​Ukrainian Military Warns of Possible Attack With Kinzhal Hypersonic Missiles

russian Kh-47M2 "Kinzhal" hypersonic missile / Archive photo
russian Kh-47M2 "Kinzhal" hypersonic missile / Archive photo

Such attacks are rare but can occur any time

For at least the fourth time in a week, the entire territory of Ukraine but Crimea is marked in red, meaning the air raid alert. However, the regions in deep rar suffer from sporadic strikes relatively less often than the "frontline regions". A large portion of russian missiles is getting shot in the areas closer to the "zero line", too.

Despite that, sirens sound all across Ukraine quite often, and the reason is not only precaution but also the threat from belarus. to be more exact, the russian missile carrier aircraft armed with hypersonic missiles.

Read more: What is Going on Ukrainian-belarus border
Russian MiG-31K with a Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-surface missile / Archive photo

The fact is highlighted in the latest operational report from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

"The MiG-31K aircraft, which takes off from the Machulishchy airfield, is the carrier of "Kinzhal'' (NATO reporting name "Killjoy") hypersonic missiles, which are capable of hitting objects throughout the territory of Ukraine. This is the very reason why we are forced to announce an air alert so often in all regions of our state," noted in the report.

The General Staff also said aviation of the russian aerospace forces is taking off belarusian airfields almost every day and roaming the airspace. As we previously covered, russian manned aircraft are afraid to enter Ukrainian airspace which is controlled by modern air defense systems and the Ukrainian Air Force.

Recently supplied NASAMS has already shown good results: 10 out of 10 russian cruise missiles were shot down on large November 15 attack / Photo credit: Kongsberg

But despite acquiring more advanced air defense systems, Ukraine still cannot deter hypersonic missiles. According to Missile Threat, the operational range of the Kh-47M2 "Kinzhal" hypersonic missile is 1,000 to 2,000 km. Even given the minimum range (the exact specs of the missile are kept undisclosed by russia), it is enough to cover the entirety of the territory effectively controlled by Ukraine.

The distance from Machulishchy air base to the furthest point of Ukraine's territory
The distance from Machulishchy air base to the furthest point of Ukraine's territory. Kinzhal missiles reach even when launched without aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace / Map credit: DeepState UA

The Kinzhal is so hard to destroy, first of all, because of the high speed: Mach 4 (4,900 km/h) on the march. During the terminal stage, it accelerates to Mach 10 (12,350 km/h) and falls at an 80° to 90° angle which requires specific air defense systems for interception. It is also difficult to spot the moment of launch because when it happens, a dozen of MiG-31K aircraft take off and one of them launches the missile into the stratosphere, from where it rapidly falls onto Ukrainian territory.

Earlier missiles of this type were used in russian attacks on Kryvyi Rih and Vinnytsia causing casualties among civilians and damage to infrastructure. Also, in a previous article, we covered how many russian MiG-31K carriers and Kinzhal missiles were deployed to belarus.

Read more: ​How Do Russians ‘Outsmart’ Ukrainian Air Defense During Missile Attacks