Day 24 - Putin Fires Hypersonic Missile at Ukraine
Russia uses its newest hypersonic missile for first time in combat
March 19, 2022 - Russian forces make small gains near Donbas region in the east while Ukrainian forces counterattack in the south.
Meanwhile, Russia has claimed to have used its newest Kinzhal precision hypersonic missiles for the first time in combat in Ukraine to destroy a weapons storage site in the country’s west.
Vlad the Invader Putin has called the Kinzhal missile (alao knowns as Dagger) “an ideal warhead.”
It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 miles), and reportedly flies at 10 times the speed of sound (roughly 7,600 mph), and can maneuver throughout its flight, allowing it to overcome most air-defence systems.
The Kinzhal missile was one of several new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address in 2018.
According to DC think tank CSIS, Kinzhal is basically an air-launched Iskander-M SRBM (short-range ballistic missile) that uses a MiG-31 Foxhound or Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber as an air-breathing first stage to increase its range.
It is technically an air-breathing missile based on scramjet technology that flies at hypersonic speed with a reported cruise missile-like flat flight profile.
Putin appears to be sending a signal that Russia has the advanced weapons to significantly eacalate this conflict. The Kinzhal can also be equipped with a 100-500 kiloton nuclear warhead.
Putin may also be using this launch as combat test of the weapon. How many of these he has available isn’t known, but his stock of other precision weapons appears to be dwindling.
This news come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Saturday for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow to stop its invasion of Ukraine, saying it would otherwise take Russia “several generations” to recover from its losses in the war.
This war is becoming increasingly costly for all sides.
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