Did Russia Really Use Hypersonic Weapons? ‘I’m not convinced yet’

If the hypersonic missiles have indeed been used, Bolder estimates, “then that could also be a sign that Russia is starting to run out of precision weapons.”

The latter is also the assessment of Danny Pronk, security researcher at the Clingendael Institute. “They’ve used quite a few precision weapons already, and they’re a bit out of stock.”

Excellent opportunity to test

Pronk does consider it likely that Russia actually deployed its hypersonic missiles. “We know that just before the war MiG-31 fighter jets were stationed in the enclave of Kaliningrad, equipped with these Kinzjal missiles (“kinzjal” means “dagger”). From there, you can easily reach the weapons depot in Western Ukraine. hit, so in terms of range it can be.”

The war in Ukraine is also “an excellent opportunity to now operationally test these new weapons: do they really work as designed, in a war? We know that Russia has done the same in Syria: there they used all kinds of new weapons for the first time” , says Pronk. There may even be a demonstration element in it, aimed at other countries, he thinks: “Show what you have in store, with a view to arms exports.”

Will the use of the hypersonic missile now become a game changer, hitting targets in Ukraine every day? That’s unlikely. Pronk: “It is difficult to say how many they have in stock. There is a unit of about 20 to 25 MiGs equipped with these missiles, but not every aircraft will have them. It seems to me that they have more than have 20 of them in stock.”

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