Russia's use of the Kinzhal missile a "head-scratcher" for Pentagon
Pentagon looks into Russia's use of hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, and Israeli media discusses the Kinzhal's capabilities.
A US military official said the Russians' use of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile was a head-scratcher, considering it odd for the Kremlin to fire a hypersonic weapon.
“It’s a bit of a head-scratcher ... Why you would need a hypersonic missile fired from not that far away to hit a building?” the official said.
Russia's Defense Ministry had said on Friday that it deployed the Kinzhal ("dagger" in Russian) to destroy a large underground warehouse of Ukrainian missiles and aviation ammunition in western Ukraine.
Then on Sunday, the Russian MoD said it used the hypersonic missile again to destroy a large Ukrainian storage base for fuels and lubricants, which is the main fuel supply base for Ukraine's armored vehicles in the country's south.
Pentagon, however, said it could not refute or independently confirm hypersonic weapon use in a strike. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said in its February report that “defending against hypersonic missiles is strategically necessary, technologically possible, and fiscally affordable, but it will not be easy.”
Israeli media: The super missile that worries "Israel" and NATO
Israeli media also discussed the strike, as Walla! news said the use of the Russian superweapons puzzled experts in Europe and "Israel".
Amir Bohbot, the website's military commentator and reporter, commented on the weapon's use, calling it "one of the secret weapons and terror missiles of the Russian army."
The Kinzhal, Bohbot said, is a ballistic air-to-surface missile capable of reaching speeds five times the speed of sound, whose range is 2,000 km, and its main purpose is to strike warships and sensitive infrastructure like air defense systems.
"Experts in Israel and Europe estimate that the use of the Russian super missile has a dramatic dimension of intimidation because of its tremendous speed, and its ability to disrupt defense systems," he added, saying that "it can be assumed that its use at such a stage of the campaign indicates a loss of patience on the Russian side."
The commentator also stated that the Kinzhal was not the only missile used in Ukraine that makes it difficult for advanced air defense systems, as Russia has also used the Iskander missile, which has been deployed in Syria in recent years.
Military Watch magazine had earlier said that the "Kinzhal is prized for its very high Mach 10 speed and high degree of maneuverability, which make it near impossible to intercept for any known air defense system."