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Media suggested based on photo that Kinzhal missile shot down over Kyiv for the first time

Friday, 5 May 2023, 13:27
Media suggested based on photo that Kinzhal missile shot down over Kyiv for the first time
MIG-31K with Kh-47 "Kinzhal" missile, photo Defense Express

The Defense Express media outlet, after analysing photos of the missile wreckage, has suggested that a hypersonic Kh-47 Kinzhal missile was successfully shot down over Kyiv for the first time in the early hours of 4 May. This has not yet been officially confirmed. 

Source: Defense Express

Details: According to the media outlet, the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully intercepted a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile for the first time at around 02:40 on Thursday 4 May in the sky over Kyiv.

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The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not commented on this report. 

On the night of 3-4 May, the Kyiv City Military Administration reported that in addition to Shahed kamikaze drones, the attack also involved missiles, "probably of a ballistic type". 

Defense Express reports that it has obtained photos of the wreckage of the downed missile from its sources, showing in particular the nose cone with traces of damage.

 

From the photo, the media outlet concludes that the wreckage without a warhead fell at a stadium in the capital. 

One of the photos shows the nose cone, which is "as similar as possible to the one used in the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile with a complex shape of sharp diameter transitions", writes Defense Express.

The newspaper notes that the alternative, the Kh-22 missile, has a different nose with oval transitions. 

The nose of the downed missile recorded in the photo differs from that of the Iskander ballistic missile, which is "thicker".

Quote: "The wreckage shows that it was hit and punctured, which allows us to estimate the thickness of the material needed to withstand high temperatures during acceleration to hypersonic speed. It also indicates that the interception was quite effective with the destruction of the warhead while still in the air.

This is the reason for the powerful explosion that Kyiv residents heard on 4 May."

Details: Defense Express also explains the report on the destruction of a ballistic target: "The fact is that the Kinzhal is hypersonic only in ruscistʼs [Russian] fantasies. Because although it can accelerate to hypersonic speeds due to the booster, it cannot maintain such speeds permanently. In the terminal stage, that is, during an attack, it enters the target along a ballistic trajectory and has a high, but far from hypersonic speed."

The media outlet recalls that Ukraine has already received Patriot air defence systems that can defeat ballistic targets.

But Defense Express has received no official confirmation of its hypothesis about the downing of the Kinzhal missile.

"Today there will be no comments or appearances by Air Force spokespersons!" the Ukrainian Air Force Command wrote on Facebook and Telegram. 

They hinted that the information disseminated by Defence Express was harmful to Ukraine: "For additional relevant, up-to-date and reliable information that the enemy will use in the war against Ukraine, please visit the following information resources: https://defence-ua.com/ and https://t.me/VA_Kyiv (Defense Express and Kyiv City Military Administration - ed.)".

Background:

  • Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems arrived in Ukraine in April. Since 28 April, Russia has renewed massive attacks on Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian defenders shot down 18 Shahed combat drones and a reconnaissance UAV on the night of 3-4 May. However, the wreckage of downed drones caused damage to cars parked near houses and to road surfaces.
  • Kyiv patrol police showed the wreckage of downed aerial targets over the capital on the night of 3-4 May.

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