According to Bloomberg, Russia claimed to have used a hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile for the first time during the three-week invasion of Ukraine, demolishing a military bunker in the country’s southern area.
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (also known as “dagger”) hypersonic missile targeted an underground storehouse carrying rockets and ammunition in the hamlet of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk area on Friday, according to Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Igor Konashenkov during a daily briefing.
In the early hours, Ukraine said it had received no reports of a Russian strike on the military site, and it did not immediately respond to Russia’s claim. There has also been no mention of explosions on social media, despite the fact that striking a “large subterranean” ammo storage facility would be audible for miles around.
Using the Kinzhal would be the first time a hypersonic missile has been employed in such a manner; the missile travels at Mach 10 speeds (or around 7,672 mph) and has an unpredictable flight path, making it extremely difficult to shoot down even the most powerful missile defense systems.
Unconfirmed video of what seems to be the Kinzhal has surfaced.
Air-launched Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors carry out the delivery of the sophisticated armament, which was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.
Russia has apparently taken great satisfaction in being in the forefront of this technology, rising to become the world’s leading manufacturer of hypersonic missiles. It is such a sophisticated weapon that even the United States has not yet put it into service since it has experienced several failures during the development process.
“Hypersonic weapons are extremely difficult to detect and counter given these weapons’ speed, maneuverability, low flight paths, and unpredictable trajectories.” NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck told CTVNews
“Hypersonic weapons challenge NORAD’s ability to provide threat warning and attack assessments for Canada and the United States.” VanHerck added
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