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Dutch-led investigators: Missile downing flight MH17 could be invisible for Russian radars

April 03, 16:31 UTC+3

According to the experts, "an important explanation of the absence of the BUK-missile on the radar images lies in the flight properties of a BUK-missile"

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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

THE HAGUE, April 3. /TASS/. The Joint Investigation Team looking into the downing of flight MH17 has come to the conclusion that the missile which downed the aircraft could have been invisible for Russian radars, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that investigates the downing of flight MH17 had two independent radar experts examine the radar images provided by the Russian Federation," the statement reads. "The findings by these radar experts show that a BUK-missile could have been fired from the firing location established by the JIT without it being visible on the radar images. Furthermore, the radar experts confirm that no other aircraft near MH17 are visible on the radar images provided," the Prosecution Service added.

According to the experts, "an important explanation of the absence of the BUK-missile on the radar images lies in the flight properties of a BUK-missile." "An example of such a flight property is the speed of the missile. Because of the fact that this speed is much higher than the speed of civil aircraft, the settings of a civil radar station will ensure that such fast objects generally are not visible on the radar images. This is to prevent ‘clutter’ on the radar image," the experts added.

MH17 crash case

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. There were nationals of ten states among the dead, most of them Dutch.

The Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic militia accused each other of downing the plane.

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service pointed out that the Joint Investigation Team looking into the MH17 crash comprised representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

The Prosecution Service also noted that "in September 2016, the JIT announced that they, through incontrovertible evidence, have been able to establish that flight MH17 was downed on 17 July 2014 by a 9M38-series BUK-missile and that this was launched from" the Pervomayskoye settlement area, located near the Sneznoye settlement, which was then controlled by the militia.

However, the Russian analysis of the radar data says that it was impossible to fire a missile on the aircraft from an area east of the crash site, including the Pervomayskoye settlement.

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