First results of Zircon missile analysis unveiled following strikes on Kyiv by Russian Federation

Launch of the Zircon missile from the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov
Launch of the Zircon missile from the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov

Hypersonic Zircon missiles Russia used to strike Kyiv on Feb. 7 and March 25 fell short of their intended combat objectives, Andriy Kulchytskyi, head of the military research laboratory at the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise, told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne on March 27.

Kulchytskyi reached these conclusions following the analysis of missile fragments.

"All the descriptives such as 'super,' 'hyper' — they're just words," he said.

"The missile has a long way to go before it's combat-ready."

The missile "veers off course and fails to fulfill its intended purpose," Kulchytskyi said.

Read also: Russian deployment of Zircon missiles suggests weapon shortage, says UA Air Force

The Ukrainian air defense systems are reportedly capable of intercepting Zircons. A fragment from the March 25 missile strike indicates it was intercepted by the Patriot system, he said.

The missile's warhead contains no more than 40 kilograms of explosives, Kulchytskyi said. Further analyses are underway to determine the exact composition.

"The warhead's payload is minimal compared to missiles like the Kh-101 and Kh-22," the expert said.

Russia strikes Kyiv with Zircon missiles - What is known

Russia attacked Kyiv with several hypersonic ballistic missiles launched from occupied Crimea on March 25. Due to the extreme velocity of the missiles, the air raid alert was sounded almost simultaneously with them reaching the Ukrainian capital. Although the missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses, falling debris injured ten people across the city.

The two missiles, shot down by Ukraine’s air defense over Kyiv on March 25, were likely ZM22 Zircon missiles, Defense Express reported, citing sources, and sharing a photo of missile debris.

This is the second known use of this missile after an unsuccessful attempt to attack Kyiv on Feb. 7, the journalists said.

The Air Force could not yet confirm as of March 26 that Zircon missiles were fired at Kyiv.

Read also: Putin confirms Russian army's use of Zircon missile in Ukraine strike

The Russians have stockpiled Zircon missiles in Crimea and will continue its targeted terror, especially against Kyiv, Southern Defense Forces spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk said, commenting on Russian tactics on March 26.

Russia's deployment of Zircon missiles could indicate a deficit in other missile varieties, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson, Ilya Yevlash, said on March 27.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine