Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MH 17 Shot Down by Missile - Clues from Wreckage

JULY 21,2014

Photographs of a piece of wreckage found by two reporters for The New York Times and analyzed by Reed Foster, a defense analyst with IHS Jane’s, offers some clues about what could have caused Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to crash.

While it is impossible from the photographs to determine that a specific missile was used, Mr. Foster said, the damage is consistent with the effects of a fragmentary warhead carried by an SA-11, the type of missile that American officials have said was most likely behind the attack.

The shrapnel came from outside the plane.
Mr. Foster said the contour of the aluminum and the blistering of the paint around many of the holes indicate that small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel entered the aircraft externally. Mr. Foster said the two most likely causes were an engine explosion or an exploding missile.

Many of the holes are relatively small ... 

Mr. Foster said “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.” He said the SA-11 family of missiles was designed to destroy fast-moving military aircraft at high elevations. Rather than striking an aircraft directly, the missiles intercept the targeted aircraft and then explode near it, creating a cloud of shrapnel.

... and uniform in size.

Most of the perforations are about the same size, and the fragments seemed to have entered from a front angle, Mr. Foster said. He said that fragmentary-warhead missiles try to “put as many consistently sized, low-drag fragments into the airframe as possible.” The shrapnel damage is different from what would be expected after an aircraft-engine explosion, Mr. Foster said, which would have caused “longer, thinner, oblique tears across the aircraft skin, with a slight hump toward the point where the fragment entered the skin, rather than the majority of punctures present.”

From the looks of it, it is clearly a missile that brought the plane down.

The question now is this - who shot the missile?

The Russians say that the Ukrainians did it.

The Ukrainians say that the pro-Russian rebels did it.

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