Zircon missiles to become serious challenge for Ukrainian Air Defense – UK Intel

A fragment of a preliminary Tsirkon missile, which could have been used by the Russians to hit Kyiv
A fragment of a preliminary Tsirkon missile, which could have been used by the Russians to hit Kyiv

New reports suggest that Russia may have begun using new missiles in its attacks on Ukraine, according to an intelligence report by the British Ministry of Defense published on Feb. 14.

If the use of the Zircon confirmed, further attacks may pose a serious challenge to Ukrainian air defense, due to the weapon’s speed and maneuverability.

Intelligence officials noted that Russia probably deployed the Zircon in order to test the new weapons system in an active war environment and to demonstrate its capabilities.

The Zircon missile, which is capable of reaching Mach 9 (6905 mph) at a range up to 1,000 km (621 miles), was originally designed for use by the Russian Navy. But the lack of ships in the Black Sea Fleet capable of carrying the missile raised questions about how it could be deployed.

Read also: Deaths in Kyiv and Mykolaiv, residential buildings, infrastructure, targeted by Russia on February 7 — photos, video

According to the report, it is likely that the Russians have begun to use the land-based Bastion coastal missle complex for this purpose.

On Feb. 7, the Defense Express military portal reported that Russia could have used a new ZM22 Zircon missile during the Feb. 7 missile attack on Ukraine. According to the site, the fact that Russia fired at Kyiv with these missiles is indicated by corresponding photos. One picture depicts the wreckage of a weapon bearing the marking 3M22, which corresponds to this particular missile type.

Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force, said on national TV that the Air Force cannot confirm that Russia used new types of missiles during the attack. According to him, experts must first verify the wreckage.

On Feb. 12, experts from the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise concluded that Russian troops used M22 Zircon missiles to attack Ukrainian cities on Feb. 7.

Read also: Ukraine destroys 44 of 64 Russian missiles and drones during massive Feb. 7 attack – Zaluzhnyi

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine