MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The Kinzhal hypersonic missile system proved to be highly effective and invulnerable to enemy air defenses during the special military operation in Ukraine, Chief of Russia’s General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov told a briefing for foreign military attaches on Thursday.
"For the first time, hypersonic weapons were employed in combat conditions. The Kinzhal airborne missile system proved to be highly effective and invulnerable to air defense capabilities deployed in Ukraine," the military chief said.
Russian operational-tactical and army aviation aircraft daily conduct about 150 sorties and have wiped out over 11,000 items of the Ukrainian army’s armament and military hardware. In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles have helped uncover about 8,000 facilities, of which 600 have been destroyed, Gerasimov said.
Russian forces struck over 1,300 crucial Ukrainian sites during the special military operation in Ukraine, reducing the country’s military potential and crippling its military-industrial complex, the chief of Russia’s General Staff said.
"Long-range precision missiles struck over 1,300 crucial facilities during the operation. This significantly reduced the combat potential of the Ukrainian armed forces, disrupted the troop command and control system, paralyzed the work of the military-industrial complex and considerably impeded military deliveries," he said.
Kinzhal hypersonic missile system
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.