General designer of Su-25 says aircraft couldn’t have shot down MH17
Malaysian airlines Flight MH17 could not have been shot down by an Su-25 attack aircraft, the chief designer of the Su-25, Vladimir Babak, said in an interview on Tuesday with German media companies NDR and WDR, and with newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
"The Su-25 could attack a Boeing at a height of three or four thousand meters, but it can’t shoot down a plane flying at an altitude of 10,500 meters," he said.
According to Babak, he was engaged in the construction of this attack aircraft for about 30 years.
"Our team has designed this plane so that it can be used only at low and medium altitudes," he said.
"The aircraft can briefly rise to high altitude, but in order to destroy the Boeing, which at the time of the disaster broke apart in the air, there would have to have been heavy missiles on the Su-25," Babak said.
"Air-to-air missiles could only cause damage to the Malaysian aircraft, but they could not lead to what happened," he said.
"Many more factors indicate that the Boeing 777 was hit by a ground-to-air missile that was launched from a Buk missile system," Babak said.
"I believe that all allegations of the Su-25 involvement in the tragedy are an attempt to cover tracks. I can’t explain it in any other way. We do not understand how a Su-25 could shoot down a Boeing," he added.
As reported earlier, the version of the possible involvement of the Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft into the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which led to the deaths of 298 passengers and crew members, was spread by Russia’s General Staff.
However, the Ukrainian authorities believe that the Malaysian plane was shot down by a powerful Buk-M anti-aircraft missile, which Ukraine says was supplied to anti-government militants from the Russian Federation.
A large amount of circumstantial evidence, including photos and videos of the Buk system in Ukraine, interviews with witnesses who saw the system in the area where the shooting down of MH17 occurred, alleged tape recordings of militants reacting to news of the shooting down of MH17, and tweets and postings by militants on social media, strongly indicate that the plane was indeed shot down by a Buk system operated either by the militants or Russian servicemen.
According to some of the evidence, the militants or Russians shot down MH17 by mistake, thinking that they had in fact attacked a large Ukrainian military transport plane.
The Dutch investigation team investigating the crash of MH17 is expected to issue its final report in October.