Business New Europe: Last minutes of MH17 flight not recorded by Nato Awacs spy planes

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) The last minutes of the MH17 flight downed over East Ukraine July 17 were not recorded by NATO Awacs “eye in the sky” planes, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel. As a result, the German government has no “certain knowledge” that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, the government said in a response seen by Der Spiegel to a question from the left-wing party Die Linke.

Two Airborne Warning & Control System (Awacs) planes were flying over Poland and Romania at the time of the disaster, and had the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane on their radar until 30 minutes before the plane was downed, when the MH17 left the area under Awacs surveillance, according to the German government response to a question from Die Linke.

Both Awacs planes did register signals from an air defence missile system as well as from another unidentified radar system, according to the report by Der Spiegel.

The air defence missile system was automatically classified as the surface-air system SA-3, which is a “a signal routinely captured across the entire region,” according to the German government response.

The government said it could provide information about radio communication recordings captured. “Such information on any recordings can only be provided by the Dutch accident investigation authorities,” the government response said, referring to ICAO guidelines.

“The federal government has no information about whether the MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine, and in particular by what party to the conflict it was shot down,” Alexander Neu, an MP for Die Linke, said. “But it has made accusations on the basis of wild speculation, wishful thinking and especially political interests against Russia,” he said.

The interim report by Dutch investigators is due to be published today.