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What is Kinzhal, Russia's advanced hypersonic missile used in Ukraine? 5 points

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Mar 19, 2022 02:33 PM IST

Kinzhal, which means dagger, accelerates to a speed of 4,900 km per hour and may reach the speed of 12,350 km per hour, it is believed.

Russia has claimed to have used Kinzhal, its newest hypersonic missiles, for the first time in Ukraine on Friday, to destroy storage of weapons in the country's western part. Kinzhal has been termed as a game-changer as Russia was testing it. Now that it claims to have used it in the war going on for the past few weeks, experts are closely watching whether the deployment of Kinzhal brings a new turn in the conflict.

A file photo of a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet carrying a Kinzhal missile.(AP)

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Here are 5 things to know about Kinzhal:

1. Kinzhal is an air-launched hypersonic missile with a reported range of 1,500-2,000km. It can carry nuclear payload of 480 kg. This is 33 times the yield of the Fat Man bomb dropped on Hiroshima, reports claimed. 

2. Russian President Vladimir Putin had reportedly unveiled the Kinzhal in March 2018. Kinzhal means dagger. Experts believe the concept of Kinzhal must have derived from the ground-launched Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile.

3. After being launched, Kinzhal accelerates to a speed of 4,900 km per hour and may reach the speed of 12,350 km per hour, it is believed.

4. Kinzhal is believed to have the capacity of hurling a deep strike.

5. Putin has termed the Kinzhal as an ideal weapon" that flies at 10 times the speed of sound and can overcome air-defence systems.

Experts are divided over what to make out of Russia's huge claim as they are not even sure of the claims of the Russian defence ministry about the Dagger. According to earlier reports, Russia had deployed Kinzal in Kalinigrad, as Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea bordering Poland and Lithuania in February, while it was building up the deployment of its military near Ukraine.

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