A Malaysia passenger airliner MH17 that crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border was shot down by missile, say reports. The passenger plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
The tragic accident comes after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March earlier this year.
American intelligence agencies have confirmed that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. According to US officials, a radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before Malaysian airliner MH17 was shot down. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official added.
Was BuK surface-to-surface missile used for shooting down the plane?
Rebel groups in eastern Ukraine said to have been shooting at Government planes and helicopters using short-range surface-to-air missiles. But, as put by experts, such rockets could probably not reach a plane flying at height of 33,000 feet. This strengthen the fact that Thursday's attack might have been carried out by a vehicle-mounted Russian-built Buk missile system. Ukrainian authorities have also said the rebels recently obtained Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missiles.
Buk missiles were codenamed as "Grizzly" by Nato
What are Buk missiles?
Buk-M1 surface-to-surface missile, a tactical battlefield system that has the range to claw a civilian airliner out of the sky. It was codenamed "Grizzly" by Nato and developed by the USSR in the 1970s to shoot down cruise and other missiles. Over period of time, it has gone through many redesigns and upgrades. Ukrainian forces also use it.
The Buk is a radar-guided missile, so it could quite possibly have been launched without any eyeballing of the target. It was used by both sides in the Russian-Georgia war in 2008, with Georgia using it to down four Russian aircraft.
Developed by USSR
The Buk missile system is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by USSR in 1970's.
Designed to fight cruise missiles
These are designed to fight cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
New incarnation soon
The latest incarnation 'Buk-M3' is scheduled for production.
Successor to the SA-6 "Gainful"
The Buk missile system is the successor to the SA-6 "Gainful"