DSB final report doubts: does a 9N314M warhead fit on 9M38 missile ?

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DSB states in their final report that a 9N314M warhead can be fitted to a 9M38 missile and on a 9M38M1 missile.

However, Almaz Antey states the 9N314M missile can only be fitted on a 9M38M1 missile.

So who is right?

Dutch Safety Board did not have any knowledge on the BUK missile. The board member Van Asselt told at a public presentation at November 2 2015 that Almaz Antey had told DSB only the 9N314M warhead has bow-tie shaped fragments.

So if DSB did not have knowledge that 9N314M can be fitted to both 9M38 and 9M38M1 warhead, who did?

The answer is in the final report document at page 132. It clearly states that the Kyiv Research Institute for Forsensic Expertise advised DSB that the 9N314M warhead can be fitted to both 9M38 and 9M38M1 warhead!

The head of the Kyiv Research Institute for Forensic Research is Mister Ruvin. Ruvin had two murder attempts on this life. He is also accused of corruption and manipulation if several investigations. A lot of information on Ruvin in this blogpost.


The 9N314M warhead is the only warhead that has bow-ties or butterlfy or i-beam shaped fragments.

Below a screenshot of the Consultation A document published by DSB. The left column is the remark of Almaz Antey. The right is the response of DSB.

The shape of the 9N314M warhead is completely the same as the 9N314 warhead. So people without inside knowledge are not able to judge by photos what kind of warhead is installed on either a 9M38 or 9M38M1 missile.

For some reason DSB took the word of Kiev and not the word of the manufacturer of the BUK Almaz Antey.

Maybe Ukraine has a made a modified 9N314M warhead which can be installed on a 9M38 missile. Ukraine does have industries which have knowledge of BUK sytems.

dsb-versus aa


The table below is taken from the DSB final report. It states that 9N314M warhead can be fitted on both 9M38 and 9M38M1 warhead.


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24 Comments on DSB final report doubts: does a 9N314M warhead fit on 9M38 missile ?

  1. sotilaspassi // April 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm // Reply

    “Rebels” of eastern Ukraine posed with several BUK warheads (without the missile).
    So I think there was small storage of them somewhere in eastern ukraine.

    (sorry, I do not have link for it now)

  2. This seems an outdated discussion after the findings of Admin that bowties in the MH17 investigation must be about falsified.

    Bowties earlier were framed as the shrapnel downing MH17. And this shrapnel only could come from the Russian missile 9M38M1, which has a reach of 35 km.


    But then DSB understood this was a very risky strategy, since it was unbelievable Russians would invade Donetsk for downing a passenger aircraft and then escape to their country again. Also unbelievable was Russians would provide the separatists with a more advanced missile as the 9M38M1, definitely pointing to the Russians. So, 9M38M1 was written out of the scenario.

    Hence, because Ukraine already started the investigation with framing bowties, they had to invent a peculiar escape of ‘bowties combined with a 9M38’. Then separatist would first have stolen a not functioning 9M38 in Luhansk, let this repair by the Russians, and covered it with a 9N314M1, since DSB already framed bowties.

    But now, this discussion is outdated because the bowtie scenario has been disconfirmed, not to say completely falsified. In the rebound, Ukraine better would have framed a 9M38 missile with warhead 9N314 since that fits the separatists much better.

    So we learn DSB (read SBU) when writing their report already understood the Russian scenario was untenable. Now they are strangled in a Gordian knot of lies.

  3. The 9N314M warhead and the 9M38M1 missile were designed as a weapon against specialized air to ground fighters like the A10-Thunderbolt II, the so called flying tanks. These fighters are most vulnerable from above, that is why the 9N314M is designed to detonate above the fighter. However the older type was designed before these specialized fighters existed, this means the missiles don’t need to follow the same track. Actually they don’t, as the Almaz Antey simulations show. The bowtie was used in the 9N314M because the designers believed they needed a heavier, different shaped fragment to penetrate the armor of a a10 like fighter. Later experiments showed this wasn’t necessary. In newer versions they are no longer used.

    • sotilaspassi // April 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm // Reply

      Ground support air crafts and bombers have always been protected from AA fire from below.

      I have not spotted A-A saying 9M38 detonating below and 9M38M1 above the target.
      To me they seem to use pretty identical proportional navigation in the final phase.

      Is there some A-A slide that describe the navigation/guidance difference of 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles?

      • “Ground support air crafts and bombers have always been protected from AA fire from below.” True, but a a10 is a completely different case.
        “I have not spotted A-A saying 9M38 detonating below and 9M38M1 above the target.” That is not what I am suggesting. The 9M38M1 is designed to detonate above the target, the 9M38 is not. It may anywhere close enough to the target.
        “Is there some A-A slide that describe the navigation/guidance difference of 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles?” I was referring to the Almaz Antey simulations in the DSB report. The ones DSB mixed up.

  4. Liane Theuer // April 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm // Reply

    Deus Abscondis wrote : “So the question becomes has Ukraine made their own version of the 9N314M warhead (the one with bowties). I’ve seen no evidence of this but they have the knowhow.”

    It is very likely. Another indication :

    “Ukroboronservice, a state-owned enterprise in Ukraine, provides BUK-M1 overhaul services to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign users. Ukroboronservice, acting within the framework of a private financing initiative project (PFIP), has drawn up overhaul manuals and purchased purpose-made bench maintenance equipment for BUK SAM systems, and it is closely engaged with the Russian arms export authority Rosoboronexport on issues relating to upgrading the BUK-M1 air defense missile system to the BUK-M1-2 capability.”

  5. The bowtie is obsolete. If Ukraine made their own version, they wouldn’t use bowtie fragments.

    • Liane Theuer // April 14, 2016 at 10:29 pm // Reply

      Why not using bow-ties ?
      Do you think Ukraine made their own version only for the reason to shoot down a civilian airplane ?
      They could have made their own version one or two years before.

      • No, Ukraine did not make their own version. There is no need to. There are plenty of old Soviet missiles that are still usable. If serviced properly they have a very long life span. This is a fundamental difference between consumer production and military production.

        • Deus Abscondis, as I wrote below, the bowtie was introduced against fighters like the a10 Thunderbolt. However experiments proofed they were unnecessary. Consumer production is replacement, military production is upgrading.

  6. The burden of proof is upon the DSB and the Kyiv Research Institute for Forensic Expertise. DSB claims in effect that (1) they did the modification and (2) the modification worked.

    If Ukraine really has upfitted 9M38 missiles with 9N314M warheads then it should be easy for Ukraine to show the finished product and shoot down a drone flying at the same speed and altitude that MH17 was flying to prove that their modification actually works. After all, it is possible for a defense contractor to charge clients for defective products and services.

    While they’re at it, the drone should be a 777, and the missile should be launched from the same distance and relative direction as specified by the DSB.

    This will be a great way to Ukraine and the DSB to prove their story is right, and it would prove beyond a doubt that they really do have competent rocket scientists at Ukroboroprom.

    • sotilaspassi // April 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm // Reply

      Futile to test with 9M38 when the real thing was M1 with 9N314M warhead.

      Do we have proof that Ukraine use old 9M38?
      (In 2005 they contacted A-A to prolong their M1 series lifetime.)

      • “Futile to test with 9M38 when the real thing was M1 with 9N314M warhead.”
        If it wasn’t a 9M38, then there is a problem with the launch site near Pervomaisk.

      • My comment isn’t about testing the alleged 9M38/9N314M combination. It is about testing the credibility of the DSB and the Kyiv Research Institute for Forsensic Expertise.

        This test-that-will-never-happen would either confirm or deny that the 9M38/9N314M combination exists, that it works, and that it replicates accurately the fate of MH17.

        I’ve already made it clear elsewhere on this blog that I seriously doubt that MH17 was downed by either a 9M38/9N314M or a 9M38M1/9N314M. Neither fits what local witnesses say that they saw and heard that afternoon.

  7. Just in the topic “DSB final report doubts: damage of left wing and left engine nacelle” I wrote the answer, and then I saw this topic on the front page. Perhaps it is appropriate to insert here.

    You do not have to make such data as the final truth. Airliner is very easy target, and range of defeat can be much larger.

    Furthermore, these data are included in direct conflict with the calculations of AA in its presentation.


    According to these data, 9M38 missile has great energy capabilities than 9M38M1. This is very important nuance.

    This is why the DSB lingers with the exact type of missile. Because all of the options are bad.

    Rocket 9M38M1 due to a lower speed and larger the angle of inclination at the same distance in the problem of the search starting position shows in the direction of Ukraine. The warhead 9N314 (without bow-tie) also mix the starting point in the direction of Ukraine in calculation.

    Option, which is suitable to accuse pro-Russian forces in the downing MH17 – is a chimera, a missile 9M38 with a warhead 9N314M1.

    However, the manufacturer (AA) states that such an option was never produced. 9M38 missiles are always equipped with a warhead 9N314, and 9M38M1 rocket always with warhead 9N314M1.

    And further, in the Russian missile 9M38 on the application has been removed from service, but still there in the Ukraine.

    • unit0 // April 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm // Reply

      This is important information. I first learned missile 9M38M1 (35 km) can make a longer trajectory than 9M38 (24 km):


      But if the reverse is the case, the forced combination of 9M38 (further to Russian border) and 9N314M (bowties) becomes understandable. Can you please give more clarity?


      • Unfortunately I have not much detail, I judge according to the presentation of AA.

        Range of 24 km for 9M38 shows for a typical target (jet fighter), and can be limited not by the speed of the missile, but guidance systems capabilities.

        For example, it can be set to a range which will capture target by missile guidance system. Improved guidance head at 9M38M1 allows you to capture fighters at greater distances, but when shooting at large as a Boeing 9M38 will not have problems with grip, but thanks to the higher speed will provide greater potential distance.

        I do not know the correct answer, why according to the AA 9M38 have higher speed and shorter-range missiles to intercept targets at typical. But this is possible.

        • unit0, thanks for the answer.

          I think to grasp the following: 9M38 is outdated with inferior software capabilities to catch jet fighters in comparison with 9M38M1. This means 9M38 needs a strong engine and lots of fuel in real fights and their expected reach is limited to about 24 km.

          Modern software in 9M38M1 makes it much easier to catch jet fighters, for example by cutting corners by proportional navigation based on active homing (Line-of-Sight).

          [Proportional navigation is the anticipation of the course of the target by timely adjustment of the direction of the missile. Hence, the missile first has an inactive phase of vertical acceleration of the launch, then an active phase of radar guidance by BUK-TELAR or BUK-TAR (Snowdrift) and in the neighbourhood of the target it uses proportional navigation. Since the proximity fuse is still fed by the radar it must be both systems are working together till the end.]

          In case 9M38 goes straight to the target from Snizhne, as is the case with MH17, it does not spoil any energy and behaves about as effective as a 9M38M1. Then, 9M38 can be placed more to the Russian border with a reach of about 35 km. So the rationale is 9M38M1 still reaches 35 km, but 9M38 also reaches 35 km because of optimal circumstances.

          [The 9M38 missile has a fuel burn time of 15 seconds. After 15 seconds the engine will not provide trust. The 9M38M1 missile has a fuel burn time of 20 seconds.]

          Do we now understand the plot below? No:


          Furthermore, the Ukrainian construct of a 9M38 with a 9N314M warhead is too contrived for Russian use; it is unnecessary and ridiculous and only shows their intellectual failure to spin a BUK-assault from Snizhne by the Russians.

          I think the distance from the south of Snizhne to MH17 at the time of the launch was more than 30 km.


          I think it was about 35 km. So I fear only a 9M38M1 could have done the job from the south of Snizhne. But, as said earlier, this is an impossible scenario. If it was a BUK we must find another launch site more into the direction of MH17. Then it definitely cannot be Russian and it must have been missile 9M38 with warhead 9N314.


  8. Anyone found any proof that Ukraine uses 9M38?
    Almaz-Antey stated Ukraine had ~991 9M38M1 missiles in service in 2005.
    In 2005 Ukraine negotiated about prolonging the use of M1 missiles/systems.

    About warhead…
    I see no difficulty in fitting any similar shape & dimension warhead into BUK missile. Fuse/detonator wiring is not that difficult.
    What I find very challenging is to modify steering so that when launched from “Z” direction, missile would fly towards Snizhne/Torez and then turn towards MH17, to hit cockpit like debris/wreckage shows.

    • To me it would seem the conspiracy (“C1”) studied here is:
      UA BUK with some obsolete missile (WHY??? HOW???), was somewhere around Zaro, then it drove towards Torez/Snizhne and launched against MH17 & drove back.
      -there is no proof of any 9M38 in use in the area (only M1)
      -no-one saw BUK on that area (only around snizhne, at the hands of rebels)
      -no-one saw launch on that area (launch was seen only from snizhne area)

      More likely:
      If all professionals are wrong and bouties and fillers were not used -> no 9M38M1, then it would indicate rebel controlled BUK had some obsolete 9M38 found somewhere and used it to shoot at MH17.

      Or conspiracy “C2”, some special made missile was used with some BUK-like warhead and was launched from anywhere to fly around MH17 and hit it’s cockpit???


      In real life … as long as the only suitable weapon seen in the area was at the hands of rebels at snizhne, how it is possible that they were stupid enough to shoot at jumbo-jet flying 900km/h at 10km altitude?
      It would not make any sense for any attack/transport aircraft to fly that high for some max 50km path to target.
      60 airliners flew above the area before MH17 on 17Jul. No way to not to know there were sivilians in the air.

      Did some rebel commander (Bezler?) do it on purpose, to try to stop the war when they were loosing and to try to stop further killing of local people?
      Were rebels fooled somehow?
      Were they drunk? (<- ok, that was rhethoric guestion)

      • Sotilaspassi:

        [Anyone found any proof that Ukraine uses 9M38?
        Almaz-Antey stated Ukraine had ~991 9M38M1 missiles in service in 2005. In 2005 Ukraine negotiated about prolonging the use of M1 missiles/systems.]


        [More likely: If all professionals are wrong and bouties and fillers were not used -> no 9M38M1 [no 9N314M, sic], then it would indicate rebel controlled BUK had some obsolete 9M38 found somewhere and used it to shoot at MH17.]

        No,9M38 in combination with 9N314 cannot explain category 6 of the albert_lex histogram. That’s why 9N314 is not confirmed. Bellingcat is almost falsified:


        [About warhead… I see no difficulty in fitting any similar shape & dimension warhead into BUK missile. Fuse/detonator wiring is not that difficult.]

        That is to miss the point. If Ukraine had about 991 9M38M1 missiles in service in 2005 then they also must have a lot of warheads 9N314M. Why would they place all warheads 9N314M on old missiles 9M38 and be left with a lot of useless missiles 9M38M1?

        [What I find very challenging is to modify steering so that when launched from “Z” direction, missile would fly towards Snizhne/Torez and then turn towards MH17, to hit cockpit like debris/wreckage shows.]

        This is an amazing view which we can appreciate 🙂 Debris/wreckage does not clearly show how that BUK with positive elevation of 7 degrees can deliver secondary fragments into the left engine. Also the right engine should have been hit. A launch from Snizhne is not confirmed.

        But elsewhere you might have made a point. The launch likely was not from Zaroshchenske but as Eugene earlier postulated in between Z and S. And it likely must have been a lighter SAM with only sorts of squares. That’s the scenario dictated by the corpus delicti and not the other way round by the internet shit and trash of the SBU, JIT and DSB:


        A launch below 50 degrees Azimuth of MH17 likely would target the noise of the plane. A launch from Z. with 72 degrees indeed might hit the right wingtip:


    • “almost” related:
      “2. The Militia need to keep a life-line with Russia open at all costs, but, again, holding static defensive positions against an enemy with control of the airspace is nigh on impossible with only Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) as air-defence. If Russia is still playing the ‘we-are-not-involved’ routine then South Ossetia or Crimea could provide some (as stolen or perhaps as AWOL). One hundred and eighty-nine Ukie military bases were taken over in Crimea. Of these, the 55th Air Defence regiment at Yevpatoriya and 50th regiment at Feodosia had S-300 and Buk-M1 weapons systems. Is this wishful thinking…? I do not know how porous the Crimean border is but we have witnessed one 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher) in Militia hands: where did it come from?”

      • The text you cited was posted on 16 July, 2014. According to this text, by that time the separatists had only MANPADs as their air defence. The author of the text thought that it would have been helpful to get something more powerful, perhaps Buk-M1 from Crimea.
        Thus, if you believe that the separatists had an operative Buk, you should believe in miraculous developments: no sooner had the separatists daydreamed of a Buk then it arrived, the same night (though not from Crimea, if you agree with the Krasnodon-Donetsk-Snezhnoe route theory).


    Passing through the hull with acute angles force cubic fragments to the same behavior. It is not an effect caused by the alignment of squares along the frac speed vector, because perpendicular hits can give diamond impressions.

    It seems the hull forces squares to pass with their sides aligned to the impact direction:


    Anyway it looks like acute angles splendidly strip the categories from any fringe. Just what we need to identify the fragments.

    It might be only squares are brought in line with their front ribs. For bowties a different mechanism might be working.

    Anyway if the histogram of albert_lex gives the real measures of squares, then acute angles bring squares to their ground form without many rotations:


    Then we made amazing progress. Then we could conclude warhead 9N314 from missile 9M38 must be falsified because a rib of 6 mm does not exist and Bellingcat is falsified:


    Also warhead 9N318 from missile 9M317 would be falsified. This because its rib of 6.5 mm cannot be narrower and I guess albert_lex found mostly 6 mm ribs.


    Only the profile with bowties passes the test of the histogram of albert_lex. But there can be more warheads passing the test. But I think we must conclude 9N314M is the only warhead not falsified by this histogram:


    Remember, though the width of the rib cannot be narrower than 8.2 mm for bowties and fillers, it is allowed for little squares with the biggest share in ribs of 8 mm.

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