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Russia tried to destroy US Patriot system in Ukraine — but Moscow’s plan blew up

The hypersonic missile Russia fired at Kyiv last week was intended to destroy an American-made Patriot air defense system in Ukraine – but Moscow’s plan blew up.

 

Instead, the Ukrainian military shot down the high-tech missile using the Patriot system, marking the first known instance in which the equipment was used successfully after arriving in the country weeks ago, US officials told CNN.

The Ukrainian military fired multiple missiles at various angles from the American defense system to intercept Moscow’s missile, indicating how quickly the military learned to used technology, which uses radar to detect incoming targets at long ranges.

 

Officials said they believe Russians may have picked up on the signals emitted from the Patriot system, which allowed them to target it.

 

Ukraine has so far received at least two Patriot systems, one from the US and one from Germany, and they were officially put into use in mid-April.

 

Meanwhile, the Russian missile the Ukrainians shot down, known as a Kinzhal, was one Russian President Vladimir Putin previously bragged about with claims that it was unstoppable.

Putin said in 2018 that the Kinzhal had the ability to travel 10 times the speed of sound and was able to maneuver throughout its entire flight path.

 

The Russian leader claimed those qualities “allows it to overcome all existing and, I think, prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, delivering nuclear and conventional warheads in a range of over 2,000 kilometers.”

 

Tom Karako, the director of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, DC-based think tank, told Insider that downing the Russian Kinzhal was “impressive” and a “big deal,” adding “nothing is unstoppable.”

“And maybe everybody can take a lesson away from this,” Karako said.

 

“There’s probably a whole lot of claims about unstoppability and exotic kind of stuff, but it turns out American hardware, including American air and missile defense hardware, is pretty good.”

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