You are currently viewing What is a hypersonic missile and how dangerous is it? – Russia’s claim in recent Ukraine attack raises question

What is a hypersonic missile and how dangerous is it? – Russia’s claim in recent Ukraine attack raises question

Although not independently verified yet, Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have used a new hypersonic missile in an attack on Ukraine on Friday, 18 March 2022. If true, this is the first time the country has been using it in combat.

What is a hypersonic missile?

A hypersonic missile is a weapon capable of flying at speeds five times that of the speed of sound, also called Mach 5, within a height of 90 km (in earth’s atmosphere).

According to, the Russian missile that was responsible for the attack was called Kinzhal (which translates as “Dagger” in Russian). It was aimed at a large weapons depot warehouse in the Southwestern part of Ukraine, although Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat also said that they had not identified the missile used.

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Why is a hypersonic missile dangerous?

The Mach 5 speed makes it difficult to track, while its maneuver capabilities make it harder to shoot down. World powers like the United States, Russia, China, and North Korea have been working individually on making hypersonic weapons as well.

The news of Russia claiming to have used the weapon on Ukraine is terrifying. President Putin has also revealed that his country is working on a Mach 20 hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile named Avangard that can reach anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

Meanwhile, you have to understand that hypersonic missiles are not even the most dangerous weapons being developed. In a list of ‘Top Most Dangerous Space Weapons Ever,’ it ranks lower than the intercontinental ballistic missile (which is four spots from number 1).

In addition, hypersonic technology was created to improve space flights by making faster jets and rockets. So, the tech itself is not dangerous, but it is what they do with it.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.