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Manufacturer rejects reports that MH17 missile could be invisible to Russian radars

Almaz-Antey said any kind of tampering with radar data "would be clearly visible to any specialist"

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey, which designed the Buk missile system, has rejected investigators’ claims that the missile that downed the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in eastern Ukraine in 2014 could be invisible for Russian radars.

"If a Buk missile had been launched from the region designated by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), then it would have had the speed of about 600-620 meters per second in the area where it approached the MH17 Boeing-777 aircraft, which is well within the range of the radar complex. Therefore, it would have certainly been recorded by Utyos-T radar station," Almaz-Antey said.

Dutch prosecutors said earlier on Tuesday that an international team investigating the MH17 incident came to a conclusion that the missile that hit the ill-fated plane was moving too quickly to be picked up by Russian radars.


Radar data

According to Almaz-Antey, the analysis of raw radar data from the Utyos-T radar station in the area shows that no missile approached the MH17 flight from the east.

"The primary radar data was handed over to Dutch specialists in the primary registration format file. A file like this registers all radar marks received from radar, without any processing. The Utyos-T radar has no limitations on objects travelling with the speed of below 1,000 meters per second (the speed of a Buk missile would be about 600-620 meters in this case) and more than 1,000 meters per second," the company said.

The company also said that when the "primary registration" format used by the Russian side is converted into the ASTERIX format requested by the Dutch side, which is secondary, most raw radar data is lost.

"It is impossible to amend primary file data in any way without destroying its structure," Almaz-Antey said. "Any changes of this kind would be clearly visible to any specialist."


MH17 crash case

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on a flight from the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defense forces and the Ukrainian army. All the 283 passengers and 15 crew members, nationals of ten countries, died in the crash. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.

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

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), bringing together experts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, is conducting a criminal investigation into the crash. In September 2016, it issued the results of its probe, claiming that that the missile that brought down the plane was launched from a Buk air defense system near the township of Pervomaiskoye in the south of Snezhnoye, which at that time was under the control of the eastern Ukrainian militias.

The Russian analysis of the primary radar’s data refutes the possibility of a missile launch targeting the Boeing from the area to the east of the crash scene, including from Snezhnoye.

Russia’s representatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the course of the investigation on numerous occasions saying that the data provided by Russia had been ignored.