Planes equipped with Kinzhal projectiles have been deployed in the western enclave of Kaliningrad, according to Moscow
Three Mig-31 supersonic interceptor planes carrying Kinzhal hypersonic air-to-surface missiles have been deployed in the western exclave of Kaliningrad, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
On Thursday, the planes were transferred to the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad region as part of “additional strategic deterrents”, explained the ministry.
During their flight, the Mig-31s established interactions with Russian forces stationed in the region, as well as with the naval aviation of the Baltic Fleet, he added.
The planes, armed with Kinzhal missiles, will be placed on 24/7 combat duty in Kaliningrad, according to the Defense Ministry.
Russia’s neighbor Finland said later Thursday that the MiG-31s may have violated its airspace over the Gulf of Finland as they headed for their destination. According to the Finnish Defense Ministry, an investigation has been opened into the incident.
Kinzhal, which means “dagger” in English, can move at a speed of Mach 12 (about 14,800 km/h), while constantly carrying out evasive maneuvers, which would allow it to penetrate all existing air defenses . Several of these missiles were fired by Russia during the conflict in Ukraine, according to the Ministry of Defense.
It is one of many hypersonic systems developed for the country’s military in recent years, along with the Avangard glider, which is mounted on silo-based ICBMs, and Zircon (Tsirkon) missiles, which will be used by the Marine.
Kaliningrad, which borders Poland and Lithuania and has access to the Baltic Sea, also hosts nuclear-capable Iskander missiles.
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