MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Three MiG-31I fighter aircraft carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles have redeployed to the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad Region in additional strategic deterrence measures, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.
"Starting form today, August 18, 2022, three MiG-31I aircraft with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles have redeployed to the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad Region as part of additional strategic deterrence measures," the ministry said in a statement.
During the flight, the MiG-31I aircraft practiced interoperability with fighter jets of the 6th Air Force and Air Defense Army and the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation planes, it said.
"MiG-31I aircraft with Kinzhal airborne hypersonic systems will be on round-the-clock combat alert at the Chkalovsk airfield," the Defense Ministry reported.
The Kinzhal is the Russian state-of-the-art airborne system with hypersonic aero-ballistic missiles. Russian MiG-31K and MiG-31I fighter-interceptors have been chosen as the carriers of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles that feature radar stealth and high maneuverability and are designed to engage ground and naval targets.
The Kinzhal hypersonic missile can accelerate to ten times the speed of sound and strike targets at a range of over 2,000 km. The missile is capable of maneuvering along the entire flight path and breaching any air and anti-ballistic missile defenses. The missile can be outfitted with both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing 500 kg.
The Kinzhal airborne hypersonic missile systems have been on combat alert in the Russian Armed Forces since December 2017. Kinzhal hypersonic missiles underwent their baptism of fire in the special military operation in Ukraine on March 18, 2022.