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Russia claims first use of hypersonic Kinzhal missile in Ukraine

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Russia claims first use of hypersonic Kinzhal missile in Ukraine

By Paul Kirby
BBC News

Russia's military has fired a hypersonic ballistic missile and destroyed a big underground arms depot in western Ukraine, the defence ministry in Moscow has said.

If confirmed it would be Russia's first use in this war of the Kinzhal, or Dagger, ballistic missile launched from the air, most likely by a MiG-31 warplane.
What are hypersonic missiles?

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly highlighted Russia's investment in hypersonic missiles, which can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.

The statistics are impressive: according to Russian officials the Kinzhal can hit a target up to 2,000km (1,240 miles) away and can fly faster than 6,000 km/h. But does that make them any more dangerous than other missiles or even artillery which can cause just as much death and destruction?

"I don't view it as that significant," says James Acton, nuclear policy specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "I don't know how much of an advantage Russia is getting from using hypersonic missiles."

Full story https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60806151

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