BUK missile took out MH17: Russia military expert

Russian BUK missile launchers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vitaliy Ragulin)Russian BUK missile launchers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vitaliy Ragulin)

Flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK-air missile, according to Russian aircraft expert Vladimir Babak, Het Parool reports.

Babak made this statement in a report of the German broadcasters WDR, NDR and the Suddeutsche Zeitung, which was published on Tuesday. According to Babak, who designed many Russian fighter jets, it is not possible that the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, as Russia still claims is a possibility.

Russia claims that it is possible that the Ukraine shot down the Boeing 777, as there allegedly was a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter seen near the airplane shortly before the disaster. But Babak, who designed the Sukhoi-25, says that this is impossible. The fighter is designed to fly low, at a height of only a few kilometers. It can only fly higher for a short period of time. If the Sukhoi-25 had fired a missile at an altitude of 10 kilometers, it would have just crashed to the ground.

According to Babak, it is also impossible that other fighter jets could have downed MH17. So called air-to-air missiles would only have damaged the Boeing, and the Boeing had been completely destroyed while still in the air.

In the report, residents of the area state that they heard the sounds of a BUK-launch directly before the disaster. "We heard a bang, then a hiss, then a bang in the sky and then an explosion." an anonymous witness states in the report. Babak does not claim to know whether the BUK missile was fired by the Ukrainian government or by the pro-Russian separatists, as both camps had such missiles in their possession on the day of the disaster.