Manufacturers of the Russian BUK missile have confirmed that Russia was not responsible for shooting down Malaysian airlines flight MH17, as has been suggested recently by western governments and media.
The manufacturers of the weapon, Almaz-Antey, have said that recent tests involving BUK anti-aircraft missiles prove that any explosion caused by such missiles would lave a distinctive “butterfly-shaped’ hole in the shrapnel – something missing from the shrapnel found on flight MH17.
“The Boeing 777, which carried out the flight, did not have a single hole like this and as a consequence, this absolutely excludes the possibility of a missile with double T-shaped shrapnel being used to strike this aircraft,” Almaz-Antey stressed in a statement on Wednesday, following the final report of the Dutch Safety Board that looked into the causes of the crash.
The Dutch Safety Board concluded the plane, which was carrying almost 300 people, was hit with a 9N314M-model warhead mounted on the 9M38-series missile. The weapon was fired from a BUK surface-to-air missile system from an area in eastern Ukraine.
Almaz-Antey maintains that in fact a 9N314 warhead was responsible. On Wednesday, they commented on the differences between the two warheads and whose defense forces may have been using the missiles mentioned by the Dutch investigators.
The manufacturer said the Russian army has not been using BUK missiles with 9N314 warheads filled with shrapnel different from a double T-shape, as these are “outdated,” while the production of such warheads was halted in 1982, Almaz-Antey stressed. Almaz-Antey also noted that as of 2005, there were 991 missiles armed with 9M38M1 warheads in arms depots in Ukraine.
“We obtained this information through official channels. Back in 2005, the company conducted a pre-contractual engineering study of how long these types of missiles could be used for in Ukraine,” Almaz-Antey said, adding that they had a shelf-life of around 25 years.
“We also have data that 502 missiles of the outdated 9M38 modification were used by Ukraine’s armed forces during the same year,” the company added.
On October 13 the Almaz-Antey defense company presented the results of two full-scale experiments aimed at recreating the MH17 crash. The company concluded the missile that downed the flight was an old BUK model fired from a Ukrainian government controlled area, contesting the preliminary theory by Dutch investigators.