Kinzhal hypersonic missile was used in Ukraine, Russia says

MOSCOW, ($1=107.50 Russian Rubles) — The head of the press service and information department of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Major General Igor Yevgenyevich Konashenkov, said that Russia used “Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles,” during airstrikes.

Kinzhal hypersonic missile was used in Ukraine, Russia says
Photo credit: YouTube

According to Konashenkov, Russia’s armed forces used the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal [Dagger in English] to destroy a “large underground warehouse” containing “missiles and aviation ammunition” in the village of Delyatin. The attack on the “big underground warehouse” took place on Friday, March 18th. The Ukrainian village of Delyatin has located just over 600 km from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

The speech of Major General Igor Evgenievich Konashenkov was published in the Telegram channel of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. The news about the use of the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile is shared by many media around the world, including several US media [NBC for example], but so far no one, including, can confirm the truth of the allegations.

Various multimedia materials are being spread in the Russian media, including a video that is said to have captured the flight of the hypersonic rocket. However, it should be noted that most of the Russian media do not confirm that the video is in any way related to the Dagger hypersonic missile.

MiG-31K with installed Kinzhal hypersonic missile lands in Kaliningrad
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Hypersonic missile Kh-47M2 Kinzhal

Modernized by the Iskandar tactical missile system, the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal [Kinzhal is a Dagger in English] is an air-launched ballistic missile [ALBM] with nuclear capacity. The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal entered the inventory of the Russian Air Force in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1, 2018.

It can perform maneuvers on a slope during a missile flight, which has a maximum range of 2 thousand kilometers. The missile, which weighs 480 kilograms, can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads. The missile can be launched from MiG-31K interceptors, upgraded by MiG-31BM or Tu-22M3 bombers.

MiG-31K with installed Kinzhal hypersonic missile lands in Kaliningrad
Photo credit: South Front

According to the characteristics provided by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Kh-47M2 Kinzhal can fly at a maximum speed between Mach 10 and Mach 12. The missile has an integrated inertial navigation system [INS] with the possibility of adjustments from GLONASS, remote control, and optical homing system.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Ukraine 'uses' 30 US fighters, incl F-35 and AWACS in the war
Photo credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law throughout Ukraine. Air raid sirens were heard throughout Ukraine for most of the day. Ukraine’s ICT infrastructure has already deteriorated as a result of Russian cyber-attacks and bombardments. Several Ukrainian cities or buildings have been occupied, including the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

However, per a US defence official, Russians forces are “meeting more resistance” in advance towards Kyiv “than they expected”; a statement repeated by James Heappey, Britain’s current Minister for the Armed Forces the next day.


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