Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Russia Releases Footage of New 'Kinzhal' Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Missile

Russia Releases Footage of New 'Kinzhal' Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Missile

Russia's Defense Ministry on Saturday said it successfully launched a hypersonic missile dubbed the Kinzhal missile that President Vladimir Putin unveiled earlier this month.

According to the defence ministry, the missile was launched from a MiG-31 jet that took off from an airfield in south-west Russian Federation on Saturday. "The launch was normal; the hypersonic missile hit the preset target on the test site", the ministry added.

It then affirmed "the launch was successful, the hypersonic missile hit the designated target at the field". The movie was released just one week ahead of the presidential elections in Russian Federation on March 18 that Putin is expected to win.

In a short one-minute video, the Kinzhal is shown mounted under a MiG-31 interceptor aircraft.

The Kinzhal missile, also known as the Dagger, can apparently evade air-defence systems and flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound at a casual 7,700mph, according to the Daily Mail.

During his speech to Russia's Federal Assembly earlier this month, Putin announced the new missile.

The country's Ministry of Defense released what it says is a video showing the missile being dropped from a plane followed by a fiery tail.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Facebook that work had also been done to modernise the "unique" MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile.

In his speech at the beginning of the month, Putin said Russian Federation had tested an array of new nuclear weapons 'invulnerable to enemy interception.

One suggestion for delivery is that it may be launched from the new Russian Sarmat intercontinental missile system - due to come into service this year.

In an interview with NBC News, Putin argued that that those responsible for allegedly tampering with the election might not even be Russian, but rather minorities like Jews and Tatars with dual citizenship.

In its response the U.S. state department said this was not "the behaviour of a responsible global player".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis noted that some of the comments were little more than election rhetoric, saying that he saw no change to the Russian military capability and that they won't change the military balance. "They do not impact any need on our side for a change in our deterrence posture".

Putin has rattled Russian sabers repeatedly in the past, and military analysts said a lack of detailed information made it hard to assess his statements about weapons.

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