Two days ago, on July 14, Julian Röpcke, a journalist and analyst from the German newspaper Bild, tweeted on his Twitter microblog, accusing the Armenian Air Defense of aiming at a civilian airliner. However, the German journalist’s claim does not correspond to reality.
On July 14, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia released a video entitled “The Downing of an Azerbaijani Elbit Hermes 900 UAV”. In the beginning of the video, one can see how the air defense system targets an aerial vehicle, and then one can see the downing of the aerial vehicle.
Publishing the shots on his Twitter page, the German journalist wrote: “If you claim to have downed a drone, don’t show a two-engine narrow-body civilian airliner being aimed at by your air defense system.”
The Fact Investigation Platform checked whether the aerial vehicle (aimed at by the Air Defense) that can be seen at the beginning of the video could be a civilian aircraft.
In the first seconds of the video published by the Armenian Ministry of Defense, the convex (higher) head section of the aircraft is visible.
It should be noted that there is only one civil aircraft in the world with a convex head, the Boeing 747, which, however, unlike the “two-engine narrow-body aircraft” described by the German journalist, is a wide-body aircraft, and has four (and not two) engines.
In other words, there is no civilian aircraft that would have the “body” of the aerial vehicle that can be seen in the video. Moreover, it does not take much effort to find out that the only aerial vehicle in the armament of Azerbaijan, which has a similar bulge in the head, is the Elbit Hermes 900.
Besides, the German journalist describes the protruding concavity at the bottom of the aircraft as the turbine engines of a civilian aircraft, which the Elbit Hermes 900 does not have.
However, it should be noted that the Elbit Hermes 900 aerial vehicle can carry a payload of up to 350 kg, in particular, the reconnaissance equipment attached to the bottom section (radar, spectrometer, camera, etc.). Without reconnaissance or combat payload, the combat flight of an aerial vehicle would be senseless. What we see in the video is probably such a “payload”.
Thus, the claim of the German journalist Julian Röpcke that the Air Defense of Armenia targeted a civilian airliner does not correspond to reality. Moreover, the analysis of the video demonstrates that the “body” of the aerial vehicle is that of the Elbit Hermes 900.