Terrifying security footage has emerged showing the moment two Iranian missiles hit and brought down a Ukrainian aircraft, killing 176 people on board.

The missiles were launched from an Iranian military site about 13km from the plane on January 8.

In a video obtained by The New York Times, a first missile can be seen gunning towards Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 before hitting its target and setting off a bright light in the night sky.

According to the Times, the first missile disabled the plane's transponder.

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Footage captures the second strike hitting the already damaged plane just 23 seconds later.

The plane is then seen on fire while pilots attempted to circle back towards Teheran's international airport.

But just minutes later, the plane explodes and plunges to the ground, narrowly avoiding the village of Khalaj Abad.

The new video was filmed by a camera on the roof of a building near the village of Bidkaneh, 6.5km from an Iranian military site.

Terrifying security footage has emerged showing the moment two Iranian missiles hit and brought down a Ukranian aircraft that killed 176 people on board. Photo / New York Times
Terrifying security footage has emerged showing the moment two Iranian missiles hit and brought down a Ukranian aircraft that killed 176 people on board. Photo / New York Times
This is the moment the plane comes crashing down after being shot by two missiles. Photo / New York Times
This is the moment the plane comes crashing down after being shot by two missiles. Photo / New York Times

Late last week Iran said its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian jetliner after the government had repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible.

A military statement carried by state media said the plane was mistaken for a "hostile target" after it turned toward a "sensitive military centre" of the Revolutionary Guard.

The military was at its "highest level of readiness," it said, amid the heightened tensions with the United States.

Debris at the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. Photo / AP
Debris at the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. Photo / AP

"In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit," the statement said.

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It apologised for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such "mistakes" in the future.

It also said those responsible for the strike on the plane would be prosecuted.