Kh-47M2 Kinzhal
Х-47М2 Кинжал
A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal being carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K interceptor
TypeAir-launched ballistic missile
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2017–present
Used byRussian Aerospace Forces
WarsRussian invasion of Ukraine (2022–present)
Production history
DesignerBelieved to be:
Votkinsk Plant State Production Association and
Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC
Unit costUS$10 million[1]
Mass4,300 kg (9,500 lb)
Length7.2 m (23 ft 7 in) (estimated)
Diameter1,200 mm (47 in) (estimated)
Wingspan1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)

EngineSolid-propellant rocket motor
2,000 km (1,200 mi) (Including range of launching aircraft)
Maximum speed Mach 10 (3,400 m/s; 11,200 ft/s) (disputed)[2]
INS, mid-course update
Four cropped delta‐fins
ReferencesJanes[3] CSIS[4]

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (Russian: Х-47М2 Кинжал, IPA: [kʲɪn'ʐaɫ], "Dagger", NATO reporting name AS-24 Killjoy) is a Russian hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile.[5][6] It has a reported range of 1,500–2,000 km (930–1,240 mi) and speed up to Mach 10.[4] It can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads[7] and can be launched by Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia's Southern Military District and Western Military District.[8][9]

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and was one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018.[10]


The overall design of the missile is shared with the older ground-launched 9K720 Iskander missile, adapted for air launching with a modified guidance section for the Kinzhal. It can reportedly hit both static targets and mobile ones such as aircraft carriers.[11][12]

The high speed of the Kinzhal gives it better target penetration than lighter, slower cruise missiles.[13]

The missile is designed to be able to hit NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in European Russia and to destroy NATO missile defense systems, ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to the Russian borders.[citation needed]

In Russian media the "hypersonic" feature has been highlighted as a unique feature to create an impression it is a new and advanced design (hypersonic glide and scramjet) although the Kinzhal actually uses a standard ballistic missile technology at greater speeds. The "hypersonic" feature is shared with many older designs and does not represent any particular technological breakthrough.[14][15]

Russian media state the missile's range as 2,000 km (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) when carried by the MiG-31K and 3,000 km (1,900 mi; 1,600 nmi) when carried by the Tu-22M3; in both cases these figures are arrived at by adding the aircraft's combat radius to the missile's range.[16]

The fabrication of one Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile costs about US$10 million.[1]

Foreign reactions

U.S. defense officials have concluded that existing radar architectures are insufficient to detect and track hypersonic weapons.[17][18]

In March of 2022, American President Joe Biden confirmed that Russia used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine. "It's almost impossible to stop it," he said: "There's a reason they're using it."[19]

Operational history

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and was one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.[20][21] The Kinzhal missile has since been deployed on the MiG-31K,[22] the Tu-160M,[23] and the Tu-22M3M.[24] In May 2018, ten MiG-31Ks capable of using Kinzhal missiles were on experimental combat duty and ready to be deployed.[25] By December 2018, aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles had conducted 89 sorties over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.[26]

By February 2019, crews of the MiG-31K Kinzhal missile carriers had performed more than 380 training sorties with the missile, of which at least 70 have used air-to-air refueling.[12][27][28] The weapon made its public debut[how?] during the Aviadarts international contest in August 2019.[29]

According to TASS, the first launch of Kinzhal in the Arctic took place mid-November, 2019. The launch was reportedly carried out by a MiG-31K from Olenya air base. The missile hit a ground target at Pemboy proving ground, reaching a speed of Mach 10.[30] In June 2021, a Kinzhal missile was launched by a MiG-31K from Khmeimim Air Base on a ground target in Syria.[31] A separate aviation regiment was formed in 2021 which is armed with MiG-31K aircraft with the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.[32]

Rumours in early February 2022 suggested that several MiG-31 interceptors armed with Kinzhal missiles were dispatched from Soltsy Air Base, Novgorod Oblast, to Chernyakhovsk Naval Air Base in Russia's western Kaliningrad exclave.[33][34][35][36] Russia's Aerospace Force launched Kinzhal missiles[where?] on 19 February 2022.[37]

Russo-Ukrainian War

Debris presented by Ukraine in May 2023, claimed to be from a Kinzhal missile

During the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Russian military claimed to have used Kinzhal missiles to destroy an alleged underground weapons depot of the Ukrainian armed forces in Deliatyn on March 18, 2022, followed by a fuel depot in Konstantinovka the next day.[38][39] When asked about the use of these missiles, U.S President Joe Biden noted that it was a significant weapon, but ultimately had the same warhead as any other missile, which is difficult to defend against.[40]

Subsequent reports suggest that the Kinzhal missiles were used again on April 11, while on May 9, Russian Tu-22 aircraft launched three Kinzhal-type missiles at targets in the port city of Odesa.[41] In another development, three MiG-31K fighter aircraft equipped with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were redeployed to the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad Region on August 18, 2022.[42]

On 26 January 2023, the Ukrainian Air Force reported that 55 missiles, including a Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile, and 24 Shahed-136 drones had been fired at targets in Ukraine.[43] The Ukrainian Air Force claimed that they were able to shoot down all of the drones and 47 of the missiles.[43] However, one person was killed and two others were injured when an apartment block in the Holosiiv district was hit during the attack.[43]

On 9 March 2023, Ukrainian cities were hit with a barrage of 84 missiles, including 6 Kinzhals—the largest use of these missiles to date.[44]

On 4 May 2023 at about 2:40 AM over Kyiv,[45] one Kh-47M2 missile was claimed to be shot down by the Ukrainian air defense forces using a MIM-104 Patriot missile defence system.[46][47][48][49] According to CNN, the Patriot system's ability to stop an air-launched hypersonic missile was considered to be only theoretical before the claimed interception.[50] On 9 May 2023, Patrick S. Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that Ukraine downed the hypersonic missile.[51] On 10 May 2023, Vitali Klitschko showed fragments of the alleged downed Kinzhal missile for Bild journalists in Kyiv.[52] Russian media alleged that the fragments closely resembled the concrete-piercing BETAB-500ShP aerial bomb.[53][54]

On 16 May 2023, Ukraine claimed to have intercepted six Kinzhal missiles fired at Kyiv overnight; Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu denied the Ukrainian claims, saying that not that many Kinzhal missiles had been fired at all.[55] The Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have destroyed a US-built Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system with a Kinzhal missile the same night.[56][57] US officials confirmed that the Patriot system was damaged, but stated that the damage was minimal and that the battery has been fully operational after minor repairs.[58][59] Neither the US nor Ukrainian officials confirmed whether the damage was due to falling debris or another cause.

In an interview published by The Economist on 13 June 2023, the Ukrainian Patriot operators stated that the Kinzhal missiles travelled at approximately 1,240 m/s (Mach 3.6), which is about one-third of the maximum speed claimed by Russia.[2]



See also


  1. ^ a b "What is the Kinzhal missile? How much Russia's hypersonic missiles cost and when they've been used in Ukraine". i. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
    "Night attack on Ukraine cost Russia at least US$120 million". Ukrainska Pravda. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b "How Kyiv fended off a Russian missile blitz in May". The Economist. 13 June 2023. Retrieved 13 June 2023. The Russians' "unbeatable" Kh-47 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile was not only beatable; but it was actually travelling at "only" around approximately 1,240 metres per second, a third of what the Russians like to claim.
  3. ^ Janes (14 April 2022), "Kh‐47M2 Kinzhal (AS-24 'Killjoy')", Janes Weapons: Air Launched, Coulsdon, Surrey: Jane's Group UK Limited, retrieved 13 March 2023
  4. ^ a b "Kh-47M2 Kinzhal". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Kh-47M2 Kinzhal". Missile Threat. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Russia unveils Kinzhal hypersonic missile". Jane's 360.
  7. ^ Majumdar, Dave (10 May 2018). "Russia Places 10 Deadly MiG-31s on "Experimental Combat Duty" to Carry "Hypersonic" Missile".
  8. ^ "Russian Aerospace Forces test launch Kinzhal hypersonic missile". TASS.
  9. ^ Newdick, Thomas (8 February 2022). "Russian MiG-31s Armed With Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles Have Arrived In Kaliningrad". The Drive. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Advanced military technology in Russia: Putin's 'super weapons'". Chatham House. 23 September 2021.
  11. ^ Lavikainen, Jyri (14 September 2021). Strengthening Russia's Nuclear Forces in the Arctic: The Case of the Kinzhal Missile. (Report).
  12. ^ a b "Russia picks MiG-31 fighter as a carrier for cutting-edge hypersonic weapon". TASS. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  13. ^ "What are hypersonic missiles and why is Russia using them?". the Guardian. 20 March 2022. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  14. ^ Holdings, Alex (21 March 2022). "Why the 'hypersonic missile' Russia says it just used in Ukraine isn't as advanced as it sounds". Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  15. ^ Pickrell, Ryan. "Russia's Kinzhal was never an unstoppable hypersonic missile, but the Patriot shot that killed one is still 'impressive,' expert says". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Russian strategic bomber to extend Kinzhal hypersonic missile's range — source". TASS. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Report to Congress on Hypersonic Missile Defense". USNI News. 27 January 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  18. ^ Macias, Amanda (21 March 2018). "Russia and China are 'aggressively developing' hypersonic weapons — here's what they are and why the US can't defend against them". CNBC. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  19. ^ Davis, Charles R. "Biden confirms Russia used hypersonic missile in Ukraine: 'It's almost impossible to stop it'". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Kinzhal complex substantially boosts Russia's Aerospace Force capabilities – commander". Tass.
  21. ^ Alastair Jamieson (1 March 2018). "Putin unveils new Russian nuclear missile, says it renders defenses 'useless'". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  22. ^ Tanmay Kadam (2 May 2023). "Ukraine's 'Best Interceptor' No Match To Russian Foxhound As MiG-31 Outguns Su-27 In Altitude, Speed & Range". The Eurasian Times. Archived from the original on 3 May 2023. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  23. ^ The New Voice of Ukraine (1 March 2023). "What a defector engineer from Russia can tell the U.S. about Tu-160 strategic bombers". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Russia's upgraded strategic bomber to feature advanced avionics suite". TASS. Archived from the original on 27 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Интервью заместителя Министра обороны России Юрия Борисова о новой военной технике" [Interview with Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia Yuri Borisov about new military equipment]. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Russian MoD sums up 2018 results, details 2019 deliveries". 3 February 2019. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019.
  27. ^ "Russian fighters armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles hold drills with strategic bombers". TASS. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  28. ^ "New Russian weapons to guarantee security of the country without increasing costs and involvement in the arms race". 20 February 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  29. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Авиамикс в этом году стал самым зрелищным за историю конкурса «Авиадартс-2019»" [TsAMTO / News / Aviamix this year has become the most spectacular in the history of the Aviadarts-2019 competition].
  30. ^ "Источники: испытания гиперзвуковой ракеты "Кинжал" впервые проведены в Арктике" [Sources: tests of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile were carried out in the Arctic for the first time]. TASS (in Russian). 30 November 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  31. ^ "Истребитель МиГ-31К нанёс удар гиперзвуковой ракетой "Кинжал" по неизвестной цели в Сирии" [MiG-31K fighter jet fired a Kinzhal hypersonic missile at an unknown target in Syria]. (in Russian). 29 June 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Russian troops receive over 5,000 advanced weapon systems in 2021 — defense chief". TASS. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  33. ^ Newdick, Thomas (8 February 2022). "Russian MiG-31s Armed With Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles Have Arrived In Kaliningrad". The Drive. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  34. ^ "MiG-31K Jets Deploy to Kaliningrad: 'Dagger' Hypersonic Missiles Pointed at the Heart of Europe". 9 February 2022.
  35. ^ Shestak, Evgueniya (8 February 2022). "Появились данные о переброске МиГ-31К с "Кинжалом" в Калининградскую область" [There was information about the transfer of the MiG-31K with the "Dagger" to the Kaliningrad region]. Vzglyad (in Russian).
  36. ^ "Russia Deploys Hypersonic Missile to Baltic in Range of NATO Capitals". Forbes.
  37. ^ "Russian MoD Releases Footage of Strategic Forces Drills". YouTube.
  38. ^ "Russia says it used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine for first time". Al Jazeera. 19 March 2022.
  39. ^ Paul Kirby (19 March 2022). "Russia claims first use of hypersonic Kinzhal missile in Ukraine". BBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  40. ^ Davis, Charles R. (21 March 2022). "Biden confirms Russia used hypersonic missile in Ukraine: 'It's almost impossible to stop it'". Business Insider.
  41. ^ Герасимова, Таня (9 May 2022). "Russian Troops Launch Another Missile Strike On Odesa Region, 2 People Injured". Ukrainian News.
  42. ^ "MiG-31 jets with Kinzhal missiles go on combat alert in Russia's westernmost region". 18 August 2022.
  43. ^ a b c Daniel Boffey (26 January 2023). "Ukraine 'cannot be broken' says its top general after Russian missile attack". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  44. ^ Magramo, Kathleen; Guy, Jack; Sangal, Aditi; Vogt, Adrienne; Meyer, Matt (9 March 2023). "Russia's war in Ukraine - Ukraine's infrastructure was hit by dozens of missile strikes Thursday". CNN. See entry at 18:29
  45. ^ Cazalet, Mark (11 May 2023). "Dagger Fallen – Assessing Ukraine's Downing of the Kinzhal Missile". European Security & Defence. Bonn: Mittler Report Verlag. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  46. ^ "Ukraine downs hypersonic Russian missile using Patriot defense system". Politico. 6 May 2023.
  47. ^ "Ukraine says it downed hypersonic Russian missile with Patriot system". Reuters. 6 May 2023.
  48. ^ Stern, David. "Ukraine says it shot down hypersonic Russian missile with Patriot system". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 6 May 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  49. ^ Neuman, Scott (6 May 2023). "Ukraine says its newly fielded U.S. Patriot system downed a Russian hypersonic missile". NPR. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  50. ^ "US officials are confident in Ukraine's claim it used Patriot system to stop a hypersonic missile, source says". CNN. 7 May 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  51. ^ "Pentagon: Ukraine used U.S.-made Patriot to down Russian hypersonic missile". The Washington Times. 9 May 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  52. ^ ""Kiew spricht von einem historischen Abschuss"" ["Kyiv speaks of a historic shootdown"] (in German). Welt. 10 May 2023. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  53. ^ "В Сети высмеяли Кличко, перепутавшего «Кинжал» с обычной авиабомбой". 11 May 2023.
  54. ^ Tiwari, Sakshi (11 May 2023). "Ukraine Flaunts Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile Shot Down By Kyiv". The EurAsian Times. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  55. ^ "Russland dementiert ukrainische Angaben zu abgefangenen Raketen" [Russia denies Ukrainian claims of intercepted missiles] (in German). Tagesschau. 16 May 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  56. ^ "Ukraine Shoots Down Six Hypersonic Missiles Fired by Russia". Newsweek. 16 May 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  57. ^ Garanich, Gleb; Karazy, Sergiy (16 May 2023). "In first, Kyiv says it shoots down volley of Russian hypersonic missiles". Reuters. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  58. ^ "US officials say damage to Patriot missile defense system was minimal following Russian attack near Kyiv". CNN. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  59. ^ "Pentagon confirms damage to Patriot system in Ukraine, says it's already repaired". Kyiv Independent. 18 May 2023. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  60. ^ "Russia's top brass signs a host of deals on advanced weapons delivery to Russian troops". TASS. 24 August 2021.