A Su-25 combat jet flew from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk of Ukraine carrying air-to-air missiles and returned without them on the day MH17 passenger Boeing of Malaysian crashed.
Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported, citing an airbase employee who claims to be an eyewitness that three Ukrainian combat jets took off on July 17, and that one of them, a Su-25, was carrying air-to-air missiles. “After a while only one jet returned without the missiles. The pilot was very frightened,” the man added.
The returned Su-25 had been equipped with air-to-air missiles, the employee stressed. The airbase worker said he remembered the pilot saying "the plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time" after he returned from the flight.
The newspaper interviewee did not exclude the possibility that a Su-25 pilot could confuse a Boeing passenger airliner with a military jet. The missiles carried by the Su-25 are capable of targeting an object at a 3-5-kilometer distance, and to an altitude of 7,000 meters (23,000 feet), the source stressed as Spotniknews reports.
With jet’s raised nose, it is not a problem to fix a target and launch a missile. The flying range of this missile is over 10 kilometers, according to the man. He further said that the missile is capable of hitting a plane fuselage, whether directly or from a distance of 500 meters.
The density of the objects which hit the MH17 was very high, and these findings did not exclude the downing of the plane by a missile. “There is such a missile. It explodes and its shrapnel punctures [the plane]. And after that, the missile warhead strikes it,” the man said.
The MH17 passenger Boeing of Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17 in the Donetsk region, as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board died. The incident is being investigated by an international group headed by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), its final report is expected to be released in 2015.
According to the preliminary information of the DSB, the Boeing was hit by “a large number of high-energy objects” penetrating the aircraft from outside, but the source of the objects was not found.