Russia refutes claims of shortages of its Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile, citing robust mass production, as confirmed by the first deputy head of Rostec, the country’s corporation for high-tech industries.

Countering claims about the Kinzhal

Vladimir Artyakov, a Rostec executive, refuted the accusations about a limited supply of the missile, assuring that the manufacture of the hypersonic weapon is up to the requirements of the Russian Defense Ministry. Artyakov highlighted that production, previously reduced due to concurrent testing, has been raised to the level of mass production.

Artyakov also dismissed claims that Russian Kinzhal missiles have been shot down using the American Patriot air defense system, calling them “propaganda.” In his opinion, these comments could be attempts by other actors to gain sympathy by extolling weapons of Western origin.

Technological advances in the Kinzhal

Artyakov emphasized the technological sophistication of the Kinzhal system, insisting that there are currently no means to disrupt its trajectory and prevent the missile from reaching its target. The Kinzhal’s capabilities are currently second to none, he added.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is a hypersonic missile developed by Russia. Air-launched, it can reach speeds of Mach 10, ten times the speed of sound, making it extremely difficult to intercept by any existing missile defense system.

Kinzhal: Russia increases production of hypersonic missile
Russian Tu-22M3 bombers fly overseas of Japan and Okhotsk in training.

The missile can carry conventional and nuclear warheads with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers. Designed to be carried primarily by Tu-22M3 and MiG-31K aircraft, the Kinzhal missile is close to 6 meters long and weighs approximately 4,500 kg.

Operational characteristics of the Kinzhal

The Kinzhal uses a maneuverable reentry vehicle that allows it to dodge interceptions during its flight. Its advanced guidance system uses inertial and satellite navigation and a seeker’s head to lock on to its target.

The Kinzhal’s operating protocol involves launching it from an aircraft at high altitudes and speeds. Upon deployment, the missile uses its rocket engine to accelerate to hypersonic speeds and climb to high altitudes, where its guidance system takes over to direct it to its target and perform evasive maneuvers.

Origin and development of the Kinzhal missile

Kinzhal: Russia increases production of hypersonic missile
Russian MiG-31K fighter armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missile (Twitter)

The Kinzhal, a Russian air-launched ballistic missile, was developed as part of Russia’s ongoing military modernization program, being carried by the MiG-31 supersonic fighter.

Its development began in the early 2000s as a response to US missile defense systems. Russia viewed these systems as a direct threat to its national security and sought to develop a weapon capable of overcoming them. The Kinzhal was first tested in March 2018 and officially entered service in December of the same year.

Since its addition to the Russian military arsenal, the mass production of the Kinzhal and its integration into the armed forces has been a priority.

What is the Kinzhal hypersonic missile, and who produces it?

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is a hypersonic missile developed by Russia. This air-launched weapon can reach speeds of Mach 10 and has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers. Its production is carried out by Rostec, the corporation of high-tech industries in Russia.

What is Russia’s response to the Kinzhal missile shortage claims?

Russia has refuted claims of shortages of its Kinzhal hypersonic missile, citing robust mass production. Vladimir Artyakov, a Rostec executive, assured that the production of the hypersonic weapon is up to the requirements of the Russian Defense Ministry.

How does the Kinzhal hypersonic missile work?

The Kinzhal uses a maneuverable re-entry vehicle that allows it to dodge interceptions during its flight. Its operating protocol involves its launch from an aircraft at high altitude and speed; then, the missile uses its rocket motor to accelerate to hypersonic speeds and ascend to high altitude, from where its guidance system takes care of directing it to its target and performing evasive maneuvers.

What capabilities does the Kinzhal hypersonic missile have?

The Kinzhal can reach speeds of Mach 10 and has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers. It is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. Additionally, according to those responsible for its production, its sophisticated guidance system and maneuverable re-entry vehicle make it practically impossible to intercept with existing anti-missile defense systems.

Why was the Kinzhal hypersonic missile developed?

The Kinzhal was developed as part of the Russian military modernization program in the early 2000s. The reason behind its creation was the perception of US anti-missile defense systems as a direct threat to Russia’s national security, thus seeking to develop a weapon capable of overcoming these systems.