In a recent coverage by Bloomberg Russia has confirmed that it used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine to target underground storehouse storing ammunition.
According to Bloomberg, Russia said it fired a hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile for the first time in the three-week invasion of Ukraine, demolishing a military bunker in the country’s southwestern region.
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (also known as “dagger”) hypersonic missile targeted an underground storehouse storing rockets and ammunition in the village of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region on Friday, according to Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Ukraine did not report any Russian attacks on the military base overnight and did not respond to Russia’s assertions right away. There has also been no mention of explosions on social media, despite the fact that striking a “big underground” ammo stockpile would be audible.
If the Kinzhal is launched, it will be the first time a hypersonic missile has been used; it flies at Mach 10 speeds (about 7,672 mph) on an unpredictable flight path, making it nearly impossible to shoot down even for the most advanced missile defence shields.
Unconfirmed footage of what could be the Kinzhal is shown here.
The advanced weapons, which is air-launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors, was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.
Russia has prided itself on being at the forefront of this technology (see here and here), with hypersonic missiles becoming the world’s most advanced. The new weapon is so advanced that it has yet to be fielded in the United States due to numerous setbacks throughout the development process.
NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck told CTVNews that when defending North America from Russian and Chinese hypersonic missiles, “hypersonic weapons are extremely difficult to detect and counter given these weapons’ speed, maneuverability, low flight paths, and unpredictable trajectories.”
VanHerck continued, “Hypersonic weapons challenge NORAD’s ability to provide threat warning and attack assessments for Canada and the United States.”