How likely a field will catch fire after a missile launch

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The believe of some  is a field south of Snizhne caught fire after a BUK missile was launched.

While for the layman it might look logical a field is set in fire , this is not a fact as far as I know. As we cannot investigate based on assumptions we need a solid proof.

As soon as the missile is ignited, it will be only a few milliseconds before it starts to move. A lot of airpressure is generated which causes grass, wheat etc to flatten. Think about moving a match very fast along a candle wick. Will it be set on fire?

I could not find a video showing a BUK launch which set the field on fire. It does not make sense for a BUK crew to launch from a field if the field is set on fire.

This is a video made by a Russia Today crew in Eastern Ukraine. It shows a GRAD launcher. At the end of the video the grass in on fire.


Photo of BM-27 Uragan after missiles launch — a big hole in the ground, molten sand and no burnt grass:

Here a video of BUK missile launches. Lots of dust, but I cannot spot fire. The launch location is Kapustin Yar. Northeast of  Kapustin Yar there is an area which is used for BUK training.

Maybe you can find other launches here which set the field on fire.


Below some videos showing launches of other types of missiles.

Use the comments for your thoughts.




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21 Comments on How likely a field will catch fire after a missile launch

  1. sotilaspassi // July 21, 2016 at 6:57 am // Reply

    “I could not find a video showing a BUK launch which set the field on fire.”

    IMO: that can be because on 90% of trainings are performed in safe locations, where it is ensured no fire is ignited.

    But there are things like all oxygen being exhausted by rocket flame and that extinguish material that otherwise would start to burn.

    Surely the heat of the flame is ~thousand degrees, so, fire is possible.

    “It does not make sense for a BUK crew to launch from a field if the field is set on fire.”
    I agree. It would be silly, especially for solo TELAR. If missile #1 misses, or enemy is not alone, they need to be able to launch again.

    But it could be that BUK was safely on some narrow field road and the fire started on the field nearby, not under the BUK.

    (but whatever, anyway the burned field is not evidence of BUK on that field, only a possibility of BUK being one of the options causing the fire. After they found out AN26 was actually Boeing777, they might want to try to hide the rocket fire scorched ground by igniting bigger fire.)

    • Mr.Bushkin // July 21, 2016 at 8:22 am // Reply

      Indeed, it largely depends on the field.

    • I agree with you that training launches are usually set up to create minimum damage, through fire or otherwise, and for good reason.

      Setting the field ablaze after hitting the wrong target seems to be one of those Bellingcat-inspired behaviour, typical of Vodka-intoxicated Vatniks. This would have done nothing to clear the track marks of a 35-t vehicle. Much better would it have been to flee across the border into safety, before anyone else noticed; rather than taking the Buk on a sightseeing tour through Lugansk

      • Hugh Eaven // July 22, 2016 at 5:12 am // Reply

        Do you have a safer or faster alternative route in mind for that “35-t vehicle”? Towards the south border there were I think still Ukrainian troops fighting (isolated).

        • sotilaspassi // July 22, 2016 at 7:11 am // Reply

          I think “rebels” were in panic after 298 innocent bodies scattered in fields.

          -driving BUK directly to RU via Marinovka was not safe option.
          -taking BUK to RU via eastern crossing would seem safe
          -taking BUK via Luhansk (the tour route) is not safe option
          -going below “overpasses” is not simple if BUK crew is not with the low-loader taking BUK down from low-loader and back if needed.
          -maskirovska way, idea to hide the device under the other BUK scrap metal from Luhansk base??

          • Stanislav // July 22, 2016 at 9:56 pm //

            In a panic? Are you serious? Then explain to yourself the next fact why the separatists are quickly found and handed over to Malaysia both intact and serviceable black boxes from downed Boeing? Recording black boxes contain 100% proof of their guilt. They are idiots?
            When you start solid rocket engines of such missiles as Beech from the nozzle breaks very strong impact a jet of gas which cuts the ground. To set fire to the grass it can not. Previous rocket launchers Neva even had a special reflectors that were installed in order to prevent a roll-over installation during the launch. Grad fires that we see for the installation of the Grad is very simply explained: it is a system of volley fire in which light missiles are produced one by one. That is, the phase of combustion for the installation of Hail that reaches the soil surface exceeds the phase of Beech (long burning in one place), therefore fire is more likely.
            In addition to the release of soil and heat trace all of the closest territory is polluted by combustion products and unburned particles of propellant.
            Because of this, the Ukrainian military special two days in a row has launched a some heavy rockets with the same engine in the area of the crash MH17. In so doing, they concealed the true location of the launch rocket that hit Boeing (because to clean the earth of these traces is quite impossible).
            How do you manage not to see such obvious things?

      • sotilaspassi // July 22, 2016 at 7:04 am // Reply

        Sure, it does not clear track marks. Just makes harder to see launch marks from the air.

  2. Mr.Bushkin // July 21, 2016 at 8:42 am // Reply

    There must be at least plenty of dust (and rests of vegetation) in the air, which may prevent a fire on the ground or extinguish it afterwards:

  3. RT video is strange – fire was started from another direction and too far from grad system, fast grown for limited space and not to go to other places with dry grass. More like it was set fire by gasoline for more dramatic news report.

  4. Asked guys from (there are many donbass militia and military people). Several people have confirmed what rocket systems can cause fire at position.

    Bonus video with Strela-10 cause fire on the dry grass field (at the end operator scream about fire and show it):

    Bonus photos with BM-27 Uragan:

    • sotilaspassi // July 21, 2016 at 10:46 am // Reply

      “Bonus video with”

      Good find, thanks.

      • How many collateral damage for an alleged Russian drone! Now imagine those same guys were believing to fire at Putin’s plane, and 298 innocent lives become plausible “collateral damage”

        • sotilaspassi // July 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm // Reply

          “collateral damage for an alleged Russian drone”
          Did not understand. But surely those drones are done by miners or farmers at Donbas?

          Anyway, those dudes burning (almost) their SAM launcher because of a drone, one would never give a BUK I think. 😉
          (BUK operating seem to require half brain or more)

          • Liane Theuer // July 24, 2016 at 9:03 am //

            “Anyway, those dudes burning (almost) their SAM launcher because of a drone, one would never give a BUK I think. ?
            (BUK operating seem to require half brain or more”)

            sotilaspassi, may I remind you that the Ukrainian army has fired a Buk on a drone in Kramatorsk. Even the OSCE has noted that.

          • >>Liane Theuer

            Video of Ukraine BUK fired at separatists drone in Kramatorsk:

          • sotilaspassi // July 25, 2016 at 6:03 am //

            “BUK fired at separatists drone”
            (+ thank you for interesting video, I’ll look deep in it, nice for further reverse engineering BUK guidance logic)

            Russia/rebels hit Kramatorsk with cluster bombs armed Smerc/Uragan rockets and use drones for targeting and damage analysis. Use of BUK vs a drone is a very extreme measure. UA must have be pretty desperate to stop further attacks.

          • sotilaspassi // July 25, 2016 at 6:21 am //

            Looks like:
            0:12 launch, unguided
            0:18 TELAR controlled curve towards target is started (the drone was flying very high, above 6km)
            0:26 TELAR corrects direction, missile try to see the target
            0:28 misile detects echo from target, enters proportional navigation by received radar signal
            0:30 detonation

          • Just for curiousity:

            How many eye-witnesses reported this BUK launch on social networks etc?

            Did someone investigate?

  5. Another BM-27 Uragan example, now from satellite image:

    Position: 47.5995945, 38.4928322

    • sotilaspassi // July 22, 2016 at 7:15 am // Reply

      Moving the precious device via field road, fire from field road, able to move fast, no risk of getting stuck on mud, no risk of fire around your HW, smart.

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