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Ukraine reportedly shot down two Russian “unique” Zircon missiles — Defense Express

The wreckage will allow experts to assess the technology and capabilities of this Russian hypersonic missile.
One of the wreckage of ZM22 “Zirkon” after the strike on Kyiv on 25 March 2024. Photo was shared by Defense Express
Ukraine reportedly shot down two Russian “unique” Zircon missiles — Defense Express

For the second time, Russia used its newest missile, ZM22 “Zircon,” to strike Kyiv. Two missiles were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense over the city, Defense Express reported, citing its sources and sharing a photo of the missile debris.

This is the second publicly known use of this missile after an unsuccessful attempt to attack Kyiv on 7 February 2024. After the strike on 25 March 2024, the preliminary analysis of the wreckage from the two intercepted missiles that fell within the capital confirms the use of Zircon missiles. Unlike the 7 February attack, which left only highly fragmented debris, the current wreckage provides much more informative remains.

The recovered debris will allow for a deeper analysis, providing clear answers about the missile’s engine type, guidance system, materials used, and more. This significant amount of information will help assess the real capabilities of the Zircon and the level of technology currently available to Russia for creating its most secretive missile.

The enemy attacked with Zircon missiles from the currently occupied Crimea, as confirmed by an official statement from the Air Force Command about the destruction of two ballistic missiles. 

Despite the interception, missile debris still fell to the ground, resulting in the collapse of a gym at a state educational institution. In total, seven people were injured, with two hospitalized.

It is worth noting that there have been no photographs of the ZM22 Zircon missile to date, only low-quality videos of its launch from the Russian Ministry of Defense. The missile’s characteristics also remain in question, as Russia claimed a range of 1,000 km and a speed of 9 Mach. The weight of the warhead is declared at various levels, ranging from 300 to 500 kg in different sources.

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