U.S. confirms Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile to have been destroyed by Patriot system
The United States is confident that the Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile was shot down with the help of the Patriot air defense system.
CNN reports referring to a source familiar with the matter.
It is noted that while the Patriot system has been successful in countering ballistic missiles, its ability to stop air-launched hypersonic missiles was purely theoretical.
The Ukrainian Air Force’s intercept has now provided a real-world demonstration of that capability.
Also, CNN sources emphasize that Ukraine’s intercept has been viewed within the Pentagon as a major development, because earlier Putin publicly stated that the Kh-47 was capable of overcoming all existing air defense systems.
Before the Ukrainian military shot down the missile, Russia had expected that by using a hypersonic ballistic missile, they would assuredly hit the target. This intercept put the Russian calculus in question, the CNN source says.
It is also emphasized that the production of hypersonic ballistic missiles was difficult for the Russian Federation, and sanctions added even more problems.
The interception of the Kh-47 Kinzhal was reportedly carried out by a Ukrainian crew that was trained in Oklahoma.
The fact that the intercept was conducted by a Ukrainian military without having U.S. advisers on the battlefield, is even more of a feather in the cap for the Pentagon. The U.S. Department of Defense called it a “major return on investment”.
On May 6, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, confirmed that on the night of May 4, a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile was shot down with the help of the Patriot system.
Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is a Russian hypersonic aviation missile. The Kinzhal missile is similar to the Iskander short-range ballistic missiles in terms of dimensions and appearance.
The maximum speed of the missile is 10 M. MiG-31К is capable of carrying one such missile and hitting targets at a distance of up to 2,000 km.
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