The black box from the Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber downed by Turkey has been damaged, said Nikolai Primak, head of the Defense Ministry incident investigation group, at a briefing where the box was opened, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.
“We can see that on the upper plate, three of the eight microchips have clearly been damaged. That tells us, as one can see, that the flight information in them is missing,” Primak said.
Ministry officials explained the damages by saying that the black box was stored in the jet's rear part, where the Turkish rocket hit, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
All memory blocks from the black box will be sent to the laboratory for fluoroscopy studies to check if they have been damaged too, the agency said.
Experts from China and India were present when the box was opened. Ministry official Sergey Dronov told Interfax that experts from 14 countries had been invited, but most of them refused to participate.
Experts from China, United States and Britain will observe the black box data decryption process, Dronov said, RIA Novosti reported.
The final results of the decryption are scheduled to be published on Dec. 21, Defense Ministry officials said at the briefing.
In late November, a Russian Su-24 military plane was downed by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16 interceptor near the Turkish-Syrian border. While the plane's two pilots ejected, one was reportedly killed by local rebels during his descent. The other pilot was rescued by Russian and Syrian military.