The Russian military sent three MiG-31 fighters carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to Kaliningrad to “add strategic deterrence.”

“Three MiG-31I fighters with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were dispatched on August 18 to Chkalovsk airfield in Kaliningrad as part of additional strategic deterrence measures,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that during the flight, the MiG-31I pilots dealt with the problem of interaction with the fighters of the 6th air defense corps, as well as the naval aviation unit of the Baltic Fleet.

“At the Chkalovsk airfield, day and night combat missions of the MiG-31I with the Kinzhal hypersonic weapon complex will be held,” the agency’s statement reads.

Russia sent MiG-31 fighters fighter jets

Kaliningrad is an overseas territory of Russia, covering an area of ​​more than 15,000 square kilometers, located between two NATO members, Lithuania and Poland, and also home to the headquarters of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet. 

With its strategic location in the heart of NATO, Kaliningrad is seen as a Russian stop in the event of a conflict. The deployment comes amid Russia’s special military operation to “demilitarize and de-fascist Ukraine,” as well as the escalation of tensions in the Baltic region after Finland and Sweden applied for membership. Enter NATO.

The Russian military repeatedly used supersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles to attack Ukrainian targets in a special military operation.

 U.S. President Joe Biden said on March 21 that Kinzhal is “a weapon of great impact but doesn’t make much difference except it’s almost impossible to intercept.”

Kinzhal missile

Experts say the Kinzhal missile launches are Russia’s “show of power” to the West. However, they believe that Russia’s hypersonic missile will not contribute to changing the battlefield situation in Ukraine too much because it is an expensive and unnecessary weapon to defeat low-value targets.

Hypersonic missiles are weapons with a minimum speed of 5 times of sound (Mach 5), equivalent to more than 6,200 km/h. Thanks to their trajectory and speed, hypersonic weapons are more lethal and nearly impossible to intercept with today’s defensive shields.

President Vladimir Putin introduced the Kinzhal missile in March 2018. The Kinzhal missile is launched from a MiG-31 fighter and uses the same flight path as a ballistic missile in the middle phase, combined with strong maneuverability to avoid enemy missile shields.

The maximum range of up to 2,000 km and the speed of about 12,000 km / h of the Kinzhal missile helps the MiG-31 fighter not have to fly into the air defense net around the target, ensuring the safety of the pilot and aircraft.