Kh-47M2 Kinzhal

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The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ALBM being carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K interceptor.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ("Dagger") is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile.[1] It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of the flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads[2] and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia's Southern Military District.[3] The missile entered service in December 2017 and was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018 as one of six new strategic Russian weapons.[4][5]

Design[edit]

The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania. It is designed to overcome any known US air or missile defense systems as of 2018 including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System.[6][7] [8][9]

The missile first stage is probably shared with 9K720 Iskander and the guidance section is specifically designed for this missile. It is capable of attacking fixed and movable targets such as aircraft carriers.[10] The missile accelerates to hypersonic speed within seconds of launch[11] and performs maneuvers at all stages of the flight trajectory to evade enemy missile defenses.

Russian media claims the missile's range will be 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) when carried by the MiG-31K and 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi; 1,600 nmi) when carried by the Tu-22M3.[12]

American commentators have been skeptical about Russian claims about the weapon.[13]

Launch platforms[edit]

Operational history[edit]

The first operational unit armed with Kinzhal was formed in Southern Military District of Russia in December 2017.

As of July 2018, crews of the MiG-31K attack aircraft in role of Kinzhal missile carrier have performed more than 350 training flights with the missile, of which 70 have been carried with mid-air refueling.[10][16]

Operators[edit]

 Russia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Russia unveils Kinzhal hypersonic missile". www.janes.com. Jane's 360.
  2. ^ Majumdar, Dave (10 May 2018). "Russia Places 10 Deadly MiG-31s on "Experimental Combat Duty" to Carry "Hypersonic" Missile".
  3. ^ "Russian Aerospace Forces test launch Kinzhal hypersonic missile".
  4. ^ "Kinzhal complex substantially boosts Russia's Aerospace Force capabilities – commander". Tass.
  5. ^ "Putin unveils new nuclear missile, says 'listen to us now'". nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. ^ ""Hipersoniczny" Kindżał zagrożeniem dla Europy [OPINIA]". Defence24.
  7. ^ "Новое российское оружие стратегического сдерживания. Комплекс "Кинжал"". dfnc.ru.
  8. ^ "Совершенное оружие: "Кинжал" быстр и практически невидим".
  9. ^ "От «Кинжала» нет защиты".
  10. ^ a b "Russia picks MiG-31 fighter as a carrier for cutting-edge hypersonic weapon". TASS. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  11. ^ Majumdar, Dave (12 March 2018). "Russia Just Fired a Hypersonic Missile from a MiG-31 Fighter. Should America be Worried?".
  12. ^ "Russian strategic bomber to extend Kinzhal hypersonic missile's range — source". TASS. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Russia Test Fires New Kh-47M2 Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile". theaviationist.com. 12 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Russia should deploy MiG-31 squadrons with Kinzhal missiles in Black Sea region — expert". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Бомбардировщики Ту-22М3 вооружат гиперзвуковыми ракетами "Кинжал" (The Tu-22M3 bomber will be able to carry four hypersonic "Dagger" missiles)". 2 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Russian fighters armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles hold drills with strategic bombers". TASS. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.

External links[edit]