Friday 10 March 2023

Russian AF launches six Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles against Ukraine

The Russians have been primarily using short-range air-launched cruise missiles against Ukraine such as the Kh 59 M (As-18 Kazoo) operating in the border area. Longer range cruise missiles launched from Tu 95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers include the Kh 101 and the Kh 555. According to RU Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat six Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles were fired across Ukraine on 9 March, their largest use to date and at the same time a considerable percentage of the available stock of such weapons. One of Putin's so-called 'carrier-killer' hypersonic ballistic missiles the Kinzhal was introduced in 2017-2018 and has a range of 3,000 kms and can be lauched (below) from the MiG 31 K.

During 2022 the Russian military said that it used Kinzhal missiles to destroy an alleged underground weapons depot of the Ukrainian armed forces in Deliatyn on 18 March 2022 and a fuel depot in Konstantinovka the next day. US President Joe Biden said of its use "As you all know, it's a consequential weapon but with the same warhead on it as any other launched missile. It doesn't make that much difference except it's almost impossible to stop it."

It was reportedly used again on 11 April. On 9 May, according to reports, Russian Tu-22 aircraft launched three Kinzhal-type missiles at targets in the port city of Odesa.

On 26 January 2023, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, 55 missiles and 24 Shahed-136 drones were fired at targets in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Air Force said that they had shot down all of the drones and 47 of the missiles. Included in the attack was a Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile. Kyiv's Mayor said one person had died and two were wounded when an apartment block was hit in the Holosiiv district.