Russian Arms Now Going Hypersonic

metamorworks /
metamorworks /

In a Telegram post, the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise announced they had found evidence of Russia using the first-ever hypersonic missile in battle. Using debris from a February 7th attack as evidence, the government-ran institute claims the parts and identification markings on them, as well as physical features, line up with the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.

A part of Ukraine’s Justice Ministry, the institute supported its findings with a video of the impact sight and debris. In attacks that day in Kyiv, four people died, and 38 were injured, but none specifically attributed to the Zircon. While the institute could not confirm the launch platform from their end, Russian media reports had identified it as being launched from a warship.

According to the United States-based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), this missile far exceeds the best of Western missile defense systems. Flying at Mach 8 or 6,138 mph, it is well above the Mach 5 (3,836 mph) barrier to entry for hypersonic.

The MDAA states, “If that information is accurate, the Zircon missile would be the fastest in the world, making it nearly impossible to defend against due to its speed alone… During flight, the missile is completely covered by a plasma cloud that absorbs any rays of radio frequencies and makes the missile invisible to radars. This allows the missile to remain undetected on its way to the target.”

Used largely in an anti-ship capacity, the Zircon has a range of 310 to 620 miles. This hypersonic cruise missile has been under development for some time and is one Russia is very proud of. However, there is no telling how many of them they may have produced or are in the process of being made. Presently, Russia has been trying to beef up its ground forces and using considerable assets in doing so.

Ukraine’s air defenses have been lagging behind Russia’s advances. On that same February 7th, they missed three Iskander ballistic missiles and four Kh-22 cruise missiles that Russian forces lobbed at them.