Sputnik News and TASS have both released short video clips depicting a successful test launch of the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
While the American and Western European political and media establishments still tend to meet President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia possesses hypersonic weapons technology, this video was released to show it in action.
In use is a MiG-31 interceptor, itself the fastest fighter plane in the world, capable of speeds above Mach 3, though it is “limited” to Mach 2.83 (3,000 km/h) for general use. It is a very powerful platform from which to launch this very powerful and fast missile.
According to Sputnik:
This is a class of precision weapons which has a multifunctional warhead capable of striking at both stationary and moving targets,” [Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri] Borisov said, speaking to Krasnaya Zvezda, the defense ministry’s official newspaper.
The MiG-31 is the designated carrier for this system, and it operates by carrying the missile to high altitude for a launch point. When Kinzhal is launched, it accelerates to speeds approaching Mach 10, and is therefore much harder to detect and stop than typical cruise missiles, which usually fly at about Mach 0.72 (900 km/hr).
Mr. Borisov also confirmed that this system is also specialized to be able to hit both stationary and moving targets, and destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers, as well as anti-missile defense installations.
The launch test video shows that certain details of the missile were blurred out, as well as certain details on the MiG 31 carrying it. We also do not see where the missile finishes its flight, but it is clear from the video that the Kinzhal is really moving fast. Some other camera shots reveal surprising detail about the Kinzhal, that it is quite large, and has small guidance fins on the rear of the missile. Some of the blurring was done near the tail end, presumably to hide details from inquisitive viewers of the technology used to sustain hypersonic speeds.
We can be sure to see more such presentations as Russia continues to make it very clear that the claims made by President Putin in fact reflect the reality of a Western military establishment that in this regard has been utterly outpaced.