Russian Hypersonic Missile Downed by U.S. Patriot Defense System

On Saturday, Ukraine’s air force announced they had successfully intercepted a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile over Kyiv while deploying the recently procured American Patriot system. As far as it is known, this is the first time Ukraine has defeated one of Russia’s most advanced technologies.

According to the Russian military, the air-launched ballistic missile has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles). It travels at ten times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept.

Mykola Oleshchuk, the Ukrainian Air Force commander, stated in a Telegram message that the Kinzhal-type ballistic missile was intercepted during an earlier night attack on the Ukrainian capital this week. This also represents the first time Ukraine has employed the Patriot defense system.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov revealed that he initially requested Patriot systems during a visit to the U.S. in August 2021, several months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion but seven years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Reznikov described owning the system as “a dream” but was informed at the time in the U.S. that it was unattainable.