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Photos show Russia's Kinzhal missile warhead after Ukraine downed it – Business Insider

Ukrainian sappers found and neutralized a warhead from one of Russia’s Kinzhal missiles, Kyiv announced, referring to the overhyped weapons it said its defenders shot down during a massive aerial attack last week.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in various social media posts on Friday that sappers working in a Kyiv neighborhood had “neutralized” a Kinzhal warhead. The agency published photos of the specialists, whose job it is to clear various types of explosive devices, moving the missile part.
Ukraine said on January 2 it shot down all 10 Kinzhals Russia had launched as part of a widespread aerial attack, which saw a mix of cruise and ballistic missiles and one-way attack drones kill at least five people and injure at least another 130.
Without Ukraine’s sophisticated, Western-provided air-defense systems, which shot down dozens of threats, the casualty toll would likely be significantly higher.
“I thank every warrior of our Air Force, every fighter of our mobile firing groups, every anti-aircraft gunner and all those across the globe already helping Ukraine with weapons to protect the skies,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in the aftermath of the attack. “More air defense systems, more missiles for air defense is what directly saves lives.”
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is an advanced air-launched ballistic missile that has been touted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian military leaders as being unstoppable. The Kinzhal can carry a conventional 1,000-pound explosive payload, but it is also nuclear capable.
Russia has claimed that the Kinzhal is a hypersonic weapon, which is misleading.
While it can reach hypersonic speeds, those greater than five times the speed of sound, it is not part of a new class of weapons that exclusively includes hypersonic glide vehicles or scramjet hypersonic cruise missiles. The Kinzhal is also believed to lack the ability for sustained hypersonic flight, as well as sufficient maneuverability.
The Kinzhal is understood to basically be an air-launched 9K720 Iskander ballistic missile.
In 2022, top military officials in Moscow bragged about the missile’s use in Ukraine, asserting that it was impossible to detect and intercept.
Everything changed, however, with the much-anticipated April 2023 arrival of the US military’s MIM-104 Patriot, which is a surface-to-air missile system that’s considered to be one of the world’s most advanced and most capable air-defense assets.
Ukraine has relied heavily on the Patriot, alongside other Western systems, to fend off Russia’s relentless air attacks.
The Patriot system downed its first Kinzhal in May of last year. With last week’s reported interceptions, that figure is now up to 25, according to a Ukrainian air force spokesperson.
“Sixty-three Kinzhal missiles have been fired since the full-scale invasion started, and 25 of them have been destroyed. Last spring we obtained the Patriot [surface-to-air missile] systems and the ability to destroy air-launched ballistic missiles,” Yurii Ihnat said, according to a Sunday report by state news agency Ukrinform.
Experts say that downing Kinzhal missiles provides Ukraine, the US, and its NATO allies with valuable intelligence on the Russian weapons, better preparing operators for future engagements or conflicts with Moscow’s forces.
Copyright © 2023. Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved.For reprint rights. Times Syndication Service.


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