The air-launched ballistic missile can reach speeds of up to Mach 10 and is capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads.
Ukraine says it shot down a Russian hypersonic missile in the capital Kyiv using a newly acquired missile. US Patriot defense system for the first time capable of intercepting one of Moscow’s most modern weapons.
Kinzhal missile is one of the most advanced and latest Russian weapons. The country’s military says the air-launched ballistic missile has a range of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles) and travels at 10 times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept.
The combination of supersonic speed and heavy warhead allow Kinzhal to destroy fortified targets, such as underground bunkers or mountain tunnels.
“I congratulate the Ukrainian people on this historic event. Yes, we shot down the ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oeshchuk said in a Telegram post on Saturday. “It happened during the night attack on May 4 in the sky over the Kiev region.”
This is the first time Ukraine has used the Patriot missile defense system.
Oeshchuk said the Kh-47 was launched from Russian territory by a MiG-31K aircraft and was shot down with a single Patriot missile. The Ukrainian military has previously admitted to lacking the means to intercept hypersonic weapons.
The Kinzhal, which means “dagger” in Russian, was one of six “next-generation” weapons unveiled by President Vladimir Putin in 2018 when the Russian leader boasted that it could not be shot down by any air defense system in the world.
The air-launched ballistic missile can reach speeds of up to Mach 10 (12,350 km/h) and is capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads.
Thursday’s airstrike comes a day after Russia accused Ukraine of failing. plot to assassinate Putin in a drone strike on the Kremlin citadel in Moscow and threatened retaliation.
Since then, Moscow has accused Washington of involvement in allegations denied by both Ukraine and the United States.
Ukraine received the first batch of Patriot missiles at the end of April. It did not specify how many systems or where they were deployed, but they are known to have been deployed. provided by the USGermany and the Netherlands.
Germany and the United States admitted to sending at least one system, and the Netherlands said it had supplied two, although it is unclear how many are currently in operation.
The Ukrainian military has received extensive training necessary to effectively locate targets with systems, lock targets with radar, and fire. Each panel requires up to 90 personnel to operate and maintain.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said he first requested the Patriot system when he visited the US in August 2021, months before the full-scale invasion of Russia but seven years after illegal Moscow. annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
He described owning the system as “a dream” but said US officials told him at the time that it was impossible.
Patriot was first deployed by the US in the 1980s. According to analysts, the system costs about $4 million per missile, and the launchers cost $10 million each.
At such a cost, many assume that Ukraine will only use Patriot against Russian aircraft or hypersonic missiles.
The Patriot system is one of a series of sophisticated air defense units supplied by the West to help Ukraine repel a months-long Russian air campaign against critical infrastructure, energy facilities and other military assets. other location.
Hundreds of civilians were killed in attacks that Russia stepped up in October before winter. The attacks do not cripple the grid but cause power outages and other blackouts. Russia denies targeting civilians.
The Ukrainian Air Force on Saturday said it had shot down eight aircraft Shahed-136 made by Iran Russian-launched drones hit the eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine in an overnight attack.