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Ukrainian PAC-3 Patriot missile downs Russian undetectable Kh-47 Kynzhal Hypersonic Missile

According to information published by the Ukrainian defense website "Defense Express" on May 5, 2023, the Ukrainian air defense has successfully intercepted a Russian undetectable Kh-47 Kynzhal hypersonic missile using the American Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile system. The Kh-47 is considered a stealth missile, indeed, it is designed to have a low radar cross-section, making it difficult for enemy radars to detect it. The missile is also highly maneuverable, which makes it difficult to intercept.
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One of the photos displays the nose fairing, which closely resembles the Kh-47 "Dagger" missile's design, featuring sharp diameter transitions in its intricate shape. (Picture source Defense Express)

For the first time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully intercepted a Russian "hypersonic" missile, the Kh-47 "Kinzhal", at around 02:40 on May 4, 2023, in the skies over Kyiv. Citing information from the "Defense Express" website, the Kh-47 missile was reportedly shot down by a Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile.

The attack on Kyiv that night was officially reported by the Kyiv City Military Administration, noting that in addition to kamikaze drones Shahed, there were also missiles involved - "likely of a ballistic type."

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile defense system has now proven its ability to intercept hypersonic missiles in real combat conditions. This marks a significant milestone for missile defense technology, as hypersonic missiles are known for their extreme speed and maneuverability, making them difficult targets to intercept.

The successful interception highlights the importance of continued investment in missile defense systems to counter potential threats from adversaries utilizing advanced missile technologies. The PAC-3 system, developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, is currently employed by numerous countries around the world as part of their defense strategy. This latest development bolsters confidence in the system's ability to protect against evolving threats on the modern battlefield.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile is a modern and sophisticated air defense system designed to intercept a variety of airborne threats, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and ballistic missiles. It is an upgrade to the earlier Patriot missile system and features advanced technologies such as hit-to-kill capability, improved guidance, and better maneuverability.

The PAC-3 missile is equipped with a solid-fueled rocket motor that enables it to reach high speeds and achieve a range of up to 35 kilometers. The system's radar provides detection, tracking, and guidance for the missile, while its advanced onboard computer system ensures high accuracy and effectiveness in targeting and intercepting threats.

The Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile is a highly advanced air-launched weapon system that significantly enhances tactical and combat capabilities. Its primary advantage is its impressive speed, which reaches Mach 10 or above, making it extremely difficult for existing air defense systems to intercept. The missile's ability to maneuver during flight further complicates tracking and targeting efforts.

Equipped with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, the Kinzhal missile enables its users to engage targets at long distances with precision. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, posing a considerable threat to various types of targets, including naval vessels, ground installations, and fortified positions.

The conventional warheads are typically used for precision strikes against military installations, infrastructure, and naval vessels, while the nuclear warheads enable the Kinzhal to serve as a strategic deterrent, capable of delivering a devastating blow to enemy targets. The combination of high speed, maneuverability, and different warhead options make the Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile a formidable weapon in modern warfare.

Ukrainian PAC 3 Patriot missile downs Russian undetectable Kh 47 Hypersonic Missile 925 002
A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) missile is launched during the recent successful Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) flight test at White Sands Missile Range. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

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