece is consistent with the effects of a fragmentary warhead carried by an SA-11, which is a type of missile that American officials have already said was the likely weapon used. This type of missile, known as Buk in Russia, was designed to destroy fast-moving military aircrafts at high altitudes.
The holes are uniform in size and shape, and show paint blistering on the outside, and the aluminum bending inwards, which indicates that high-velocity shrapnel hit the plane externally. According to Reed Foster, the likely explanations are either engine explosion or an exploding missile.
"Most of the smaller holes appear to have been caused by a high-velocity projectile as opposed to shearing or tearing caused by the forceful separation of the panel from the airframe", Foster said.
According to the Irish Times, US Intelligence officials said that if the plane was indeed brought down by a rocket, then it was an accident. The officials said last night that the "most plausible explanation" for the plane's crash was that pro-Russian separatist rebels in the area mistook the plane for another kind of aircraft.
Good analysis on the downing of #MH17: