Russia details use of hypersonic missiles in Ukraine — Analysis

The hardware has demonstrated its “outstanding qualities,” the defense minister has said

According to Sergey Shoigu, Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu, three Kinzhal hypersonic rockets were successfully launched by Russian forces during conflict in Ukraine.

Missile “has been used by us on three occasions during the special military operation [in Ukraine]. And it showed its outstanding qualities on three occasions, qualities that no other similar missile in the world possesses,”Shoigu spoke to Russia 1 TV Sunday.

Russian hypersonic, air-to surface missile Kinzhal (or Dagger) was introduced in 2017. The Kinzhal (or Dagger) is a Russian hypersonic air-to-surface missile that can travel at Mach 12 (around 14.800kph). It also performs continuous evasive maneuvers which allow it to penetrate existing air defenses. The nuclear-capable munition can be launched by the country’s Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31 interceptor aircraft.

Mid-March saw the Defense Ministry report the firing of Kinzhal missiles, stating that it had destroyed an arsenal near Ivano-Frankovsk in west Ukraine. The hypersonic weapon was used for the first time in combat.

Russia fires hypersonic missiles in Ukraine

This missile, one of many hypersonic systems that the Russian military has developed in recent years is also equipped with Avangard gliders and silo-based ICBMs. It will be used by Navy.

Shoigu also expanded on the deployment of Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets in the conflict in Ukraine, saying the plane, which entered into service in the Air Force in 2020, “has a very high degree of protection against various air defense systems; it has protection against missiles. There are a lot of things… most importantly, it also has very powerful weapons.”

“We’ve also tested these weapons, tried them out – they work perfectly,”He noted.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. These protocols, which were brokered by France and Germany, were signed for first time in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

Russia moves hypersonic missile-armed jets

In February 2022 the Kremlin acknowledged the Donbass republics to be independent states. They demanded Ukraine declare its neutrality and refuse any Western military alliances. Kiev claims that the Russian offensive wasn’t provoked.

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