lauantai 27. heinäkuuta 2019

MH17 Evidence Tampering Revealed by Malaysia

  • The Dutch Covered-Up Forged Telephone Tapes, Ukraine Hid Radar Records
  • The film reveals the Malaysian Government’s evidence for judging the JIT’s witness testimony, photographs, video clips, and telephone tapes to have been manipulated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU)
  • The FBI attempted to seize black boxes, and witness testimony was misreported
  • The BUK 9M38 missile dont have claimed 9N314M warhead, only 9N310 or 9N314
  • The lying Joint Investigation Team (JIT) forgot, that the BUK launhcer needs also control and radar vechiles to operate.
  • A missile of a BUK cannot be simply launched by pressing a button. The target needs acquisition, track, identify, lock and then a missile can be launched.

John Helmer 23 Jul 19

A new documentary from Max van der Werff, the leading independent investigator of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, has revealed breakthrough evidence of tampering and forging of prosecution materials;  
suppression of Ukrainian Air Force radar tapes;
and lying by the Dutch, Ukrainian, US and Australian governments.

An attempt by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to take possession of the black boxes of the downed aircraft is also revealed by a Malaysian National Security Council official for the first time.

The sources of the breakthrough are Malaysian — Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohamad Mahathir; Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the officer in charge of the MH17 investigation for the Prime Minister
’s Department and Malaysia’s National Security Council following the crash on July 17, 2014; and a forensic analysis by Malaysia’s OG IT Forensic Services of Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) telephone tapes which Dutch prosecutors have announced as genuine.
The 298 casualties of MH17 included 192 Dutch; 44 Malaysians; 27 Australians; 15 Indonesians. The nationality counts vary because the airline manifest does not identify dual nationals of Australia, the UK, and the US.
The new film throws the full weight of the Malaysian Government, one of the five members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), against the published findings and the recent indictment of Russian suspects reported by the Dutch officials in charge of the JIT; in addition to Malaysia and The Netherlands, the members of the JIT are Australia, Ukraine and Belgium. Malaysia’s exclusion from the JIT at the outset, and Belgium’s inclusion (4 Belgian nationals were listed on the MH17 passenger manifest), have never been explained.
The film reveals the Malaysian Government’s evidence for judging the JIT’s witness testimony, photographs, video clips, and telephone tapes to have been manipulated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and to be inadmissible in a criminal prosecution in a Malaysian or other national or international court.
For the first time also, the Malaysian Government reveals how it got in the way of attempts the US was organizing during the first week after the crash to launch a NATO military attack on eastern Ukraine. The cover story for that was to rescue the plane, passenger bodies, and evidence of what had caused the crash. In fact, the operation was aimed at defeating the separatist  movements in the Donbass, and to move against Russian-held Crimea.
The new film reveals that a secret Malaysian military operation took custody of the MH17 black boxes on July 22, preventing the US and Ukraine from seizing them.  
The Malaysian operation, revealed in the film by the Malaysian Army colonel who led it, eliminated the evidence for the camouflage story, reinforcing the German Government’s opposition to the armed attack, and forcing the Dutch to call off the invasion on July 27.  
The 28-minute documentary by Max van der Werff and Yana Yerlashova has just been released. Yerlashova was the film director and co-producer with van der Werff and Ahmed Rifazal. Vitaly Biryaukov directed the photography. Watch it in full here.
The full interview with Prime Minister Mahathir was released in advance; it can be viewed and read here.

MH17 – Call for Justice | 16.7.2019

Bonanza media investigative team of independent journalists take exclusive 
interviews with one of the suspects of downing the MH17, 
Malaysian prime minister; colonel that collected black boxes and much more. 
Eye opening testimonies from witnesses and irrefutable evidence from experts.

Mahathir reveals why the US, Dutch and Australian governments attempted to exclude Malaysia from membership of the JIT in the first months of the investigation. 

During that period, US, Dutch, Australian and NATO officials initiated a plan for 9,000 troops to enter eastern Ukraine, ostensibly to secure the crash scene, the aircraft and passenger remains, and in response to the alleged Russian role in the destruction of MH17 on July 17; for details of that scheme, read this
Although German opposition to military intervention forced its cancellation, the Australians sent a 200-man special forces unit to The Netherlands and then Kiev. The European Union and the US followed with economic sanctions against Russia on July 29.

Malaysian resistance to the US attempts to blame Moscow for the aircraft shoot-down was made clear in the first hours after the incident to then-President Barack Obama by Malaysia’s Prime Minister at the time, Najib Razak. That story can be followed here and here.
In an unusual decision to speak in the new documentary, Najib’s successor Prime Minister Mahathir announced:
“They never allowed us to be involved from the very beginning.  This is unfair and unusual. So we can see they are not really looking at the causes of the crash and who was responsible. But already they have decided it must be Russia. So we cannot accept that kind of attitude. We are interested in the rule of law, in justice for everyone irrespective of who is involved. We have to know who actually fired the missile, and only then can we accept the report as the complete truth.”
On July 18, in the first Malaysian Government press conference after the shoot-down, Najib (right) announced agreements he had already reached by telephone with Obama and Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President.
“ ‘Obama and I agreed that the investigation will not be hidden and the international teams have to be given access to the crash scene.’ [Najib] said the Ukrainian president ‎has pledged that there would be a full, thorough and independent investigation and Malaysian officials would be invited to take part. ‘He also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site,’ said Najib. He also said that no one should remove any debris or the black box from the scene. The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team. But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone can be left unturned.”
The new film reveals in an interview with Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the head of the Malaysian team, what happened next.  Sakri’s evidence, filmed in his office at Putrajaya, is the first to be reported by the press outside Malaysia in five years. A year ago, Sakri gave a partial account of his mission to a Malaysian newspaper.
I talked to my prime minister [Najib],” Colonel Sakri says. “He directed me to go to the crash site immediately.” At the time Sakri was a senior security official at the Disaster Management Division of the Prime Minister’s Department. Sakri says that after arriving in Kiev, Poroshenko’s officials blocked the Malaysians.“We were not allowed to go there…so I took a small team to leave Kiev going to Donetsk secretly.” There Sakri toured the crash site, and met with officials of the Donetsk separatist administration headed by Alexander Borodai.
With eleven men, including two medical specialists, a signalman, and Malaysian Army commandos, Sakri had raced to the site ahead of an armed convoy of Australian, Dutch and Ukrainian government men. The latter were blocked by Donetsk separatist units. The Australian state press agency ABC reported their military convoy, prodded from Kiev by the appearance of Australian and Dutch foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Frans Timmermans, had been forced to abandon their mission. That was after Colonel Sakri had taken custody of the MH17 black boxes in a handover ceremony filmed at Borodai’s office in Donetsk on July 22.
US sources told the Wall Street Journal  at the time “the [Sakri] mission’s success delivered a political victory for Mr. Najib’s government… it also handed a gift to the rebels in the form of an accord, signed by the top Malaysian official present in Donetsk, calling the crash site ‘the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.’…That recognition could antagonize Kiev and Washington, which have striven not to give any credibility to the rebels, whose main leaders are Russian citizens with few ties to the area. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a briefing Monday that the negotiation ‘in no way legitimizes’ separatists.”
The Australian state radio then reported the Ukrainian government as claiming the black box evidence showed “the reason for the destruction and crash of the plane was massive explosive decompression arising from multiple shrapnel perforations from a rocket explosion.”
This was a fabrication – the evidence of the black boxes, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, first reported six weeks later in September by the Dutch Safety Board, showed nothing of the kind; read what their evidence revealed.
Foreign Minister Bishop,  in Kiev on July 24, claimed she was negotiating with the Ukrainians for the Australian team in the country to carry arms. “I don’t envisage that we will ever resort to [arms],” she told her state news agency, “but it is a contingency planning, and you would be reckless not to include it in this kind of agreement. But I stress our mission is unarmed because it is [a] humanitarian mission.”

In Kiev on July 24, 2014, left to right: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop; Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin
By the time she spoke to her state radio, Bishop was concealing that the plan for armed intervention, including 3,000 Australian troops, had been called off. She was also concealing that the black boxes were already in Colonel Sakri’s possession.
The document signed by Sakri for the handover of the black boxes is visible in the new documentary. Sakri signed himself and added the stamp of the National Security Council of Malaysia.
Sakri goes on to say he was asked by the OSCE’s special monitoring mission for Ukraine to hand over the black boxes; he refused. He was then met by agents of the FBI (Min 6:56). “They approached me to show them the black box. I said no.” He also reports that in Kiev the Ukrainian Government tried “forcing me to leave the black boxes with them. We said no. We cannot. We cannot allow.”

The handover ceremony in Donetsk, July 22, 2014
Permission for Colonel Sakri to speak to the press has been authorized by his superiors at the prime ministry in Putrajaya, and his disclosures agreed with them in advance.
Subsequent releases from the Kiev government to substantiate the allegation of Russian involvement in the shoot-down have included telephone tape recordings. These were presented last month by the JIT as their evidence for indictment of four Russians; for details, read this.
Van der Werff and Yerlashova contracted with OG IT Forensic Services,  a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, to examine the telephone tapes. The Kuala Lumpur firm has been endorsed by the Malaysian Bar.
The full 143-page technical report can be read here.

The findings reported by Akash Rosen and illustrated on camera are that the telephone recordings have been cut, edited and fabricated.
 The source of the tapes, according to the JIT press conference on June 19 by Dutch police officer Paulissen, head of the National Criminal Investigation Service of The Netherlands, was the Ukrainian SBU. 

Similar findings of tape fabrication and evidence tampering are reported on camera in the van der Werff film by a German analyst, Norman Ritter.

Van der Werff and Yerlashova filmed at the crash site in eastern Ukraine. 
Several local witnesses were interviewed, including a man named Alexander from Torez town, and Valentina Kovalenko, a woman from the farming village of Red October. The man said the missile equipment alleged by the JIT to have been transported from across the Russian border on July 17 was in Torez at least one, possibly two days before the shoot-down on July 17; he did not confirm details the JIT has identified as a Buk system.
Kovalenko, first portrayed in a BBC documentary three years ago (starting at Min.26:50) as a “unique” eye-witness to the missile launch, clarifies more precisely than the BBC reported where the missile she saw had been fired from.

This was not the location identified in press statements by JIT. Van der Werff explains: “we specifically asked [Kovalenko] to point exactly in the direction the missile came from. I then asked twice if maybe it was from the direction of the JIT launch site.
She did not see a launch nor a plume from there. Notice the JIT ‘launch site’ is less than two kilometres from her house and garden. The BBC omitted this crucial part of her testimony.”

According to Kovalenko in the new documentary, at the firing location she has now identified precisely, “at that moment the Ukrainian Army were there.”
Kovalenko also remembers that on the days preceding the July 17 missile firing she witnessed, there had been Ukrainian military aircraft operating in the sky above her village. She says they used evasion techniques including flying in the shadow of civilian aircraft she also saw at the same time.

On July 17, three other villagers told van der Werff they had seen a Ukrainian military jet in the vicinity and at the time of the MH17 crash.
Concluding the documentary, van der Werff and Yerlashova present an earlier interview filmed in Donetsk by independent Dutch journalist Stefan Beck, whom JIT officials had tried to warn off visiting the area. Beck interviewed Yevgeny Volkov, who was an air controller for the Ukrainian Air Force in July 2014. Volkov was asked to comment on Ukrainian Government statements, endorsed by the Dutch Safety Board report into the crash and in subsequent reports by the JIT, that there were no radar records of the airspace at the time of the shoot-down because Ukrainian military radars were not operational.

Volkov explained that on July 17 there were three radar units at Chuguev on “full alert” because “fighter jets were taking off from there;” Chuguev is 200 kilometres northwest of the crash site.  He disputed that the repairs to one unit meant none of the three was operating. Ukrainian radar records of the location and time of the MH17 attack were made and kept, Volkov said. “There [they] have it. In Ukraine they have it.”
Last month, at the JIT press conference in The Netherlands on June 19, the Malaysian representative present, Mohammed Hanafiah Bin Al Zakaria,  one of three Solicitors-General of the Malaysian Attorney General’s ministry, refused to endorse for the Malaysian Government the JIT evidence or its charges against Russia. 

FAKE NEWS VIDEO BY THE JIT Press conference MH17,
June 19th, 2019 - Suspects ENG

“Malaysia would like to reiterate our commitment to the JIT seeking justice for the victims,” Zakaria said. “The objective of the JIT is to complete the investigations and gathering of evidence of all witnesses for the purpose of prosecuting the wrongdoers and Malaysia stands by the rule of law and the due process.” [Question: do you support the conclusions?] “Part of the conclusions [inaudible] – do not change our positions.”
Source: Dances With Bears


A detailed description of the BUK SA-11 which could have shot down MH17

A lot more information about the BUK and its missiles and warheads came out with the release of the DSB final report and the Almaz Antey press conference.
I will make some minor adjustments on this page about warheads and missile characteristics soon.
DBB, Russian Federation and Ukraine agree that 9N314 is the only warhead which has butterfly (or x-shaped, bow-tie ) shaped fragments. I need to adjust the table below!
There isn’t a lot of information on the BUK systems available on internet. A lot of the information published on this site was supplied by an anonymous source of mine. While I am unable to judge if his information is correct, he seemed to be very knowledgeable. 
However, this source later turned out to be  Pro-Kiev. So information on this page can be written such that it is in the Ukraine advantage. 
I decided to keep the information on this page as long as it is unproved the information is incorrect. 
A likely possibility is that MH17 was shot down by a surface to air missile (SAM). The missile would most likely have been launched by a so called BUK SA-11 system.
This post will explain in detail the BUK, it missles, the type of shrapnel, its guidance to a target, the capabilitities of this weapon system and much more.
The info from this post has been obtained from various sources. I am in contact with people who are expert in this field. Also I used publically available information on the SA-11 BUK.
This post will discuss the capabilities of the BUK system . The BUK has gone through various versions.
This BBC video shows some interesting info.

BUK types 
There are severall generations of the BUK. Basically the SA-11 and SA-17 which is an upgrade of the SA-11.
The table below shows the most relevant information. The table will be updated if I find any error. Please let me know if you find mistakes in the table. Do provide me links to be able to verify.
17-10-2015 DSB states in final report the compatibility with warheads and missile is as shown in this image.

14-10-2015 added  image in Warhead paragraph on 9N314 fragment sizes
22-3-2015 An earlier version of  the table showed radome of BUK M1-2 is different from BUK-M1. That was a mistake and has been corrected.

22-3-2015 added photo showing BUK M1-2 with two types of missiles

22-3-2015 added several links for verification purposes

22-3-2015 table version 1.3  BUK-M2 can only use 9M317 missile.
Janes states that the 9N314 warhead can be used on the 9M317 missile. This source seems to confirm that.

Type of fragments
Each warhead has fragments. Some have just one shape of fragments, some have up to three different shapes.
9M38 missile dont have 9N314M warhead, only 9N310 or 9N314
Russian Minister Lavrov claims the 9M317 missile has a warhead which has parallel pipeds.
Another source says 9M317 has rods
Russia Today itself confirmed a while ago only Russian armed forces operate the Buk-M1-2 and Buk-M2 missile systems which Ukraine does not operate.
The 9A310M1-2 SPM can fire standard 9M38M1 missiles or new 9M317 missiles (developed by the Dolgoprudny Research and Production Enterprise). (source)
Verification the BUK-M1-2 can fire 9M317 as well here.
This website mentions the BUK-M2 is only capable to use the 9M317 missile. Check internet for BUK-M2 photos. They all have missile 9M317 (small chords) . This is another website on the BUK-M2 using 9M317.
Info on rod and lethal range of 9M317
This picture shows a BUK-M1-2 loaded with two types of missiles. The right one is a 9M38M1 (long chords) and the second from the right is a 9M317. (short chords).Picture taken from this website

This shows a BUK-M1-2 with 9K317 missile. This BUK is operated by Egypt Army.
Here another photo showing BUK M1-2 with 9M317 missile
The image below shows Russia still has BUK  with 9M38M1 missile (long chord). This photo was taken in Russia near the Ukraine border. For more information see Ukraineatwar.
This video shows a BUK-M2 (with the flat radar radome) loaded with the older 9M38 or 9M38M1 missile during shootig exercise at Kaptusin Yar . (at 17:26 in the video)
Bellingcat checkdesk has a lot more photos of BUKs in Russia. See here.

The BUK battery. 
BUK (Beech) is the Russian name for what NATO calls a SA-11 Gradfly surface to air missile (SAM). A SA-11 is a Sovjet made medium range weapon designed to defend against aircraft, helicopters and cruise missiles. It can be compared to the US made Patriot system.
Its main task is to defend tanks and other armoured vehicles. It is said then when Russian tanks are deployed there will always be BUKs in the neighborhood.
A SA-11 normally operates in a battery or group of vehicles. There is a command vehicle (Command Post of CP) manned by  a multiple people  which control radar and launching. Then there are a couple of launcher vehicles. The name for this launcher is transporter erector launcher and radar or TELAR.
These have 4 missiles and built in radar installed on a tracked platform. To load additional missiles there is a loader vehicle. Last but not least there is a radar vehicle. It has a sophisticated radar which is able to track multiple targets. It is able to relay that radar information to the lauchers. The vehicle shown below is called the Target Acquisition Radar  (TAR)
The radar named Snow Drift (shown above) has two ways to indentify the type of target:
  • IFF or Identification Friend or Foe. Based on transponder information the radar knows if the target is a friendly aircraft , an civil airliner or a enemy aircraft.
  • non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR). This systems analyses the pattern of the radar returns. It can determine the type of aircraft by a typcial footprint of the radar return Also jet engine modulation, or the analysis of beats and harmonics in the radar return that are caused by engine fan or compressor blades is used to determine type of target.  The return is kind of unique for each type of aircraft because of its size, number of engines, speed etc.
The Snowdrift radar used to be the Achilles heel of the SA-11, its radar emmisions used to detect targets could also be seen and used to target itself with anti radar missiles.Once the radar was destroyed the complete battery could not function and was useless.
For that reason each launcher vehicle also has its own on-board radar called Fire Dome. This is a kind of backup radar with limited capabilities. Fire Dome radar detects aircraft flying at altitude over 3 km within a  range of 65-77 km.
The H/I-band Fire Dome monopulse guidance and tracking engagement radar has an effective guidance range of 3-32 km and an altitude envelope 15 meters to 22 km, and can engage approaching targets moving at a maximum of 3000 km/h (1860 mph). The radar guides as many as three missiles against a single target. (source). Frequency used is  6-10 GHz. Frequency Band: H/I
This video shows a BUK SA-11 battery in action  with the Fire Dome radar and some launches of missiles.
The operating mode of a lone TELAR without assisting Snow Drift radar and other vehicles  operation is called autonomous mode.
A TELAR operating on its own (not with the Snow Drift radar) does have IFF and NCTR as well. The onboard computer Argon-15 is connected with IFF and NCTR modules and provide info about target.
Without IFF permission target cannot be locked and a missile cannot be fired. However the commander can overrule and press a button so a missile will be launched, even if IFF says it is friendly aircraft.
More on IFF later in this post.
NCTR module send info about reverbations, shape of signal and also crew can hear voice of target thru on-board communicate system or see signal on screen.
NCTR on TELAR have lesser capability then on CP or TAR.
The main difference between capabilities of Command Post plus  Target Acquisition Radar  and just a TELAR (as used in MH17)  is in the  identification of targets. A CP/TAR st can use info from different sources (civilian net, other radars), but TELAR in autonomus mode only own info (but TELAR can be connected to CP and use TAR info and directed from range even launch missiles)
The speed indication on the radar screen is not the true airspeed of the target but the radial speed. This is the speed relative to the BUK TELAR radar. The operator can determine if the target is moving towards or away from the TELAR or SA-11 battery.
So if a target flies in a circle around the BUK the radial speed is 0.
When TELAR operates autonomously it takes about 24-27 seconds from target detection to missile launch. It can stop and launch its missiles in about 5 minutes from travelling. It also takes about 5 minutes to leave the firing position. (source).
The TELAR in autonomous mode is more accurate than when connected by a Command Post/TAR. In autonomous mode the accuracy is 180m. This means the TELAR radar can distinguish unique targets when they are 180 meters apart. When targets are closer there is a risk the wrong target is destroyed.
When the TELAR is connecte to CP/TAR the accuracy is 350 meter.
The image below shows a BUK SA-11. Image by Aviationweek.

Using the BUK
It is not easy to operate a BUK. Many people say it requires at least a year of training before someone is able to launch a missile and be able to hit the intended target.
The crew of a TELAR consists of:
  • The Officer – commander (this man must be qualified and spent at least year in officer college or training course, all what going more than year is needed for tactical use of SAM battery (repair, organisation etc)
  • 3 soldiers – these assist the command and had a  few months of training course
When qualified personnel is available , a single man is required  for operating the TELAR for launch (in situation like MH17 without ECM, enemy presence in air, etc), but deploy need help from other people.
When the BUK TELAR drives and reaches its place for launch, it takes 300 sec the prepare the system and be ready for fire
If radar is hot then ready time is 10sec
If radar is cold then more then 180 sec is needed (it hard cap and cannot be passed)
This knowledge does not exclude any party which could have downed MH17. A couple of people who used to work for the Ukraine army could have joined the separatists. It is not very likely though. Ukraine force or Pro-Kiev forces could be responsilbe. Also Russia could have supplied a BUK including personnel to operate it.
These are two photos showing the inside of a TELAR launcher vehicle. This video has some shots of opertions of a SA-11 battery and launches of missiles.

The image below shows a close look at the radar screen of a BUK Telar. (source)
The big circle on the left is the radar screen. It shows the aircraft flying within reach of radar. Type is  R4-SA
The rectangle screen is the guidance screen R4-V
This video shows in detail the operation in a BUK. The launch An interesting video of several BUK launches here.

Чауда 2008
Виден взрыв ракеты на 4,52

The radar screen
A target on the radar screen looks like a small dash. The first picture below shows the radar screen taken from a BUK operator manual. The other screen is a screenshot of a computer simulation for the BUK. The two almost horizontal small lines indicated by the number 1 are targets in the air. As you can see there is no indication for the type of aircraft nor if it is friendly or enemy.
The radar can be used in three modes
  • SEARCH mode
  • LOCK and TRACK mode
  • GUIDE mode
When search it scan area has a range of search for  50 or 100km
When target has been  detected radar can LOCK target and TRACK it
When a missile has been launched the radar can GUIDE missile to the  target
The zone in which the radar searches can be adjusted. The widest zone is 120 degrees (wide zone). Radar is the achilles heel of the SA-11 system. An enemy aircraft can easily detect the radar. As soon as a SA-11 system is detected it can be attacked by enemy planes. So it is important to keep the radar off when not needed and keep the width of the scan reduced if possible.
So the width can have two modes: either 120 degrees or 10 degrees (narrow zone).
The range (how far can the radar detect) can be set to two modes: either 0-50 km or 0-100 km.
The elevation angle of the radar is either 6 degrees or 10 degrees. A BUK TELAR in autonomous mode uses 120 degrees wide zone with an elevation of 10 degrees. This enables the radar to have a width view. However detection is more easily. When in a battery with multiple launcher a 10 degrees width x 6 degrees evevation is used.However when a TELAR in autonomous mode knows where the target is coming from or a spotter is used to detect targets a 10×6 angle can be used again to minimize detection.
Besides radar the BUK also has an optical system. The TOV (tv-optical visor) is used by the crew to visually check the target. However in cloudy conditions the target cannot be seen by the eye and operator has radar only.
The zones are displayed in this image takes from an actual SA-11 manual
This video recorded in the Sovjet time shows the operation inside a BUK system.

at 4.19 you can see TELAR search radar scanning a wide zone (120 degree)
at 4.54 same radar
at 6.25 TELAR receive target info from TAR
at 6.30 target locked
at 6.32 search radar of TELAR switch to narrow zone scanning (10 degree)
at 6.36 1st crew member (soldier) on his tracking screen place the target signal in TELAR’s field of view so computer can now measure a range to target and calculate algorythm Meeting
at 6.53 commander unlock fire button and press it

Radar range

A lone TELAR is very vulnerable for attacks by aircraft because of its radar. Radar is easy to spot when switched on. A common practise is to make use of the human eye. A so called spotter is positioned 30-50 km away from the launch position of the TELAR. When an aircraft is seen by the spotter, they communicate that over radio to the people in the BUK. Then they will switch on the turbo engine required for the Fire Dome radar. The powerup will take about 10 seconds. Then the radar can lock on the aircraft and a missile can be fired. By switching on the radar for short periods detection is reduced.

Versions of the BUK
There are many versions of the BUK. The system got many enhancements during its lifecycle and there are versions for sea and land operations. Also the vehicle has many versions like on wheels or tracks.
Basically the two most used types are  BUK-M1 and BUK-M1-2.
The BUK-M1 can be recognized by its radar large TELAR radar. The BUK-M2 has a  much smaller, almost flat radar.

The missile 
A SA-11 can use different types of missiles.  A missile uses rocket fuel. This provides about 15 seconds of thrust. Thereafter there is no fuel left. If the target is flying at a distance over 15 seconds the missile will go vertical first, gain speed and then descend, use gravity to reach its target.
The missile used by BUK-M1 is the 9M38M1.It is designed to engage fast maneuvering targets,The front of the missile has the radar and electronics. In the middle is the warhead and the back has the rocket engine.
The 9M38M1 missile is also used by Buk M1-2. This also is able to launch the  newer 9М317 (with shorter wing chord)
A 9M38M1 has 4 control surface at the rear to maneuver. It is able to make 19G maneuvers when engaging its target.
A complete overview of missile types used by SA-11 and SA-17
9M38: the first missile developped -> 9K37 BUK and  9K12M4 KUB
9M38M1: better version of  9M38 -> 9K37M1 BUK M1,  9K37M1-2 BUK M1-2
9M317: better version of  9M38M1 -> 9K37M1-2 BUK M1-2 and 9K317 BUK M2
The 9M38 missile has a fuel burn time of 15 seconds. After 15 seconds the engine will not provide trust.
The 9M38M1 missile has a fuel burn time of 20 seconds.
1 – semi-active radar homing
2 – proximity fuse (9E241M1)
3- warhead
This photo shows a closeup of the 9M38M1 missile (source)

Target detection
The TELAR radar automatically categorizes  targets by 3 types:
  • aerodynamics; aircraft with moving engines with an airspeed of over 100 m / s
  • ballistic missiles
  • helicopters
The info is need for calculation of the trajectory of the missile. The commander can recognize the unique footprint  of a target and when agreed with that this is the target he presses a button for launch. The onboard computer will do the calculations for guiding the missile.
This article in Russian language has a lot of detailed information on target recognition.

Identification friend or foe 
This is a system to identify  targets for being  friendly or not. It must assure that a missile is not lauched at a friendly target.
IFF  is device which sends  to a target a calling impulse (coded) and must receive ans answer. It is a bit like how spies worked in the past in movies. To make sure they were meeting a friendly spy, one asked a secret question. If the correct answer was given the other spy was friendly.
The code system in IFF is top secret  and changes sometimes in all devices.
Civilian aircraft do not carry equipment to respond to a IFF interogation. An exception are airliners from Canada and the US.  So IFF is primarily for  military aircraft.
On-board equipment of the TELAR in autonomous mode just give 2 signals: Enemy target (no answer on IFF) and aerodynamic target.
Very qualified personnel (which work with the BUK each day year by year) can separate a Boeing 777 (2 engine plane on 10 km altitude) from possible Antonov-26 (which flies on a  much lower altitude) or Il-76 (4 engine cargo aircraft). But separatists can be under pressure by danger of destruction by an Ukraine fighterjet  (or detection) by plane coming right on them.
In case an Ukraine BUK was used by separatists  the operator would target military aircraft of Ukraine. However a missile would not lock on a friendly aircraft because of IFF. The missile could only lock on non friendly targets like MH17. This for sure must have been noticed by the operator. The operator can only launch on a friendly aircraft by overruling IFF notice.
In case a Russian BUK would have been used, both for an Ukraine military aircraft and MH17 would appear to the operator as enemy aircraft.
So the operator in the BUK  that shot down might have been in this situation:
  1. he was instructed to shot down military aircraft flying fromm west to east. Ukraine forces were surrounded by separatists at July 17. The only way to supply them and get more soldiers to the area next to the Russian border was by air.
  2. A few days before July 17 an apparment in the are was bombed by a SU-25 and several civilians were killed
  3. The day before the Ukraine airspace was closed for civil aircraft up to altitude 32.000 feet
  4. the spotter might have reported an aircraft on high altitude. He might have seen an IL76 cargo aircraft
  5. On the radar screen the BUK operator did not see the target as friendly
  6. there was not an experienced officer which would double check the identity of the target.
  7. there was no possibility to check with civil air traffic control if the target was an airliner
So the operator did not use analysis of signal from target (and even did not see the altitude of target if they work in specific mode) and did not ask anyone about target source.
In normal operations with a SA-11 battery it would not be possilble to hit a civilian aircraft because several safety measures.

The launch
The launch of a BUK missile is pretty noisy. It leaves a smoke trail as can be seen in this video. A missile can be shot at an maximum angle of 80 degrees. So almost vertical (= 90 degrees)

The missile guiding 
Once the missile has been lauched it is guided by the radar  to the target using radar signals. The radar illuminates the target. The radar return is picked up by the missile. The missile receives control guidance from the ground using radio signals. This system is called a semi active homing radar.
Buk, Buk-M1 and earlier versions of Buk-M1-2 and Buk-M2 missile systems uses an Argon-15 type of the onboard computer.  The Argon-15 is able to detect target radar signal (shape, length, reverbations, envelope and videosignal). Argon-15 does not  give to the  crew the ability to change target. The commander must choose target on stage Search, then Argon-15 calculate algorithm Meet Zone, then indicate Target in zone, commander open fire it all.
More information on the Argon-15 here. 
When close to the target the seeker head (radar in the missile) will take over from the guidance of the TELAR and will continue its route towards the target.
The missile has a proximity fuse. This is fed by the radar. When the missile is within range the proximity fuse will detonate the explosive in the warhead. That will be around 17 meters from the target.

What if a Ukraine fighter was initial target but MH17 was hit instead?
A theory could be that Ukraine Air Force used civil aircraft as  a human shield. Separatists told this in a video. A separatists lady (she married to one of the leaders of the DPR) told that Ukraine fighterjets would fly close to civilian aircraft, then decent quickly, release bombs and climb . Separatists could not hit the fighter because of the civil aircraft.
A missile targeted at a military jet cannot shift away off the orginal target to a new target after launch (this is called retarget). If a fighterjet like a SU-25 was  flying so close to MH17 to merge with the radar signal , the fighter would  have to fly within 100/180 metres to MH17. The radar of the TELAR is very accurate. Also a SU-25 is slower than MH17 even on clean weight nevermind altitude difference, a SU-25 is simply too slow to break the missile lock and escape from BUK missile at altitude. Even a less sophisticated SAM system as  MANPADs were able to very efficiently kill SU-25 aircraft.
In 2001 a Tupolev 154 was destroyed by a S-200 SAM. During a military excersise a drone was used by Ukraine armed forces as target. Two S-200 missiles were shot at the drone. One S-200 destroyed the drone. The other S-200 probably never had a lock on the drone and searched for a target and headed to the Tupolev and shot it down.
In this case one of the pilots was able to detect the aircraft was hit. Also the aircraft exploded in mid air and was on fire. See this website. 
An missile expert (Bernd Biederman) told in an interview that if an aircraft is hit by a surface to air missile it is very likely to be set on fire. This did not happen to MH17.

Missile speed 
The image below shows the speed of the missile on the vertical axis versus time of flight on horizontal axis. (source)
Sonic boom will be around speed of sound = 343 meters per second. This is reached by the BUK missile 2 seconds after launch.
Missile lauch without lock 
A missile of a BUK cannot be simply launched by pressing a button. The target needs  acquisition, track, identify, lock and then a missile can be launched.
All these procedures are  automated instead of other systems where acquisition/tracking/lock and guide aredone by  different systems and people. Only unsanctioned launches of missile can fire missile (it very rare but happen) but the warhead will detonated after a few seconds if there is no guidance from TELAR.
Below you see a photo an explosion of a missile launched by a BUK. The photo was taken during an excersise of the Ukraine army. This video shows the explosion as well. And here is a video as well. Finally a video which shows more launches.

Proportional navigation 
A 9M38M1 uses what is called proportional navigation. Basically it means it does not tail chase the target but constantly calculates the future route of the target. By doing so the missile is able to cut corners and appraoch the target using the shortest route and thus saving as much fuel as possible.
To intercept high-speed targets like aircraft and missiles, a semi active homing missile must follow a lead (collision) course. The intercept point is at
the intersection of the missile and target flight paths. The best collision or lead course happens when the missile heading keeps a constant angle
with the line of sight to the target. This course requires missile accelerations to be only as great as target accelerations. Specifically, if the target flies
a straight-line, constant-velocity course, the missile can also follow a straight-line collision course if its velocity does not change. But in practice, this ideal
situation does not exist. Missile velocity seldom stays constant. Irregular sustainer propellant burning changes thrust, and therefore affects speed

The nose cone 
The tip of the missile or nose cone can have various colours on photos.
Green/White missile is because during development the army want camouflage on missile, when used by the navy there is no need. 
Red cone is protective metal cone on missile during loading or travelling and even firing – protect glass-ceramic radome from damage and dirt.

The radar seeker
This image shows the radar seeker of the 9M38M1 missile. The drawing on the right shows a more detailled inside look. The two extension on top and below are the antennas for receiving guidance instructions from the TELAR. These are marked by number 7 in this image.

The proximity fuse 
The proximity fuse detects the distance to the missile its target. It detects the first metal part which is closest to the missile. For a BUK missile at around 17 meters from the target the fuse will let the explosives in the warhead explode. Because the explosives are in the core of the warhead and surrounded by fragments, the fragments will spread out.
The proximity fuse in a missile like BUK is “side looking” rather, than “front looking” (probably at an angle of about 60deg from missile axis to both sides). It is designed to detonate when it passes close to target, there is no point to detonate ahead of a typical aircraft target. The speed of shrapnels from the warhead is much higher than closure speed of the missile/target, so the warhead doesn’t work like a “shotgun shot”. It just explodes passing close to target and the shrapnels are thrown to the sides fast enough to hit it (shrapnel is several times faster than the missile).
Type of proximity fuses are 9E241, 9E241M1 and most recent  9E346.
So if the missile was going head-on horizontally or from above with slight side offset, then the warhead detonated as soon as the cockpit came into field of view (FOV) of side-looking proximity fuse antennas. And looking at the cockpit damage, it was only few meters, so most of the shrapnel was absorbed by front part of the fuselage with very high fragment density. The spread pattern of warhead shrapnels is not omnidirectional, almost all of the fragments are directed to the sides. Nearly all other plane parts were outside of the shrapnel kill-zone, only one wing and it’s engine could get some.
The  image below shows the proximiy fuse  angles of detonation (for type 5E50).
5E50 is a  proximity fuse which is almost equal to 5E241M1 with some improvements near ground surface.
Depending from relative speed of the missile and target, the  proximity fuse will give a command to detonate warhead.
The figure below shows  how the detection angle depends from  speeds. Basically, the faster the speed of the target, the more narrow the angle of detection, the more difficult to detect the target and thus the more unlikely missile will detonate.
On high speed angle near 30 degree, on slowest close to 60.
What is the x-axis. What is relative speed missile-target?
On the x-axis the sum of the speed of the missile plus the speed of the target is shown. The radar in the missile is able to calculate this speed based on the speed of the radar return from target.
The line numbered 2 is the scenario with MH17 (no electronic counter measures). A BUK missile is designed to attack enemy fighter aircraft which will execute electronic counter measures to distract the rader of the missile.
This article in Russian language has a lot of info on proximity fuse.

The warhead
The warhead contains the fragments (also named shrapnel or strike elements) which damages the target with the intentio to destroy it.
The missile casing and components also form fragments.The identification of this warhead is 9N314. It has two   layers of different sized fragments. The total number of fragments in the warhead is 7600.
The warhead lethal radius is  17 meters. This is an imaginary circle/sphere about the warhead within which any target will receive fatal damage.
The image below shows a closeup of this warhead. As you can see on the image of the missile, the warhead is located behind the radar and the proximity fuse. The roasted small metal parts are the fragments. In the middle of the warhead is explosives. The explosives will push the fragments out when the missile is close to the target.
The photo  below shows a BUK warhead. Possibly the 9N314M
The image below show the 9N314 warhead

To compare the warhead of  5V28E V-880E (SA-5B Gammon) Surface to Air Missile 5B14S Warhead contains 21,000 pieces of 3.5g and 16,000 pieces of 2g steel ball fragments. (source)
A 9N314 has large and small sized fragments.
Large sized fragments create more damage (and better penetrate which is very much needed against armored plane/helicopters) and have lesser loss of energy with range, but larger size and weight decrease a number of elements which decrease probability for hit target surface (especially targets like missiles). Small sized fragments can be placed in much more numbers because their weight is less so more can be put in the warhead.
 When the proximity fuse detonates, the explosive pushes out the fragments. The fragments will have an enormous kinetic energy. First because of the speed of the missile and then the extra boost from the explosion.
This is a cut through of the warhead. The piece indicated with 3 is the detonator. On the left side is the nose part of missile – compartment #1 with seeker, radio-fuse, autopilot. Diameter of missile is 340 mm. The warhead is situated in compartment #2 with varied diameter from 340mm to 400mm (#7 on picture is missile skin).
Compartment #3 (rocket engine and power supply) have already diameter 400m.

Type of fragments
Each warhead has fragments. Some have just one shape of fragments, some have up to three different shapes.
The image below shows the fragment sizes of a 9n314 warhead. The source  is a presentation of Almaz Antey
The size and shape of the fragments in a 9N314M warhead can be seen in this image taken from appendix-x of the final report by DSB

Warheads have different ways to carry fragments. Basically there are two ways:
  • ready fragments. The fragments are not tied to eachother. Individual fragments are placed in the warhead and stick together with some gell or glue. The advantage is that the energy of the explosion is not wasted by detaching the elements.
  • pre-ready. The elements are attached to eachother.
The warhead of the BUK has ready elements.
The image below shows various type of warheads. Picture 3, 4 and 5 are pre-ready fragments. Picture 6 is ready fragments.
Possible design of missile warheads to destroy air targets: 1 – Blast; 2 – explosive charge in the metal shell; 3 – outer shell notching; 4 – internal notching; 5 – explosive charge with grooves; 6 – ready splinters; 7 – cumulative (with conical and spherical recess); 8 – multicell charge; 9 – rod; 10 – cutting; 11 – directed action;12 – aims to: 13 – cassette


The fragment distribution 
A 9N314M warhead launches the fragments in a very particular pattern. The image below shows that pattern.
The fragments shown in 1 are those butterfly and cubile shaped metal parts. Notice these are spread out in a circle and not forward. The metal casing of the missile is pushed out forward.
The fragments as shown in the area 2 are non-system strike elements and parts of missile (nose part with radar/fuse and aft part with engine, also debris from bodyof missile in warhead area and close to it) can shot other parts of plane. These will hit the target head on.

This image shows what could be the zone of the Boeing 777 which was hit by the fragments of the missile indicated by the dark black colour.

This image also shows the distribution of fragments when the missile flew head on to MH17. The purple lines shows the borders of which shrapnel was flying after detonation. You can see that the left part of the cockit and forward fuselage got the most fragments.

Lines 1-4 are horizontal projection. Lines 5-6 is vertical projection.( Source)
This thread at has a lot of information of the distribution of fragments.
The damage done by the fragments
The missile hit (for a BUK missile at least) does not always  produce a fire as result of that hit. Only when damaged fuel lines, engines and some flammable things. In case of MH17 nothing flammable was  in the cockpit section  so that is the reason the aircraft was not  fire when it was hit.
In 2001 a Tupolev 154 was hit by a S-200 missile from behind and strike almost all plane especially engines part and fuel cells.  Not all fragments in the warhead will hit the aircraft. The distance and angle of attack is an important factor. Maybe a couple of hundred fragments have hit the aircraft. This is why that aircraft was on fire and exploded while in the air. The large sized fragments create more damage but has less range due to drag etc. The smaller fragments have a greater range but less surface to cause major damage.
When the proximity fuse detonates, the explosive pushes out the fragments. The fragments will have an enormous kinetic energy. First because of the speed of the missile and then the extra boost from the explosion.
 More information in this article in Russian language.

The spot where the missile explodes
The damage of MH17 is clearly located at the cockpit and forward fuselage section. Both sepaparated from the rest of the fuselage and was found about 10 km  west of the main fuselage.
A BUK missile used proportional navigation. This means the missile constantly calculates a projected route (the route the target is preticted to take). So the missile tries to cut corners avoinding having to chase the tail of the target.
This also means the missile will not make a last minute turn before exploding. It is designed to get as fast as possible and as close as possible to the target. Remember a BUK missile is designed to destroy cruise missiles and fighter aircraft. It does not matter it the tail or head of the target is hit.
This design makes it impossible the missile was launched from a position west of MH17. 
If the BUK missile was launched from a position behind where MH17 was flying, the missile would explode near the tail section. Photos clearly indicate the missile did the most damage to the cockpit and forward fuselage.
Photos of the cockput floor make clear the missile hit the cockpit from  above. See this photo for example: it shows the cockpit floor. You are looking at the area where the seats were attached to the floor. The holes show an entry from above.

here is another photo of the cockpit floor . What you seen is the righthand seat , the place where the first office was seated.

The image below show the attack pattern of the BUK M2 with the 9M317 missile!  As you see in the image the range is 50km (the horizontal x-axis).
The BUK M1 has a maximum range of 38 km. The missile 9M38M1 has fuel for maximum 20 seconds.
Depending on the initial distance of the target the missile will have a more vertical lauch pad.
The idea behind it is to gain as quickly as possible height. The fuel for the rocket only lasts for 15 seconds. When the missile has enough altitude it will then use gravity to reach its target. The exact path depends on the target characteristics like speed and altitude.

The effect of fragments hitting the target
There are no documented incidents of a  Russian made BUK  missile hitting a large civilian aircraft. An Iran Air aircraft was hit by a SAM missile launched from a US Navy ship. In 2001 a Siberian Airlines Tupolev Tu154 was hit by an Ukraine S-200 missile. This missile uses only steel small balls as fragments so the damage cannot be compared to the damage seen on MH17.
A former East Germany Army official stated the BUK missile has 30.000 fragments. He stated MH17 is very unlikely to have been downed by a BUK missile. He claims the fragments would have damage the fuel lines or fuel tanks. MH17 almost certain would be on fire while still in the air.
Seeing the little damage to parts except the cockpit and forward fuselage, it is not likely that fragments reached the wing area (where the fueltanks are). Photos of the wings do not show much damage caused by fragments.

Could a SA-11 missile be detected by satellite?
This is an interesting post which calculates if a SA-11 missile could be detected

Overview of other incidents of civilian aircraft hit by SAM or A2A
In 1978 a Korean Airlines B707 was hit by an Air to air missile type P-60 launched by a Sovjet figherjet. More info
In 1983 a Korean Airlines B747 Flight KE007 was shot down by a R-8 missile launched by Sovjet fighter.
On 4 October 2001,  A Siberia Airlines Tu-154 crashed over the Black Sea. The plane was hit by S-200 surface to air missile, fired from the Crimea peninsula during a Ukrainian military exercise. The aircraft was on fire and exploded in the air.
In 2008 a Iran Air A300 was destroyed while flying over the Persian Gulf by a US Navy SM-2MR missile launched from a US Navy boat.
In 2007 a DHL Airbus a300 was hit by a SA-7 SAM launched near Baghdad airport. The aircraft left wing got badly damaged and the wing was on fire. Still the aircraft was able to return. The crew survived. More info
A complete overview of civilian aircraft shot down by fighter jets here

More information 
video showing some launches of BUK missiles
Wikipedia BUK missile system
итный Ракетный комплекс Бук М1
This video shows a BUK in action with some shots of the operators inside the vehicle.
This video also has a lot of coverage of BUK operation in Russia
One Missile, 298 Lives Lost: Profile of the Buk 9K37/ SA-11 “Gadfly” SAM (link)
International Electronic Countermeasures Handbook (link)
lots of info on the BUK in Russian language.



The Evidence In The MH17 Case Doesn’t Point To Russia Or Ukraine

  • Nation-State Narrative Pushing
  • British Intelligence Propaganda Efforts
  • American mercenaries were on the ground in parts of eastern Ukraine
  • Bild am Sonntag claimed that CIA and FBI agents were in Kiev to “advise” the Ukrainian government
  • CIA chipmaker NVIDIA
  • Integrity Initiative document labeling Bellingcat as a 'partner organization'

The MH17 case shocked the world as it happened and caused an escalation of the war in Ukraine. 

Although many accusations have been leveled over responsibility for the tragedy, the panel investigating the incident continues to search for the identities of the perpetrators. However, all focus has centered around the culprits being either Ukrainian or Russian, both of whom did not have incentive to further aggravate the Ukrainian conflict.