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December 11, 2023 6:55 pm

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Pentagon Confirms Ukraine Shot Down Russian Kinzhal Missile With U.S. Patriot

Kinzhal Patriot

Kinzhal Patriot
Art work exhibiting a Patriot surface-to-air missile being launched at an incoming Kinzhal hypersonic missile. (Images: U.S. Military picture by Anthony Sweeney and Russian MoD, edited by The Aviationist)

The Pentagon’s Press Secretary confirmed the Ukrainian claims throughout a briefing with the press about new assist packages for the war-thorn nation.

On Could 6, 2023, the claims of the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection in regards to the destruction of a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile began circulating on social media. On Could 10, Brigadier Common Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s Press Secretary, confirmed it throughout a briefing with the press a few new safety help package deal to reaffirm steadfast U.S. help for Ukraine, which additionally consists of air protection programs and anti-air munitions.

That is the primary time a Kinzhal hypersonic missile, which the Russian army boasted as invincible, has been shot down because it was first utilized in Ukraine. This additionally seems to be the primary recorded use of the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system by the Ukrainian army because it was delivered. The primary of those programs have been delivered in April, with the USA, Germany, and the Netherlands sending an unspecified variety of Patriot batteries.

Based on Ukrainian Air Pressure Commander Mykola Oleshchuk, who first introduced the missile’s destruction on Telegram, the Kinzhal missile was intercepted during an overnight attack on Could 4 within the Kyiv area. He additionally talked about the missile being launched by a MiG-31K whereas nonetheless flying over Russian territory, removed from the border.

When initially requested in regards to the episode, Gen. Ryder was imprecise, acknowledging that the Patriot was use to shoot down a Russian missile, with out offering particulars about the kind of missile intercepted. Right here is the extract from the transcript:

Questioner: Ukrainians say they used a Patriot missile to intercept a Russian Kinzhal, or Killjoy, missile. Was the U.S. capable of affirm that? And what did you be taught from the intercept of what Putin has referred to as an unimaginable to intercept missile? […]

Gen. Ryder: So initially, with regards to Ukraine’s readiness, its stock or particulars of missile intercepts, I’d refer you to them. I can affirm that they did down a Russian missile by using the Patriot missile protection system. […]

A Russian MiG-31K with a Kinzhal missile throughout the Victory Day parade in Moscow. (Picture: Russian MoD)

When pressed once more on the matter in a while within the briefing, Gen. Ryder confirmed that certainly the missile shot down was a Kh-47 Kinzhal:

Questioner: I simply wished to double verify, you probably did affirm {that a} Patriot downed this Kinzhal missile?

Gen. Ryder: Appropriate.

Questioner: Did I hear that proper?

Gen. Ryder: Appropriate.

Questioner: Was this a U.S.-provided Patriot or one from the Dutch or Germans?

Gen. Ryder: Yeah, when it comes to these sorts of operational particulars, I’d refer you to the Ukrainians.

Questioner: You may’t affirm if the U.S. Patriots are actually over there?

Gen. Ryder: The U.S. Patriot is over there.

Questioner: It’s? So that you’re confirming that …

Gen. Ryder: I’m confirming U.S. Patriot system is in Ukraine, however when it comes to which particular battery they employed, whether or not it was a U.S.-provided, Dutch-provided, I’d refer you to the Ukrainians.


Questioner: Additionally, I simply had a fast follow-up on the Kinzhal. Is that this the primary time or the primary intercept of a hypersonic missile in fight? And do you’ve gotten the date of the intercept?

Gen. Ryder: I don’t, and once more, I’m not going to get into the specifics or making an attempt to characterize it, apart from, once more, to say we will affirm that the Ukrainians took down this Russian missile with a Patriot missile protection system.

As we have now already reported previously, Kinzhal is principally an air-launched Iskander-M SRBM (short-range ballistic missile) that makes use of a MiG-31K Foxhound or Tu-22M3 Backfire belongings as an air-breathing first stage to extend its vary: actually, it’s truly not a “hypersonic weapon” within the sense that it’s an air-breathing missile based mostly on scramjet know-how and, as a ballistic missile, it flies at hypersonic velocity with a reported cruise missile-like flat flight profile.

Based on Russians and reference sources, the Kinzhal missile has a spread of 1,200 miles (roughly 2,000 kilometers) and a high velocity of Mach 10. Furthermore, it maintains some skill to maneuver all through its efficiency envelope together with at hypersonic velocity. If correct, these capabilities may make the Kinzhal tough to intercept by anti-missile programs.

Kinzhal missiles have already been used on a number of events in Ukraine. The primary reported use of the weapon was when Russia mentioned it had fired the missile at a munitions dump in southwestern Ukraine on March 19, 2022. One other more moderen reported used was during a massive missile attack launched by Russia on the Ukrainian vitality infrastructure and different targets throughout Ukraine on March 9, 2023.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to attain a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT methods utilized to the world of army operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.

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