What weapon could have downed MH17

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On this page I will provide an overview of which weapon could be used for downing MH17. This post will be updated later.

  1. a cannon fired by a fighter aircraft
  2. an air to air (A2A) missile
  3. a surface to air missile (SAM)

Lets start with the A2A missiles. There are numerous types of missiles. Most are heat seeking. Once launched the fly towards heat of the target. In all cases the engines.

The missile has a warhead. Several types of warhead exists. Looking at the damage of MH17 the warhead must have exploded near its target. Such weapon is called a fragmentation blast. There are severall types of fragments used. Continious rod is the most used. It uses small strips of metal. The strips are about 20 cm in size and can be attached to eachother forming a circle. The radius of the circle is about 3 meter.The effect can be compared to a wristwatch. The image below shows the rod

The image below shows the damage of a continiuos rod. The effect is like cutting metal with a pair of  scissors. 


Air to Air missile 

The image below shows the damage of an air to air missile. Some missiles with a high explosive warhead are AA-6, 9, 11


This is damage done by a Russian Air to Air missile which shot down a Korean Airlines Boeing 707. The aircraft made an emergency landing at a frozen lake.

Surface to Air missile 

There are various conflicts in which Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) were used against enemy aircraft:

1. The Vietnam war

2. The Cuba crisis

3. The Balkan war

4. The Gulf War.

Also SAM were used against civil aircraft. An Iran Air A300 was destroyed by the US Navy by accident. A Siberia Airlines Tu154 was shot down by Ukraine forces using a S-200 also by accident. A DHL freighter aircraft was hit by a MANPAD after takeoff from Baghdad airport.

during the Gulf War an US Air Force A10 was hit by a SAM. This is the damage.

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This are bullets used in aircraft cannons. These are three different bullets.

At the Cuba  Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 an American U2 was shot down by Cuba forces by   a Soviet-supplied S-75 Dvina (NATO designation SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missile near Banes, Cuba. The pictures below show the damage.



The photos shown below display the damage done to a Siberia Airlines Tupolev 154 passenger aircraft. It was destroyed by a Ukraine S-200 surface to air missile by mistake in 2001.

_1586787_150_bullets_afp BxP68 CAXndOwUcAAp66z IVFUy s-200-damage s-200-damage-1

Cannon damage

This photo shows the damage of a 30mm cannon of a A-10 aircraft. The A-10 main role is to destroy tanks. Just like the SU-25. The image is part of an album full of photos showing damage to tanks. See the album here.

Here another image of 30mm damage

Spreng- (OFZ), Aufschlag/Zerleg- (ME) und panzerbrechende Munition mit Leuchtspur (BT)

This is an image of 30mm Rarden cannon round. Similar to A10 ammonition.


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1 Comment on What weapon could have downed MH17

  1. George N. Teichrib // February 7, 2016 at 6:12 am // Reply

    I like when people use my photographs in their internet articles or web sites. I took the photo of the shrapnel damage wing of the U2, with the “FUEL ONLY WITH” decal, at the Museo del Aire, in Havana, Cuba, in 2002.
    However, please extend me the courtesy of crediting this photo to my name.
    George N. Teichrib
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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