Russia has used the Kinzhal, a hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, to strike targets in Ukraine, apparently to send a message of “challenging” the West.
Ministry of Defense Russia On March 19, the first use of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile was confirmed to hit a base in the eastern Ivano-Frankivsk region. UkraineA day later, Moscow announced the continuation of the Kinzhal fire attack on a fuel depot near the village of Kostyantynivka in southwestern Nikolayev Governorate.
The Pentagon said it had detected Russia using the advanced hypersonic missile in Ukraine, and the U.S. military was able to track Kinzar’s flight path during the attack.
Dominika Kunertova, an expert at the Zurich Center for Security Studies, said the Kinzhal missile launch was Russia’s “show of strength” to the West in Ukraine’s nearly month-long war.
Hypersonic missiles are often described as “stealth” weapons because of their high speed, combined with their maneuverability in flight, which allows them to evade most existing missile defense systems. Now. Both Russia and China claim to have hypersonic weapons, and the U.S. is still working on developing the program.
Rebecca Kovler, a former U.S. defense intelligence official and Russia expert, also said the Kinzhal launch was part of Russia’s strategic plan. “It’s a game changer for geopolitics, not the military, as they try to send a strategic message,” Koffler said.
With the decision to launch the Kinzar missile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is signaling to the United States and NATO that he is ready to increase the use of the country’s military, Kovler said. “He could have used other cruise missiles, but he chose hypersonic missiles,” Koffler said. “The strategic message here is that Russia already has these weapons and the U.S. doesn’t.”
According to her, the military value of the Kinzhal missile in an attack is not much higher than that of other ballistic or cruise missiles. The point, however, is that Kinzar can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.
“Putin is sending a message that Russia has a high tolerance for nuclear war,” the expert said. “If the US and the West continue to press Russia, he will have no choice but to do so.”
Russia still adheres to the principle of mutual deterrence, and President Putin is unlikely to use nuclear weapons against the United States or NATO members. However, it is unclear how the United States and NATO would react if Russia used nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Kovler said Russia’s move to launch hypersonic Kinzar missiles in Ukraine was aimed at forcing concessions from the West amid an increased risk of a nuclear attack.
“Putin wants to prevent Western intervention in Ukraine, otherwise he will cross the red line of nuclear weapons,” the expert said.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s strategic deterrent to switch to a state of readiness at all times, raising concerns about the risk of a destructive nuclear war. However, the United States and Britain later discovered that there had been little significant change in Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic anti-ship missile, one of six superweapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his March 2018 State of the Union address, was assessed as having a high deterrent capability and sufficient attack power. missile defense system.
To achieve this power, Kinzhal missiles are launched from MiG-31 fighter jets and use the flight path as a ballistic missile in the intermediate stage, combined with great maneuverability to evade enemy missile shields. The Kinzhal missile has a maximum range of up to 2,000 kilometers and a speed of about 12,000 kilometers per hour, which helps the MiG-31 fighter not have to fly into the air defense net around the target, ensuring the safety of the pilot and the aircraft.
However, apart from “frustrating” information from the West, Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missile will not do much to change the battlefield situation in Ukraine, because it is an expensive weapon, said expert Kunetova. , and there is no need to shoot down the target. There is little strategic value.
“It’s probably just a few single launches of the Kinzhal missile by Russia, as the country has not produced many of these advanced weapons,” Kunetova said.
Russia launched a special military operation on February 24 to “disarm Ukraine and de-fascism”. Russian troops fired missiles at multiple targets in Ukraine on March 20, while ground forces were said to have made “limited progress”.
Nguyen Jin (according to Fox News)