The Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army said that the Kinzhal hypersonic missile proved highly effective and that the Ukrainian air defense network could not intercept it.
“The hypersonic weapon has been tested in practice during the special military operation. The Kinzhal air missile system has shown high efficiency and is completely invulnerable to deployed air defense complexes.
Deployed in Ukraine,” Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said during a meeting with foreign military attaches in Moscow on December 22.
General Gerasimov said that the Russian military had attacked more than 1,300 key targets in Ukraine with guided missiles during the nearly ten months of hostilities.
Kinzhal missile is one of a series of advanced weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early 2018.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in August that the country had deployed Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in Ukraine three times.
He said the Kinzhal missile had proven effective in hitting high-value targets, hailing them as “unrivaled and nearly unstoppable weapons.”
Russia first used Kinzhal missiles in March when it attacked a large weapons depot in the Ivano-Frankivsk province of western Ukraine. US President Joe Biden later described the Kinzhal as a “weapon that has a great impact but doesn’t make much of a difference, except it’s nearly impossible to intercept.”
Experts say the Kinzhal missile launches are Russia’s “show of power” to the West. However, they argue that Russia’s hypersonic missile does not change the battlefield too much because it is an expensive weapon and is unnecessary to take down targets of little strategic value.
Hypersonic missiles are weapons with a minimum speed of 5 times the speed of sound, equivalent to more than 6,200 km/h. The high speed and complex trajectory make hypersonic weapons nearly impossible to intercept with today’s defensive shields.