Ukraine says it used US-made Patriot system to intercept Russian hypersonic missile | CNN


Ukraine says it has for the first time used a US-made Patriot air defense system to intercept a Russian hypersonic missile.

Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said on Telegram Saturday: “Yes, we have intercepted the ‘unmatched’ Kinzhal,’” adding the word “Patriot” and an emoji of the Ukrainian flag.

The Kh-47 Kinzhal is a hypersonic ballistic missile.

Ukraine has received at least two Patriot systems, one from the United States and one from Germany, to enhance its air defenses, which have previously been unable to intercept more modern Russian missiles such as the Kinzhal.

Oleshchuk said the interception “happened during the night attack on May 4 in the sky over Kyiv region.

He said the Kinzhal missile had been launched by a MiG-31K aircraft from Russian territory.

Yurii Ihnat, an Air Force Command spokesman, told Ukrainian television Saturday: “Yes, we do have weapons against ballistics. No-one knew whether the Patriot could operate against ballistic missiles. Well yes, it can.”

“It’s good that we have such weapon. Unfortunately there’s not much of it,” Ihnat added.

Last month Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Patriots would be critical in defending Ukrainian infrastructure against ballistic missiles.

“Building a multi-level air and missile defense system as soon as possible is our priority,” he declared. “This is to protect peaceful cities, critical infrastructure, and our people in the rear and at the front. Patriot systems create a capability that did not exist before – to defeat ballistic targets.”

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