- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Unstoppable Kinzhal: One US-Made Patriot 'Cracked Up', More to Come

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the mediabankA Kinzhal missile. File photo
A Kinzhal missile. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2023
Russia's knocking-out of the US-made MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system stationed in Kiev with a Kinzhal hypersonic missile is a PR coup for Moscow, Boris Rozhin, a military expert with the Center for Military-Political Journalism, told Sputnik, adding that more Patriots may soon be "cracked up" too.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that a Patriot system had been hit by a Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile in Kiev on May 16.
The Kinzhal launch came amid the Russian Armed Forces' "combined attack with long-range precision-guided air- and sea-based weapons against the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) units, as well as depots of ammunition, weapons and military equipment supplied by Western countries," according to the statement. Presently, the Ukrainian military possesses two Patriot complexes.

"Russia scored an important victory for its image," said Rozhin. "It showed that this [Patriot] complex, despite all the PR fuss around it, is quite vulnerable, and if desired, Russia can disable it. (…) And, accordingly, having destroyed one complex, Russia will look for the next ones that are there."

Footage purportedly of Russia's Kinzhal missile hitting the Patriot air defense system in Kiev has already created hype on social media.
In the video, the extremely dense work of the batteries of the American MIM-104 Patriot air defense system can be seen. As soon as the air defense system runs out of missiles, a powerful explosion occurs at the place where the launches were made.
The Russian Aerospace Forces conducts test launch of a Kinzhal hypersonic aviation and missile system - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.05.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Russia’s Kinzhal Missile Hits US-Made Patriot System in Kiev
According to Rozhin, the footage in question debunked Kiev's attempts to lie that "everything is fine." The Western mainstream media rushed to claim that the US-made system had not been completely taken down, but only "damaged." However, it's clear that the Russian strike made the Patriot non-operational, even if just a single element of the sophisticated complex was destroyed, according to the military expert. He added that it would take much time and effort to fix it.

"The Russian Ministry of Defense is in no hurry to disclose how the attack was organized," continued Rozhin. "Apparently, initially there were various drones and missiles that lured the work of enemy air defense systems, including the Patriot, and after a specific area of operation of the Patriot air defense system was identified, it was hit by the Kinzhal hypersonic system. Actually, in the footage published by the bloggers, it is clearly seen that before the missile hit the Patriot position area, apparently, the crew noticed that the target was not some object in Kiev, but themselves. A massive launch of missiles was carried out [by the Patriot], 32 missiles were fired to intercept the Kinzhal, they could not bring it down, and accordingly, the Kinzhal hit the target."

A multi-purpose MiG-31 fighter with the hypersonic Kinzhal rocket on the military parade devoted to the 73rd anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2023
Nutcracker: What We Know About Russia's Kinzhal Hitting US Patriot System in Kiev
The military expert noted that Western press assessed the massive missile launch as a sign that the Patriot's crew panicked. That is, they decided that if they fire all missiles at once, then, perhaps, at least one of them would hit the Kinzhal. Alas, all their calculations were proven wrong.
On the one hand, this situation has been interpreted as a result of insufficient training of the Ukrainian crew. On the other, if the Patriot complex was operated by the foreign military, it would look even worse for the West, meaning that the crew's failure to intercept the hypersonic missile apparently cost them several lives of NATO officers or instructors, according to Rozhin.
Furthermore, the aforementioned footage demonstrated that even a massive launch of missiles is incapable of stopping the Kinzhal. It likewise showed that the Patriot is out-of-date, as per the military expert, who recalled that, previously, Saudi Arabia subjected the US-made air defense system to tough criticism for not meeting the stated specifications.

"The Patriot is a system of the past," Rozhin said. "The Patriot must provide air defense due to a large number of missiles, through interaction with other systems, including electronic warfare systems, and AWACS aircraft. They should, by default, shoot down aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. The Patriot PAC-2 and the Patriot PAC-3 are the two main versions currently exploited around the world, in the US and various countries. But even during the war in Yemen, it became clear that even though the PAC-3 was said to be effective against Iranian cruise ballistic missiles, some objects that were covered by these [air defense] complexes were nonetheless hit by Iranian missiles. In this regard, the Patriot remains quite effective against aircraft and missiles of the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s. (…) [However] the Patriot does not have any means of fighting against hypersonic weapons. When this complex was created, there was no such a task," he concluded.

Multi-purpose fighters MiG-31 with the hypersonic Kinzhal rockets on the military parade devoted to the 73rd anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.05.2023
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