About Kinzhal Missile:
- The Kh-47M2, nicknamed "Kinzhal" (Dagger), is a nuclear-capable, Russian air-launched ballistic missile.
- It was one of six “next generation” weapons unveiled by Russian President Putin during a speech in March 2018.
- The Kinzhal can reach speeds of up to Mach 10 (12,350 km/hr).
- It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads with a payload of up to 480 kg and a thermonuclear option with a 10-50 kt warhead.
- It has a reported range of 1,500-2,000 km.
- The Kinzhal has a length of 8 m, a body diameter of 1 m, and a launch weight of approximately 4,300 kg.
- It is designed to be launched from MiG-31 fighter jets at altitudes of about 18 km (59,000 ft).
- This missile maneuvers during all stages of its flight to overcome hostile air defense systems.
What are Hypersonic Missiles?
- A hypersonic missile is a weapon system which flies at least at the speed of Mach 5 i.e. five times the speed of sound and is manoeuvrable.
- These missiles are extremely fast and far harder for surface-to-air missile defence systems to target.
Q1) What is a ballistic missile?
Ballistic missiles are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target. Ballistic missiles can carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.