Ausführliche Analyse (26 Seiten pdf, englisch)
Public statement by The Russian Union of Engineers
Analysis of the reasons for the crash of flight MH17 (Malaysian Boeing-777)
A group of experts from the Russian Union of Engineers was gathered to analyze the situation. The expert group included retired AA officers, who had combat experience with surface-to-air missile systems, as well as pilots experienced in using air-to-air weapons. The problem was also discussed at the meeting of the Academy of Geopolitical Affairs, where many different versions were tested and discussed once again. In the course of the analysis, the experts used materials received from open sources published in mass media. The situation was also analyzed with the help of the Su-25 aircraft flight simulator.
Thus, based on the opinion of the analysts of the Russian Union of Engineers, a complex shooting down of the Boeing 777 airplane has taken place, both by a short-range air-to-air guided missile and a 30-mm aircraft cannon or a SPPU-22 container with the 2-barreled Gsh23-L cannon. Furthermore, a laser rangefinder or a laser aiming device could have been used when firing the target, which allowed to significantly increase the shooting accuracy. This conclusion can be made from the nature of damage and the fragment distribution: there are both circular holes, which are usually caused by cannon fire, and explosive damage, which indicates a missile with arrow-type submunition.
Based on the considerations stated above, the following conclusions can be made:
9.1. Regarding to the circumstances of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash.
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was conducting the flight Amsterdam-Kuala-Lumpur, on 17.07.2014, according to the tunnel set by the air traffic controllers. It is most probable that manual steering was offline and the airplane was flying in autopilot mode, performing horizontal flight following the route which was laid out on the ground and adjusted by Ukrainian air traffic controllers.
At 17.17–17.20 the Boeing 777 was in Ukrainian airspace, in Donetsk area, at the altitude of 10100m. An unidentified fighter aircraft (presumably Su-25 or MiG-29), which was previously at a lower echelon, on a head-on course in a layer of clouds, ascended rapidly, unexpectedly emerging in front of the passenger plane out of the clouds and opened fire at the control cabin (cockpit), using 30mm or smaller cannon armament. The targeting could have been performed not only by the pilot of a fighter aircraft in “free hunt” conditions (using the aircraft radar), but also by a navigation officer on the ground, using the airspace data received from ground-based radars.
The cockpit of the airliner was damaged in the result of numerous rounds hitting the aircraft fuselage. The control cabin was depressurized, which caused the instant death of the crew, due to mechanical influences and decompression. The attack was quite unexpected and lasted only a fraction of a second. Due to the surprise situation, the crew was unable to give any alarm signals intended for such situations, as the flight was following its scheduled route and the attack was unexpected for everyone.
As neither the engines, nor the hydraulic system, nor other devices crucial to the continuation of the flight, were set out of operation, the Boeing 777 continued its horizontal flight in autopilot mode (which is a standard situation), perhaps gradually losing altitude.
After that, the pilot of the unidentified fighter aircraft maneuvered and repositioned himself into the rear hemisphere of the Boeing 777. He entered an engagement course, performed the targeting using onboard target tracking equipment, and launched a R-60 or R-73 air-to-air missile (one or multiple).
As a result of the missile impact, the entire cabin was depressurized, the flight control system was incapacitated, the autopilot was switched off, the plane ceased its horizontal flight and went into a tail-spin. The created g-forces caused a mechanical disruption of the airframe at high altitude.
As indicated by the available flight recorder data, the plane fell apart in the air, but this is possible mainly in the case of vertical falling from a ~10000m altitude, which can typically happen only in a case of exceeding the maximum allowed g-force. As a rule, such a tail-spin can be explained by the inability of the crew to control the airplane as a result of some emergency case in the cabin and subsequent instant depressurization of the cockpit and passenger compartment. The destruction of the airplane took place at a high altitude, which explains the fact that the wreckage of the plane was dissimilated over a territory over 15 km².