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originally posted by: PurpleDog UK
Was there not wreckage showing fragmentation damage possibly caused by an air to air missile...?
or the rebels did it with missiles they took from Ukraine.
Khodakovsky said he did not know where the missile system had come from but it may have come from Russia. He added the separatists had seized several Buk systems from Ukrainian bases, but none of them were operational.
Based on reading between the lines I think it was Ukraine that shot the plane down. But who knows?
However, 200 U.S. Army personnel normally assigned to bases in Germany were in Ukraine during the time of the MH-17 fly-over. They were participating in NATO exercise RAPID TRIDENT II. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense led the exercise.
BREEZE included the AEGIS-class guided missile cruiser USS Vela Gulf. AEGIS cruisers' AN/SPY 1 radar has the ability to track all aircraft over a large region. For example, the AEGIS test center in Moorestown, New Jersey, was able to see the Boeing 747 TWA Flight 800 when it disappeared from radar screens in 1996 near East Moriches Bay, Long Island. According to Lockheed Martin personnel who operated the AEGIS test center in New Jersey, the Navy ordered the SPY 1 radar turned off for «maintenance» shortly before the downing of TWA 800.
From the Black Sea, the Vela Gulf was able to track Malaysian Airlines 17 over the Black Sea and any missiles fired at the plane. U.S. AWACS electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft were also flying over the Black Sea region at the time of the MH-17 flyover of Ukraine. Growler aircraft have the capability to jam radar systems in all surface-to-air threats.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: PurpleDog UK
Without extensive analysis there's no way to tell the difference between an air to air, or surface to air missile. But an air to air missile wouldn't have hit near the cockpit, unless it was fired from the front, which the crew would have seen either the launch, or the launching aircraft. A SAM from the ground would be much harder to see unless you were looking for it, and in exactly the right spot, just as it was launched. The damage is consistent with a fragmentation warhead, which both types use.
An infrared missile fired from an aircraft would have tracked on the engines, the center fuselage, or aft fuselage, the three hottest areas of the aircraft. A radar guided missile would track on the center fuselage, which would give the strongest return for the seeker. The cockpit would actually be one of the weakest returns.
originally posted by: tsurfer2000h
Here's the thing...Why would Ukraine be operating the missile system as they hadn't had a problem with fighter jets in Ukraine, but the separatists did, as they had shot down planes days before this incident.