Russia is in the spotlight for its weapons of mass destruction, especially after President Vladimir Putin introduced a series of nuclear weapons earlier this month that could render the most sophisticated defenses in the world useless. Now, Russia's defense ministry has taken one of its "invincible" weapons, the Kinzhal hypersonic warhead, out of the arsenal and successfully completed a launch and hit test.
Russia's defense ministry released a footage showing a large warhead detaching from a jet and blast through the sky, leaving a fiery trail behind. Kinzhal is only a part of Russia's new array of defense weapons launched at the State of the Nation address on March 1.
"A MiG-31 fighter crew of the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted a combat training launch of a hypersonic missile of the Kinzhal high-precision air missile system in the designated area. The hypersonic missile confirmed its technical operational performance and timing data of the Kinzhal missile system," the ministry said in a statement Saturday.
While the advanced nuclear weapons such as Kanyon self-guided underwater nuclear torpedo, Avangard hypersonic vehicle and Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) have raised eyebrows around the world, Kinzhal hypersonic missile is equally intimidating.
Here are some fascinating facts about Russia's "invincible" hypersonic warhead.
- Kinzhal is a high-precision air missile and its name translates to "dagger".
- Kinzhal missile can travel 10 times faster than the speed of sound and attain incredible speeds of up to 7,700mph (12,390km/h) across 1,250 miles (2,012kms).
- Kinzhal missile has made 250 flights in all weather conditions since the beginning of 2018, and all of them have ended with the accurate destruction of the target, Russia's Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Sergei Surovikin said.
- Kinzhal missile can make hard maneuvers, allowing it to overcome any defense systems.
- Some reports suggested that the Kinzhal missile system uses an air-breathing ramjet engine for continuous cruising capabilities.
- Putin said the Kinzhal missile system "has no analogues in the world."
You can watch the video of Kinzhal's testing here.