- President Joe Biden said Russia used a hypersonic missile over the weekend.
- “It’s almost impossible to stop it,” he said: “There’s a reason they’re using it.”
- Hypersonic weapons can travel at more than five times the speed of sound.
Russia fired a hypersonic missile at Ukraine over the weekend in part because Kyiv has been “wreaking havoc” on their military, President Joe Biden said Monday.
On Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced it had for the first time used a Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile, a munition that can travel at speeds faster than Mach 5, striking a Ukrainian weapons depot.
On Monday, a US official said the Pentagon had not been able to confirm that the launch took place, Politico reported. But speaking at a conference with business leaders later in the day, Biden did just that, arguing that Russia had done so because of the losses it faced at the hands of Ukrainian forces.
“They’ve just launched their hypersonic missile because it’s the only thing they can get through with absolute certainty,” Biden said. “As you all know, it’s a consequential weapon but with the same warhead on it as any other launched missile. It doesn’t make that much difference except it’s almost impossible to stop it. There’s a reason they’re using it.”
Because of their speed and trajectory, hypersonic weapons have the potential to be more damaging and harder to shoot down than conventional ballistic missiles.
But, as Biden noted, the missile that Russia fired is effectively a modified version of an older munition — and as Sandboxx News’ Alex Hollings observed, more a marketing gimmick than a next-generation technology, albeit one that can fly at more than 3,836 mph and potentially send a message to adversaries about a willingness to escalate.
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