Facts: What we know about the Russian hypersonic Kinjal missile

Russia fired Kinjal hypersonic missiles at Kiev on Tuesday, Ukraine said it shot down all six missiles, and Russia claimed one of them passed air defenses to destroy a US Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system.

Neither claim has been verified, but here are some key facts about Kinjal, which means “dagger” in Russian:

A ballistic missile launched from the air and capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads. Ukraine said it shot down six of them on Tuesday.

It has a range of 1,500 to 2,000 km (930 to 1,240 miles) while carrying a payload of 480 kg. It may reach speeds of Mach 10 (12,250 km/h).

Kinjal is one of six “next generation” weapons unveiled by President Vladimir Putin in a speech in March 2018. He said these weapons can penetrate both existing missile defense systems and any future missile defense systems.

– Putin said in December 2021, two months before the invasion of Ukraine, that Russia is the world leader in hypersonic missiles, and by the time other countries catch up, it will likely have developed technology to counter these new weapons.

“In our advanced developments, we are definitely the leaders,” he said.

Military analysts said that Russia sent fighter jets armed with Kinjal missiles to Syria for the first time in 2021.

– The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have fired a Kinjal missile at an ammunition depot in southwestern Ukraine on March 19, 2022, the first known use of this weapon in combat. Since then, Kinjal missiles have been fired on several other occasions in Ukraine.

On May 6, Ukraine said for the first time that it had shot down a Kinjal missile using the Patriot system. It was not clear if the “Western” systems that Kiev said it used against Kinjal on Tuesday were also Patriot systems.

Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Written by rfrfx

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