The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that it signed a contract for the delivery of a batch of Kinzhal hypersonic nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missiles with the KB Mashinostroyeniya (Machine-Building Design Bureau, part of the Rostec corporation).
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“A state contract for production and delivery of Kinzhal missiles was signed at the international defense forum Army-2021,” the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Russia is developing the latest Kh-95 long-range hypersonic airborne missile for its armed forces. The Russian military believes that dominance in airspace and outer space is vital to maintain an edge over adversaries.
“It is for this purpose that such new and modernized models of weapons, military and special equipment, such as the Tu-160M strategic missile carrier-bomber; the Kinzhal [“dagger”] hypersonic airborne missile system; high-precision long-range airborne weapons, in particular the Kh-95 hypersonic missile, are being developed and introduced into service for the Russian Aerospace Forces,” Colonel-General Vladimir Zarudnitskyaid wrote in an article.
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said back in February that hypersonic weapons would be the main component of the country’s conventional deterrence forces.
There are also reports that Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighters may be equipped with the prospective Kinzhal missiles after 2030, a representative of the Russian Aerospace Forces told President Vladimir Putin according to Sputnik News Agency.
There are plans to equip the Su-57 fighter jet with an advanced Okhotnik combat drone, the representative recalled in his conversation with Putin at an exhibition in the National Defense Management Center.
Earlier, two MiG-31K aircraft loaded with carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were deployed to Syria for the first time as part of joint military drills, the Russian defense ministry had stated.
“A pair of MiG-31K aircraft, which are able to use the newest Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, flew for the exercise to Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in the Syrian Arab Republic,” the statement said.
The aircraft will carry out “learning tasks” in Syria, one of the crews said.
Challenging The West
Western hypersonic missiles pose no threat to Russia, as Russian missile defense systems are capable of shooting them down, Pavel Sozinov, general designer at the Almaz-Antey defense concern said on Tuesday in an interview with Sputnik.
In July 2020, the US revealed its plan to develop hypersonic missiles capable of flying at velocities of 17 times the speed of sound and labeled by then-President Donald Trump as “super-duper.”
“We can deal with any hypersonic missile, either existing or that can be created in the near future,” Sozinov stated.
The high speed of missiles itself entails no repercussions since any hypersonic missile can develop a maximum speed only at high altitude, and while approaching the target and entering the atmosphere, it loses speed, the general designer elaborated.
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“These ‘super missiles’ developed abroad pose no tangible threat to us, and we know how to develop further in this sphere,” Sozinov added.
The Almaz-Antey defense concern has long been living in a “hypersonic reality,” as almost all the ballistic missiles, its defense systems are aimed at intercepting, are hypersonic, and Almaz-Antey’s defense missiles themselves are capable of developing hypersonic speeds.
Russia is a pioneer in developing hypersonic weapons, with its cutting-edge Avangard missile unveiled back in 2018 and deployed in 2019.
The Almaz-Antey is Russia’s leading corporation in the defense-industry complex, comprising over 60 hi-tech companies, specialized in developing air defense systems, radars and control systems.
The corporation, established in 2002, has developed such missile defense systems as S-400, the Tor and the Buk, and holds a leading position in the international defense supplies market.
With Inputs from Sputnik News Agency