We agree that a BUK launch vehicle can operate in stand-alone mode
No, we don't agree on that, An early version BUK TELAR (M1 model without phased array radar) such as the one used to bring down MH-17, would work in stand alone mode in the same manner as an infantry soldier would function while blind, sure, he can shoot towards sounds but he's not likely to hit anything. A BUK without a search radar is in more or less the same position.
In addition to that, though, that radar can be operated in a target-detection mode, allowing it to autonomously (i.e. launch vehicle only) engage targets that are present in the radar's forward field of view.
Wrong, there is no such thing as "target detection mode" for a pencil beam target tracking radar such as an M1 BUK TELAR. An operator can scan the sky blindly looking for returns which he is unlikely to find, and someone can label this futile activity "autonomous mode" or "target detection mode" if they want, but that dog won't hunt.
I'll take it to another level of technical detail, let me explain that when radars emit pulses from their antennas, the pulses are seen to have a shape. Because of the physical shape of their antennas, search radars emit a pulse that is less focused than a tracking radar's pulse, it is elongated in the vertical component, this is done so that it can spot targets at any altitude. A tracking radar, sends out a conical beam which is focused as tightly as possible so as to maximize the precision of target location. A search radar display screen CRT uses phosphors that retain their glow for a longer period of time (in milliseconds) so that the operator does not miss a faint target; a tracking radar screen is made with instant on/off phosphors so as to reflect instantaneous changes in the return (in modern flat screens this effect is mimicked with software.) The BUK search radar has an effective range of at least a hundred miles, because it is necessary for someone looking for targets to see things that are beyond the range of the site; the BUK tracking radar's range is limited to about 20 miles, because that's the max range of the missile. So if you attempted to find a target with the tracking radar it would probably be gone by the time you discovered it and got locked on (if you discovered it).
A tracking radar cannot be used as a search radar, end of story.
In addition to that, though, that radar can be operated in a target-detection mode, allowing it to autonomously (i.e. launch vehicle only) engage targets that are present in the radar's forward field of view. This mode was introduced as a consequence of the system's performance in the 1982 Lebanon War; it bypasses the safety features of the main radar. Thus a TELAR, alone in the field, with limited IFF capability (that extended function exists in the command vehicle with the search radar) is aiming at targets without full knowledge of what that target is.
A couple of points here, the first is the architectural design of the BUK system did not come about because of experience in the 1982 conflict. It came about because by 1982 anti-radiation missiles were in the inventory of everybody in the west, so a Soviet ally having an AD system with search and tracking functions in one location was a guaranteed point of failure. Thus, they split the tracking job away from the search function, and put the tracking radar on the mobile launchers and considered them expendable. My other point is that this subject if IFF is a moot point. IFF almost certainly wasn't used on 17 July 2014, even with the command module in operation. Military use of IFF isn't done the way the public thinks it is, but that's another story.
Here is another person who agrees that it is very possible (he believes it is almost certain) that the BUK TELAR was in operation without its control module: http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com ... down-mh17/
That is a much more researched and detailed description that I can offer here. However, it does point out in pertinent detail:
That is a compilation and attempted explanation of technical information by someone who is a writer but who is not well versed in the field he is writing about. The host of the site that presented it admits that the piece came from an unverified source he included in his introduction:I decided to keep the information on this page as long as it is unproved the information is incorrect.
There are a number of factual errors in the description of the BUK system, I'm not going to go into detail picking it apart but I categorically say that the writer didn't understand his subject matter. I encourage you to research the BUK system if you're going to continue expressing opinions on it, but I suggest that you find better sources. Wikipedia is not bad but it does not mention IFF at all, yet as I said, that is unimportant anyway.
I am waiting for evidence - not someone's dogma to convince me.
The fact that you so far are unable to understand what I'm saying doesn't make it dogma.
I have presented valid and accurate technical evidence.