On March 18, the Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles destroyed a large underground warehouse of missiles and aviation ammunition of Ukrainian troops in the village of DELYATYN, Ivano-Frankivsk region.”
Kinzhal is one of the 6 “mythical” “next generation” weapons unveiled by Russian President, Putin in March 2018.
Due to the bad reputation of Russia announcing weapons that never see operational use for years (some never ever ended becoming operational), many military analysts and enthusiasts dismissed it as one of another “Russian propaganda” – despite it does raised serious concerns in Washington that United States may be falling behind in the arms race in the field of hypersonic weapons.
Video making the rounds this am, reports that it is first combat use of Russian hypersonic missile – Kinzhal on a weapons depot near the Polish border pic.twitter.com/pVxqEWlT5J
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 19, 2022
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a nuclear capable hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile.
The claimed range is over 2000km, cruises at a speed of Mach 10 (10 times the speed of sound). It is reportedly able to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of the flight to avoid countermeasures.
The missile can be fired from Tu-22M3 bombers or the MiG-31K interceptors.
Reportedly entered service in December 2017 and announced of it’s existence in March 2018 – it was always under doubts by Russia’s adversaries to the missiles operational readiness, or even it’s existence at times.
The high speed of the Kinzhal likely gives it far better target-penetration characteristics than lighter subsonic cruise-missiles, such as Tomahawk. Being three times as heavy and almost twelve times as fast as Tomahawk, the Kinzhal has more than 432 times the on-cruise kinetic energy of a Tomahawk missile (~17.3 gigajoules, or equal to 4,100 kg TNT explosive energy).
This “first ever” operational usage of the missile in an actual combat/war situation, and the deliberate announcement by the Defense Ministry of Russia, is likely to be a direct warning, doubling down of previous warnings, at NATO and United States not to interfere with the war in Ukraine.
There is no known effective counter-measures against hypersonic weapons.
It is conceivable that the NATO members and militaries would be panicking at the “reality” of such weaponry and this would make corroborate that the claims of the other Russian hypersonic may actually be real, including the nuclear-capable Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which can fly almost 3 times as fast as the Kinzhal (27 times the speed of sound) and able to hit anywhere around the globe.