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Defense Express: Missile debris in Kyiv resembles Russia’s secret Zircon “hypersonic”

Putin showcased Zircon missile in 2019 as Russia’s latest innovation, but experts doubt its stated capabilities.
Defense Express: Missile debris in Kyiv resembles Russia's secret Zircon "hypersonic"
The found debris include the characters “3M22”, which aligns with the Zircon’s reported designation. Photo: Defense Express
Defense Express: Missile debris in Kyiv resembles Russia’s secret Zircon “hypersonic”

According to the Ukrainian military publication Defense Express, debris analyzed after Russia’s massive missile attack on Kyiv bears markings resembling the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missile.

The fragments include the characters “3M22”, which aligns with the Zircon’s reported designation. While not conclusively confirming the missile’s use, experts note the remnants match known details of the notoriously secret Zircon program.

The Kyiv location of the debris discovery. Photo: the National Police of Ukraine

Defense Express suggests that the missile might have been intercepted and adds that the fragments resemble those of another unidentified rocket used by the Russians in early 2024 to attack Ukraine. At that time, experts also speculated that it could have been a Zircon missile.

Yuriy Ignat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, stated that they could only confirm something definitively once the debris was verified.

In Russia, Zircon is referred to as a “hypersonic” missile. However, experts say it could be solid-fueled like the Kinzhal and accelerate to significant speeds. Its launch range is reportedly within 600 km, although reports occasionally suggest up to 1000 km.

On 7 February, Russia launched a massive missile attack on cities across Ukraine, resulting in 5 deaths and over 40 injuries. Ukraine claims its forces destroyed 29 incoming missiles and 15 kamikaze drones.

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