US confirms Russia’s use of ‘Dagger’ hypersonic missiles in Ukraine

Washington: The US has officially confirmed that Russia used ‘Dagger’ nuclear-capable hypersonic aeroballistic air-to-ground missile during the hostilities in Ukraine, CNN reported.

According to the CNN report, this was the first recorded case of the use of such missiles during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, also known as ‘Dagger’, has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km, Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive manoeuvers at every stage of its flight.

It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MIG 31 K interceptors.

It entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

On Saturday, Russia’s Ministry of Defence had announced the use of the Dagger missiles to strike an underground warehouse in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region.

The US Department of Defence was able to track missile launches in real time. Weapons were used to fire on military personnel in the region’s Delyatyn village.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence believes that the offensive of the Russian forces in Ukraine has slowed down due to the inability to take control of the airspace.

“Russia has failed to gain control of the air and relies mainly on short-range weapons, which fire from the relative security zone in Russian airspace to hit targets within Ukraine,” it said.

At the same time, it is noted that gaining control of the airspace in Ukraine was one of the main goals in the first days of the conflict and the constant inability of the Russians to achieve this “significantly blunted their operational progress”, the Ministry added.

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