Russia’s Defence Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it used “Kinjal” hypersonic missiles the day before to destroy an underground arms depot in western Ukraine, Belga News Agency reports.
This would mark the first time Russia has used this ballistic missile in any conflict in which it is a belligerent. The Kinjal had previously only been deployed in military exercises since it was first successfully tested in 2018. According to the Ria Novosti state agency, this is the first time it has been used in combat.
This type of missile, which is easy to manoeuvre, eludes all anti-aircraft defence systems, according to Russian military experts.
“On 18 March, the Kinjal aeronautic complex with its hypersonic ballistic missiles destroyed an important underground missile and ammunition storehouse of the Ukrainian army’s aviation in the locality of Deliatine, in Ivano-Frankivsk region,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konachenkov said on Saturday.
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Kinjal hypersonic ballistic missiles, and “Zircon” cruise missiles belong to a family of new weapons developed by Russia that Vladimir Putin describes as “invincible.”
During tests, the Kinjal, whose name means “dagger” in Russian, hit all its targets at distances that can exceed 1,000 km, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.