Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia has successfully deployed Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in Ukraine multiple times and the missiles has delivered excellent performance.
Kinzhal hypersonic missiles are one of the series of new advanced weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in 2018. According to Russian media, they can hit almost any point in the world and can easily penetrate advanced western air defense systems.
The K-47M2 “Kinzhal” is a hypersonic ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and can be fired from fighter aircrafts. Although Russia has kept the Kinzhal development process a secret and has not released many details, open available information indicates that the missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, with a payload of up to 480 kg.
Kinzhal is designed to be fired from the MiG-31 fighter at an altitude of about 18 km and can travel at the speed of at least 5 times the speed of sound or Mach 5. Many sources believe that Kinzhal’s top speed is of Mach 10 (12,350 km/h). The speed from Mach 5 to Mach 10 is called hypersonic speed.
Russia said that the Kinzhal missile can reach a range of more than 2,000 km if fired from a Tu-22M strategic bomber. Kinzhal is a terrifying new-generation weapon, because with a speed of up to 12,000 km/h and a wide flight trajectory, its interception seems to be an impossible task, even while using worlds top anti-missile systems.
Russia is believed to have used Kinzhal missiles for the first time about a month after opening a special military operation in Ukraine at the end of February, targeting a large arsenal in the Ivano-Frankivsk region in the west. According to some reports, russia has used this missile in Ukraine at least 3 times.