Kinzhal missile makes public premiere at Russia's Victory Day parade rehearsal

Russia's Kinzhal missile made its first public appearance during the Victory Day parade rehearsal in Moscow, according to pictures released by the Russian Defense Ministry. Ten Mikoyan MiG-31K (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fighter jets fitted with the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile system are undergoing operational evaluation trials, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said.

Kinzhal missile makes public premiere at Russia s Victory Day parade rehearsal 001 Two VKS MiG-31K each carrying a Kinzhla hypersonic missile during the 2018 Victory Day Parade last rehearsal
(Credit: Russian Ministry of Defence)

Borisov made this statement in an interview available on the Zvezda TV channel’s website.

"It is a cutting-edge weapon. It is an extended-range hypersonic missile able to penetrate air and ballistic missile defenses. It is invincible and has serious combat power and potential. The MiG-31 carries it. It is the best aircraft capable of accelerating the missile to required speeds at required altitudes," Borisov said.

"Proving that it is not something exotic, [I will say that] today ten planes are currently undergoing operational evaluation tests and are ready to operate, depending on the situation," he added.

The project of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system carried by the MiG-31 fighter was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his State of the Nation Address on March 1.

According to him, the missile is capable of penetrating existing and future air and ballistic missile defenses.

The Kinzhal system has been undergoing operational evaluation tests since December 1, 2017.

Initially, the MiG-31BM plane was named as the carrier of Kinzhal missiles. Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the MiG-31K had been chosen to carry the missiles.