/ Go to the mediabankA Kinzhal missile. File photo
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InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovThe Kinzhal is capable of flying at least five times the speed of sound, which helps it to remain invulnerable to enemy air missile defense systems.It is impossible to shoot down the Russian hypersonic Kinzhal ballistic missile with the US-made surface-to-air missile (SAM) Patriot MIM-104 system, Moscow-based military expert Alexey Leonkov told Sputnik, debunking Kiev’s recent claims.He explained that the SAM’s radar cannot track the Kinzhal due to a speed limit for the intercepted target of up to Mach 3.
"When they [Ukraine] use a head-on Patriot missile, they cannot give target designation to anything that flies faster [than Mach 3]. In case of a Patriot missile flying in pursuit of the Kinzhal, the interceptor should fly at least 1.5 times faster than the Russian hypersonic missile,” the expert pointed out.
He suggested that a recent media report about a Patriot system allegedly downing a Kinzhal had emerged due to a lack of results from work of the Patriots, which were earlier supplied to Kiev as part of Washington’s military assistance.Leonkov’s remarks came after the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yury Ignat admitted that his country’s combat arsenal was not enough to counter the Kinzhal missiles.
“There are few weapons in the Ukrainian arsenal capable of shooting down the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile. The Patriot has never worked with such a type of target as the Kh-47, which is why it’s too early to rejoice,” he said in a nod to reports about the alleged downing of the Russian hypersonic missile by the US-made SAM.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov did not think twice about commenting on the reports as he tweeted: “Thanks to the US Patriot air defense system, a Russian Kinzhal missile had been shot down”. He went even further by claiming that “with the support of our friends, the impossible becomes possible,” an apparent reference to the US’ military assistance to Ukraine.
What is Kinzhal Missile?
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (NATO reporting name “Killjoy”) is a Russian nuclear-capable hypersonic ballistic missile that has a range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 miles).The Kh-47 is capable of traveling at least five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5, which is the definition of hypersonic.
Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineRussian Military Deploys Kinzhals in Massive Strikes in Ukraine in Retaliation to Bryansk Terror9 March, 11:00 GMTThe missile can reach a top speed of Mach 10 (12,250 km/h or 7,612 mph) while also performing evasive maneuvers, which helps the Kinzhal to be virtually invulnerable to enemy air missile defense systems.With the weapon’s advanced maneuvering capabilities, high precision and hypersonic speed, some sources refer to the Kinzhal as a “carrier killer” due to its purported ability to disable or possibly even sink a hypothetical 100,000-ton aircraft carrier with a single strike.