Russia Fired Advanced Hypersonic Missile For First Time, Claims Ukraine


(MENAFN- IANS) Kiev, Feb 13 (IANS) Ukraine has claimed it has evidence that Russia fired an advanced hypersonic missile -- one that experts say is almost impossible to shoot down -- for the first time in the almost two-year-old war, a media report said.

The government-run Kiev Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise said in a Telegram post that debris recovered after a February 7 attack on the Ukrainian capital pointed to the use of a Zircon hypersonic cruise missile by the Russian military, CNN reported.

“Markings on the parts and fragments, the identification of components and parts, and the features of the relevant type of weapon” point to the first-ever use of the Zircon in combat, said the institute, which is part of Ukraine's Justice Ministry, the report said.

The Telegram post was accompanied by a video showing dozens of pieces of debris believed to be from the new missile.

Ukrainian authorities reported four people were killed while 38 others were injured in Kiev during the February 7 attacks, but no casualties have been directly attributed to the alleged Zircon missile.

There was also no mention of the launch platform for the missile, though previous reports in Russian state media say it has been deployed on a warship, CNN reported.

Experts say the Zircon, if it lives up to what the Russian government says about it, is a formidable weapon.

Its hypersonic speed makes it invulnerable to even the best Western missile defenses, like the Patriot, according to the United States-based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), CNN reported.

--IANS

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