Ukraine downs hypersonic Russian missile using Patriot defense system

Patriot missile launchers acquired from the US last year are seen deployed in Warsaw, Poland, on Feb. 6, 2023. Ukraine’s defense minister said Wednesday April 19, 2023 his country has received U.S-made Patriot surface-to-air guided missile systems it has long craved and which Kyiv hopes will help shield it from Russian strikes during the war. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk, File)

The Ukrainian military shot down a hypersonic Russian missile over Kyiv using the newly acquired Patriot missile defense system, an air force commander confirmed on Saturday. It’s the first time Ukraine has been known to intercept one of Moscow’s most sophisticated weapons, after receiving the long-sought, American-made defense batteries from the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands “Yes, we shot down the ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram, referring to a Kh-47 missile, which flies at 10 times the speed of sound. “It happened during the night time attack on May 4 in the skies of the Kyiv region.”

Ukraine confirmed that two Patriot batteries were operational last month, following training on the system from the U.S. and Germany, according to the Kyiv Independent. The interception of the hypersonic missile also represents a major success for the Patriot technology, in use on the battlefield after 20 years of upgrades.

Kyiv had initially denied that it had shot down the Kinzhal missile.

Ukraine first asked Washington for Patriot systems in 2021, well before Russia’s current war of aggression began in February 2022. The U.S. and Germany have each sent at least one Patriot battery to Ukraine; and the Netherlands said it has provided two.

Comment: So Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, admitted somewhat reluctantly that his Patriots shot down a Kinzhal hypersonic missile. His message admitting this on his official Telegram channel basically said yes we did it now STFU. This was as a reaction to all the hype flying around based on Ukraine’s “Defense Express” publishing the news along with some dodgy photos. According to Tom Cooper, an Austrian who writes prolifically on the air war in Ukraine, it is the MIM-104F version of the Patriot system in Ukraine with the PAC-3 missile. This version of the Patriot and the PAC-3 missile is far more advanced than the ones used in Saudi Arabia back in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. That performance was mediocre at best.

The Russians have long claimed their hypersonic missiles were invincible. They repeatedly boasted they could strike European capitals and there is nothing the West could do to prevent it. Apparently the Kinzhal is not invincible. Maybe this particular Kinzhal didn’t perform up to snuff. Maybe the Patriot launcher was deployed in just the right position along the flight path. Maybe it was a lucky shot. Still, another myth of a weapon’s invincibility has been burst. 

In the medium to long term, I see Ukraine getting several Patriot battalions. Poland, Romania and Sweden will probably plus up their current inventories of systems and missiles. I also would not be surprised to see another Aegis Ashore installation in Finland or Sweden. This will form the basis for a formidable air defense shield for Eastern Europe and NATO when integrated with other AD systems like NASAMS, IRIS-T, Gepard and more. Russia will have the same based on their S-400 and S-500 systems. So be it. As Robert Frost said, good fences make good neighbors.


“Defense Express” article in Ukrainian

This entry was posted in The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Ukraine downs hypersonic Russian missile using Patriot defense system

  1. Peter Williams says:

    A sewer pipe is not a Kinzhal – Ukrainian photo evidence of a downed Kinzhal

    • Fourth and Long says:

      This guy at the link below doesn’t believe it was shot down either. Relevant section near middle article.

      Next question is how to make use of the tsunami-torpedoes. I tried to figure out on my own how to evaluate the claims about a Tsunami wave as high as the empire state building swooping down on NY harbors. Ok, a 50 to 100 Megaton H-bomb. I can look up how much that is in joules. Question is – how much energy is needed to lift “that much” water into the air to that height. I remember Work = Fxdr (force times distance, distance will be approximately 1500 meters?) and W = Energy expended. Ok, so what’s F? The weight of the entire amount of water lifted into the air. I can lookup the density of water but then I need to know how much water or its volume. That’s where I got stuck. Volume = LxWxH. H is approx 1500 meters. But I have no idea what a good guess at the Height and Length are. So I gave up. Then I thought – work backwards. Suppose the amount of Work needed is equal to the amount of energy in the bomb which equals 100megatons. Express that in joules.
      1 megaton of TNT = 4.184 x 10 ^15 joules. (According to google search).
      Divide that by 1500 meters.
      1 joule = 1 kg x m^2/s^2 (One kilogram meters squared per second per second)

      So 100 mgtns x 4.184 x 10^15 = 418 x 10^17 joules = 418 x 10^17 kg m/sec^2

      Which is set = to F x H (work) = Mg x H where M is the mass of the water raised to height H by hypothetical bomb.
      M = mass in kg of water raised to height H (1500 meters).
      g = acceleration of gravity at Earth surface = 9.81 m/sec^2
      H = 1500 meters (maybe).

      So: 418 x 10^17 kg m^2/s^2 = M (kg) x 1500 (meters) x 9.81 (meters)/s^2

      And M kg = 0.0284 x 10^17 kg = 2.84 x 10^15 kilograms.

      (since 418/(9.81 x 1500) = 0.028)

      Density of water = 997 kg/meter^3 or approx 1000 kg per cubic meter.

      Thus 2.85 x 10^12 cubic meters of water.
      If that volume of water is conceived of as standing 1500 meters tall in a rectangular parallelpiped, then a surface area (or Length x Width of the 1500 meter tall box) of 2.85 x 10^12/1500 square meters or 0.19 x 10^10 sq meters of area standing 1500 meters of water is needed.

      That’s roughly one fifth of a square with sides of 10^5 meters or 100,000 meters long, 100,000 meters wide and 1500 meters tall.
      Or a wall of water 100 kilometers by 100 kilometers raised up 1500 meters (almost a mile).

      Of course that’s an absurdly approximate and boneheadedly unrealistic estimation technique which I’m sure President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have ordered the proper experts to investigate with more complete and realistic models. For instance we heard that the Tsar Bomba (50 megatons) sent a shock wave which traveled around the world 6 times. That’s 6 times 25,000 miles or 240,000 kilometers. How that is converted to water acting against gravity I haven’t any idea. However the case may be I am not able to vizualize how a bomb the size of a submarine creates a wave 60 miles long and 60 miles wide standing 4500 feet or nearly 1 mile in height. I can however imagine huge quantities of superheated steam, and earthquakes which might cause their own species of tsunami. Detonating in the Hudson river? A good approximation would be to pretend the water wasn’t there.

      Now if you will take the enclosed envelope and send it with .. to this address I will send you the secret to estimating how many mass shootings are equal to the damage caused by the Atomic Squirt Gun which only our superhero … knows the secrets to ..

  2. d74 says:

    ” Black Boomerang” by Sefton Delmer.
    In which “Gustav Siegfried Eins ” and “Soldatensender Calais “.

    What I admire most is the tireless imagination of Sefton and his teams. Wrong, but always below the line of implausibility. And let’s not forget this masterpiece of intoxication: creating in the brain of the enemy a prevention against the truth.
    In conclusion: “lie, lie reasonably and repeat these lies, something will always remain.

    On the other hand, I admit that a Kinzal at the end of its race, speed of 1500 km/h or less, can crash smoothly into a field. From then on, you can do anything with its wreckage. If not, a cast iron tube can be used.

    • Babeltuap says:

      If this were and NBA half time half court shot by a fan somebody would win 100K. Unfortunately no prizes in war for these things. Have to make a series of half court shots over and over. Now do it again, and again and again. Yeah, didn’t think so.

  3. Jimmy_W says:

    As I said before, the Patriot launcher production line is cold. The US has yet to replace the battery set it donated to Ukraine. There are barely enough Patriot battalions existing to meet deployment requirements, and it has been that way for 30+ years.

    Moreover, they are still deciding what the Patriot-follow-on will be. With the existing COCOM demand, there is no way the Army can give up any Patriot battalions before the replacements or new production contracts roll out of the factory. Patriot operational readiness are tracked almost as closely as the nuclear triad’s.

    Now, sure Germany and Netherland might give up their battalions. They can buy SAMP/T, which has an active production line. European solidarity. And they’re not really concerned about deployment demands. Not the COCOMs.

    If the Army actually let go any more battery sets without immediate replacement, that would mean the Ukraine war is going incredibly badly.

    • TTG says:


      The line may have been dead, but Raytheon just a billion dollar plus contract to produce more systems last month. Granted that’s little more than an additional battery if it includes all the radar and guidance systems. I imagine more contracts will be coming especially for the PAC-3 missiles. Much like the M-1 tank, the Patriot has been upgraded so much, they are barely recognizable from the original systems.

  4. Fourth and Long says:

    Oops. Correction to calculation: I forgot one fifth (0.19) of that amount and used the whole amount. So the estimate is off by a factor of the square root of 0.19.

    • LeaNder says:

      Your a treasure, Fourth and Long, definitively. Words and numbers are fascinating, aren’t they?

      • English Outsider says:

        LeaNder. I reckon it’s getting time for us Europeans to fess up. We’re all looking at the Washington neocons as the prime mover in all this. They’re not, are they?

        It’s Scholz, Macron and Johnson, the two faced losers. With such as UvdL and Borrell the supporting cast.

        Been brooding. Wrote this recently, Does it get your OK? I rather think it might.

        “I’m not happy at all with the assumption that all these disasters are down to the Washington neocons. Libya – much of the impetus for that disaster came from the UK and France. The Yemen – that wasn’t the UK poodle obediently trotting behind the big dog: the UK diplomat at the UN stated that the blockade of Hodeidah could not be discussed because of “British interests”.

        Yugoslavia – was that disaster down to Clinton or to the Germans? US military power was needed, certainly, but for the purpose of determining a conflict it looks as if the Germans caused in their own interest.

        Syria – according to an authoritative BBC documentary packed with detail (now unavailable but I commented on it and quoted from it when it was available) there were some fourteen countries engaged in smuggling Jihadis and weapons across the Turkish/Syrian border. That was most certainly not an exclusively US gig.

        So too with the Ukraine disaster. OK, the thing could not have got off the ground recently without massive intervention by Washington. But it also could not have got off the ground without the European countries cooperating to the hilt. And that, not because they were obediently following the big dog. But because they were using the military and financial weight of the US to pursue their own objectives.

        And going further back, whatever happened in the Maidan that Maidan intervention could not have been occurred had it not been for the turmoil caused by the EU, Merkel very much in the driving seat and publicly so, pursuing an Association Agreement in a manner brutally dismissive of Russian interests and of the interests of the Russian inclined segment of the (then) Ukrainian population.

        So to my mind all this “Ami go home” sentiment we are seeing now in Germany is a whitewash. “Scholz go home” would be more to the point because it was the European political elites as much as the Washington neocons who deliberately ignited this murderous and destructive conflict.

        We cannot pretend the Kiev would have dared to up the shelling across the LoC, and to mass troops along that LoC, had they not been allowed or encouraged to do so by Berlin/Brussels as well as by Washington. And given the intensity of Russia-hatred in Kiev, in this instance “allowed” and “encouraged” come to the same thing.

        Yes, Biden could have prevented that by a word. But so could Scholz. He did not do so, not because he was working to Biden’s “orders”, but because he himself, and his fellows in Europe, saw advantage in provoking the Russians to military action and thus enabling the sanctions that were expected to break Russia.

        I’m now also wondering whether this disaster is not only due to the neocons in Washington and their equivalents in the European capitals.

        The true state of public sentiment is always difficult to gauge, but I believe I see far more deep seated hatred of Russia in Europe, particularly Northern Europe, than I ever do in the States. That goes well back in time and I now think that hatred was released on February 24th, rather than ignited merely as a result of the false picture we were given by the media at that time

        This is why I now believe that we are in for Cold War II. No matter what the politicians might wish to do now that the Ukrainian venture has failed, that hatred of Russia is now too well established in the Northern European population for the politicians to be able to back off without losing credibility with their voters.

        Way back I put this figuratively. Forget Biden and the Washington neocons. Never forget that the White Tiger came out of Europe, not the US. Scholz et all found it easy enough to mount the White Tiger. They will not find it so easy to get off it. But that, perhaps, is not a metaphor that would be readily comprehensible over here.”

        That last point, LeaNder. Is Russophobia something deeply embedded in the Northern European DNA? Or was it merely engendered by the false picture the media drew for us of events in the Ukraine? Your view?

        • The lengths the EU will go to support Ukraine and oppose Russia, and the costs thereby incurred, are illustrated by

          the EU’s executive has recommended
          halting exports of sensitive technologies to eight Chinese companies
          over suspicions they were selling them on to Russia,
          according to a document seen by AFP.

          [German foreign minister] Baerbock pressed Beijing to
          take a clear stance against Russia,
          warning that failing to help Ukraine meant siding with Moscow.

          “Neutrality means taking the side of the aggressor,
          and that is why our guiding principle is to make it clear that
          we are on the side of the victim,” she said.

          • Fred says:


            The Germans have a lot more to lose than the Chinese. Meanwhile, according to Trump via CNN, the EU gave $20 billion to Zelensky, we gave $147 billion. So yeah, the EU is backing Ukraine to the last American dollar.

        • English Outsider says:

          LeaNder – “Could not have been occurred” – clumsy typing.

          “Could not have occurred”. But your English is able, I think, to ride over mistakes like that.

        • English Outsider says:

          Might I correct another error? The documentary referred to above was not a BBC documentary. It was part funded by the BBC. It remained up for several years but became unavailable a year ago.

          LeaNder – the question of European involvement looked at further down at the bottom. I’m getting increasingly dissatisfied with the assumption this is mainly a Washington neocon venture. I think you and I, as Europeans, know there’s a lot more to it than that.

        • LeaNder says:

          Is Russophobia something deeply embedded in the Northern European DNA? Or was it merely engendered by the false picture the media drew for us of events in the Ukraine? Your view?

          EO, I am with quite a few Russians, I would assume, that feel the West exhibited an enormous amount of Russophobia, which no doubt helped to block diplomatic solutions and thus to some extent influenced both failures in diplomacy and triggered Putin’s ill-conceived action.

          I still think that Minsk had no chance in hell without US support. That’s where we might differ. Merkel no doubt was always an Atlantician. Had she been chancellor, we would have joined the Eastern Coalition of the Willing. Why do you think Ukraine joined Americans in Iraq???

          Your desire to make me sing– mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa, we Germans once again we started potential WWIII,–I am afraid I cannot satisfy.

          I was always hesitant about the speed of the EU’s Eastern Enlargement project. But was that a purely EU project or a joint EU American one? … Aren’t you yourself the best of all examples of US soft power? …

          Joint project: We could start by looking into EU vs American Eastern European relations. Visits by Presidents/Primes/Chancellors, their Vices and Secretaries of State et al. over the decades? … Who was the first high EU state representative visiting Ukraine post 24 of April 2022, by the way? Who did first invite Zel/Zelensky/ Zelensky / Zelenskiy?

          But well, yes, in spite of all. Here am I on the horns of a Cornelian dilemma–torn between East and West:

          War in Ukraine: The Clash of Norms and Ontologies
          Andrej Krickovic, Richard Sakwa

    • English Outsider says:

      F&L. Could you please rework in proper measurements. What was good enough for our forefathers is good enough for us and those calculations above would be better worked in furlongs and foot poundals.

      No trivial matter. Men have been prosecuted and convicted in England for using the old measurements. It was touch and go whether we kept the mile. Strike a blow for freedom and bid defiance to the Metric Commissars!

      These hypersonics. The fasted detonation velocity going for explosives is some twenty two thousand miles per hour. That of TNT is some fourteen thousand. This is assuming the rebellious colonists kept to proper miles and haven’t corrupted the measurement as they did with the gallon.

      And yet when we read of the explosive effects of hypersonics it’s always assumed that the immense speed of delivery increases the force of the explosion many times over. But the ratios are wrong. If it increases the force of the explosion at all then it cannot do so by that great an amount.

      And another thing. We read of the destructive effect these hypersonics would have on a ship even with no explosives at all. The kinetic energy of the missile is assumed to be employed entirely in damaging the ship. But like a bullet travelling through a sheet of paper, most of that kinetic energy cannot be so employed. The thing would probably leave a neat round hole in the ship, easily stopped up by some passing matelot, and go on to expend the bulk of its energy on the water underneath.

      A fuller examination of these matters would be appreciated. If, like your President, you abjure all things English (he might have just popped in to say Hi to Charlie on the big day) then the detonation velocities given above can be expressed as eighteen thousand and eleven thousand Irish miles per hour respectively.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        English Outsider,
        Stand exposed, knave! The finest measure of weight is the Stone of thine own purported countrymen and you don’t see fit to mention it? Art thou a vegetarian perchance?

        Imagine if you can my joy having to learn your magnificent money system in 1959 in grade school over there. Shillings, pence, pounds, guineas, half and quarter pennies, thruppences. It was pure madness – and that was before they rationalized it somewhat. It’s no wonder your people produced the greatest geniuses ever in mathematics and physics. Napier, Newton, Maxwell, Heavyside, Dirac, Turing etc etc etc. Sir Arthur Eddington was no slouch either, neither was Littlewood who nearly proved Riemman’s hypothesis at the age of 19. My assessment? It’s in that fresh Guernsey milk. I never tasted anything so good in my life as what was in those glass bottles delivered early in the morning to our rented house in Brill. Cream on the top. My god was that good. You can keep your Colman’s mustard though. Such tiny jars. Yes, I realize it’s very sharp. The thing is I love mustard and .. oh I guess it’s a conspiracy to sell those tiny little stainless steel spoons, the only ones that fit into the Colman’s mustard jars. Music and maths are said to be related. Have you folks discovered edible food yet? Or is it still necessary to find an Italian restaurant like it was in 1973 the last time I visited? No wonder Newton spent most of his spare time on Alchemy and deciphering the hidden codes in the Bible. Wedgewood porcelain is magnificent but what to serve on it?

        • English Outsider says:

          F & L. No of course we haven’t discovered edible food yet! We resort in desperation to KFC and McDonalds.

          But we used to have very edible food. Your childhood experiences of our food are, I assert, unrepresentative. Way back we had eggs that tasted of eggs and beef that tasted of more than chewy plastic.

          That’s not looking at the past through rose-tinted spectacles. Recently I ate some eggs that were produced the old-fashioned way on a German farm. The sort of farm where the hens were allowed to go grubbing around for themselves, muck heap and all, and not the fraud they call “free range” these days.

          Took me right back to my childhood. Those were the eggs we ate then. Quite different. So with the meat.

          When the Colonel put up a steak recipe I went looking for a proper butcher. Bought, at vast cost, grass fed beef that had been properly selected and properly hung and aged. Again quite different. Nothing like supermarket. But that was the meat that even we deplorables could get in the past, and at no inflated cost.

          So you got a bum deal in Brill, that time ago. Sorry about that. You should have rented a house round our way.

          I recollect the thrupenny bits. They were what you put in the collection at Church. The Church left me some time ago but those who still attend tell me that folding money is now expected. That is the degree to which this Sceptred Isle has fallen by the wayside.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            The milk. The milk was fantastic. Best I’ve ever had. Childhood recollection. In ’73 as an adult I encountered a man in a Hotel in Oxford who they were trying to evict because he’d been there for months without paying. He claimed he was one of the Romanovs. I doubt he was. Probably made the gendarmes think twice though or a canny collector. The egg yolks of the eggs I’ve seen in English restaurants featured in tourist promotions for breakfast places not to be missed while in London are bright bright brilliant orange. Remarkable to look at. I would think they are very tasty. Or it’s another clever trick to drum up business. A truly fresh egg served right from the farm directly is impossible to beat. Just fry it. It will taste better by miles than most very expensive restaurant food, especially if served with home fries from freshly picked potatoes. I know this from experience. But I’ve had an excellent really fresh egg or two and never seen one with such brilliant orange yolks as that one served in an English breakfast. I checked several similar establishment’s promotions and there they were also just as brilliant bright orange. Maybe it’s the Coriolis effect? The long daylight hours? Maybe the English hens get something our American hens don’t. Could be they drink tea rather than coffee, or they constantly watched after Colman in his mustard factory till they could no longer bear to lay an egg with a yellow yolk. That’s probably it. Yellow is Wolly reversed and that’s silly, but Orange is Edgnaro. And that has a serious ring to it. “He was not a bit frail but appeared edgenaro and haggard.” There’s a brand new word for you. Edgnaro, pronounced Edge-naro, so let’s spell it Edgenaro. His calfskin valise had gone a bit Edgenaro with age. Mr O’Dell, my sixth grade teacher and the finest man who ever lived, said a person should learn something new every day.

            Edgenaro Holdings of Orange Valley, Yellowstone County, is a manufacturer of crates for every sort of egg. Need to nestle an eggshell safely? Look no further.

        • Peter Williams says:

          I don’t think that there were quarter pennies, there were however farthings, 1/12 of a penny and for Malta 1/3 of a farthing (but legal tender throughout the British realm). Guineas were still used in some markets in Australia up to 1966, especially horse and dog racing, livestock auctions, professional fees and for larger more expensive furniture. It’s easy to convert to decimal currency IF you know the terminology, but kids born after 1960 or so have no clue.

      • Peter Williams says:

        As much as I hate to say it, the colonials did not corrupt the gallon, they merely chose to use a different gallon.
        Even though I have grown up mostly with the metric system, I still think of fuel consumption in mpg, and human measurements in inches, or feet inches. Weight however is mostly in kilos, though sometimes stones and pounds.

        • English Outsider says:

          You’re right! It was us who corrupted the gallon in 1824, whilst the rebellious colonials kept the true faith:-

          “The US customary system is based on English systems of the 18th century, while the Imperial system was defined in 1824, after American independence.”

          But they’re still an ungrateful lot, those rebellious colonials. Steele and Dearlove, with no less than three British Prime Ministers in sequence happily assenting, gave them Russiagate for free. Messed up the Trump Presidency. Gave Biden a hell of a boost when the time came for him to sleepwalk into the Presidency.

          Did he say thank you? Did he even bother to attend Charlie’s big day?

          Mind you they sent the First Lady, who looks an absolutely charming woman and, as a bonus, could be relied on not to fall asleep during the ceremony. So all’s well that ends well, I suppose.

  5. James says:


    Shipping PAC-3 missiles to Ukraine is good for Ukraine but I would think that the danger of them falling into Russian hands is non-trivial … and I would think that it is tech that we least want to see leak the the Russians and their Chinese BFFs.

    • TTG says:


      As far as I know, they’re not deployed near the front lines. Errant missiles would most likely self-destruct well before they crossed into Russian controlled territory.

  6. Leith says:

    d74 – You lost me on that 1500 km/hr comment. Did you drop a zero? I had seen figures of anywhere from 4900 km/hr up to 12,350 km/hr for the Kinzhal.

    But even though it is air launched, the Kinzhal is still just a ballistic missile. All ballistic missiles are hypersonic. And the PAC-3 can take down ballistic missiles like the Kinzhal. A swarm of Kinzhals accompanied by decoys could probably get through Patriot air defenses. But I highly doubt that single launches can avoid a PAC-3 intercept. By the way, I would bet dollars to donuts that the Army’s THAAD and the Navy’s SM-6 are also able to intercept Kinzhals. Putin is going to have to rename it – how do you say ‘broken arrow’ in Russian?

    • TTG says:


      I would think the SM-3 of the Aegis Ashore and Aegis ships could also handle the hypersonic missiles. They’re proven against ballistic missiles and satellites.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Are you and Leith smoking the same grass they (Reagan & co) fed to Gorby? Figures. Worked then.

        • Leith says:

          F&L –

          I stay away from that psychoactive stuff, no matter whether it’s real deal cannabis or Ronnie Raygun’s star weed. It all smells like skunk.

          Putin’s announcement several years ago of his wunderwaffen was a poor imitation of Reagan’s bluff. There is nothing new and hi-tech about the Kinzhal, its reputation was due solely to the gullibility of the US media. Douglas aircraft developed and tested a mach 12 ALBM for the Air Force 60 years ago.

          • wiz says:


            Isn’t Kinzhal supposed to be able to manoeuvre in addition to going very fast ?

          • Fourth and Long says:

            Yes, but what about the cartoons of it hitting Mar a Lago? Shifting into serious gear for a second, the real sad or pathetic joke was the nuclear powered cruise missile which could orbit the earth indefinitely. That’s some really serious wacky weed smoking right there. I feel bad making light of their predicament given that they face an ultra wealthy competitor which is protected by two huge oceans (and a gay, transexual and cross-dressing military, in the hallowed tradition of it’s FBI founder). But just as in your example the nuclear powered cruise missile idea was looked at ages ago and found to be wildly impractical. The photos of prototypes exist and should make a grown person laugh, with or without weed. A flying locomotive. It certainly had me wondering what sort of technical expertise Putin had access to. Really a pity, they had tremendous physicists in the SU days. It was embarrassing, frankly, to see that idea aired so openly. Or should have been.

          • Leith says:

            Wiz –

            Reputedly. But how well, nobody knows. One has to wonder which of Putin’s oligarch buddies was in charge of Kinzhal design, production and testing? And how much ingrained corruption was involved in the process? Does it even have an onboard radar to detect SAM threats so that it can maneuver to avoid them? Of that I haven’t heard.

            By the way, PAC-3 missiles are also maneuverable. It’s not like a rifle shot. According to Wiki, PAC-3’s have “180 tiny pulse solid propellant rocket motors mounted in the forebody of the missile”. Those fine tune the trajectory to hone in on incoming ballistic missiles. So whose maneuverability is best? Nobody knows, but if I was a gambling man I’d bet on the PAC-3.

    • d74 says:

      As the speed of this missile reached 0 km/h, its speed passed by the intermediate stage 1500km/h or less. I assumed that it was disabled, without propellant, in which case its horizontal speed was not greater than that of the carrier aircraft.
      On the other hand, the soft landing could be doubtful, but not impossible.

      • Leith says:

        d74 –

        I’m still stumped and have no clue as to your point. What does your zero km/hr comment imply? How does it go from zero km/hr to 1500? Or do I have that backward? Why would it be without propellant?

        • d74 says:

          Zero km/h or zero inch/second seems to be a problem for you.
          Simple: when a mobile stops, its speed is zero.
          This is the law of any mobile that our technology sends up in the air. Except of course in case of satelliteization (28400 km/h approximately), and still it is not eternal.

          • Leith says:

            d74 –

            Thanks for educating me on the concept of zero.

            Meanwhile I’m still trying to understand your comments in Cantonese regarding 1500 km/hr. Don’t bother translating. I think I got your drift. Although I’m not sure it is valid.

  7. Yeah, Right says:

    So some Ukrainian source said that they did.

    Then the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said that they didn’t.

    Now the Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said that they did.

    Hmm, I suspect that there is much to ponder over your statement that he “admitted somewhat reluctantly that his Patriots shot down a Kinzhal hypersonic missile” and then said the equivalent of “now STFU”.

    I can understand that.

    Someone spread some bs about the downing of a kinzhal, the Ukrainian air force attempted to correct that, and then Oleshchuk was taken back behind the woodshed and told to get with the program.

    And somewhat reluctantly he did, then told everyone to STFU.

    I’m sure you won’t agree, but that’s what I think happened.

    • TTG says:

      Joe Christmas,

      The Air Force spokesman denied it on 5 May. The Air Force Commander confirmed it happened on 6 May.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        And I’m genuinely curious to read what you think happened between 5th May and 6th May.

        Because I’d bet money that the Ukrainian air force was leant on by the media-management people that surround Zelensky and told in no uncertain terms to Get With The Program.

        I don’t believe for a second that he made that statement “on 6 May” because of an unshakeable commitment to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

        More likely a keen understanding of who is leaning on him, and what is good for his health.

        • TTG says:

          Yeah, Right,

          I’m somewhat curious as well. Ukraine has made an art of denying they were behind a lot of strikes until they can no longer deny it. I’m sure they wanted to keep this shoot down quiet. Now that the Russians know their Kinzhal isn’t invincible, they will make adjustments. It will be harder to repeat the shoot down, not impossible, just harder.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            And Ukraine also has a reputation for claiming something to be true well after it was revealed to be false.

            The Poles were mighty peeved when Zelensky kept claiming that the Russians fired a missile into their territory even after they had looked the damn thing over and said that it was definitely a Ukrainian S-300.

            TTG: “I’m sure they wanted to keep this shoot down quiet.”

            That’s a joke, right?
            Keep it quiet from… whom, exactly?

            The Russians would know if they had fired a Kinzhal, and they’d know if that missile didn’t reach its target.

            So who would the Ukrainians be keeping this quiet from?

            It is far, far, far more likely that they would be itching to tell everyone that they had shot down a Kinzhal with a Patriot missile because, you know, gimme, gimme, gimme more of ’em Joe.

            “Now that the Russians know their Kinzhal isn’t invincible, they will make adjustments.”

            I… honestly…. the Russians would know *if* their Kinzhal’s were not invincible irrespective of what the Ukrainian air force did/didn’t say.

            After all, they do post-strike analysis of the targets, do they not?

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            The Russians obviously do a pretty poor job of post strike analysis. If they were competent, they would have had a more successful campaign against the Ukrainian power grid. They were on the right trail there, but they couldn’t follow through. They might know if a Kinzhal hit a target or not, but I doubt they’d know why one went down.

  8. Young says:

    The people in charge of the U. S. defense and foreign policy are not qualified to br hired as the assistant night manager for a 7-11 store.

    Türkiye begs for Patriot system. US denies.
    Türkiye buys S-400 from Russia. US imposes sanctions and kicks out Turkish pilots from F-35 training.


    • wiz says:

      Why, what did they do wrong ?
      It is not like the US refused to sell Patriots to Turkey. Turks were not begging but demanding a number of concessions, especially regarding technology transfer, the US was not prepared to meet.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      I’ll second that opening statement of yours. How about this nitwit – Hatchet Speed?

      Navy reservist and intelligence contractor sentenced to four years in prison for storming Capitol with Proud Boys:
      On Monday 42-year-old Hitler-lover Hatchet Speed, a high-level US Navy reservist for more than 20 years and former military intelligence contractor, was sentenced to four years in prison for storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021, with members of the Proud Boys militia group.

      Speed was not arrested on charges related to his violent actions in furtherance of Trump’s conspiracy until June 2022, well after a separate investigation into his purchase of thousand of dollars in illegal weaponry was underway. In that case, he was sentenced to three years in prison for stockpiling illegal silencers, which he planned on using in a kidnapping and assassination plot targeting Trump’s political enemies and Jewish people.(Continues at link above).

      I almost wish this board had a pic display feature for comments just so I could show his photo (not really, it would be abused). This is an “intelligence” contractor. With all the so-called artificial intelligence and facial recognition software supposed to be available these days, how about an immediate hook-up to any of a large number of little old ladies who could tell you at a glance “that guy is either completely nuts or an actor rejected from every horror movie he ever auditioned for because he looks too scary for any rating in our motion picture rating system.” We should give the FBI agent who busted him a medal and a promotion and ask him or her to volunteer for a scientific study on how it is some people don’t pass out from fright and terror while others do. You are a master of understatement and good manners. I would have mentioned other categories of work they aren’t qualified for.

      On the other hand the name of this character – Hatchet Speed??? It has me seriously wondering if neural networks from clown world aren’t in fact writing our journalism. I mean – you can’t seriously believe that’s the name of the guy they bust for Jan 6? I feel sorry for anyone who does. Those are villain names straight out of Marvel and DC comics and are perfectly illustrate what dupes the readers are taken to be. Now with marijuana sold legally on every corner in the entire USA it’s only going to get much much worse. I live in nycity where it’s unreal how proliferate it is already. Thanks Joe Biden. Thanks Kamala. Now our future grandchildren can get stoned before deciding on which sex they think they are – oh – and the pot boutiques will be right next to the voting stations too, you know, the voting stations in the public schools. “Considering permanent sex change surgery? Ok. Are you older than 9 yrs old? Fine then. That marijuana store over there, by the way, is the one which the famous Naval Intelligence Officer —– ————- uses when he’s in town. How could you go wrong?”

  9. TonyL says:


    “Maybe it was a lucky shot. Still, another myth of a weapon’s invincibility has been burst.”

    Sorry there was no lucky shot. No chance in hell that a Patriot system can shoot down a hypersonic missle.

    • TTG says:


      The Kinzhal is only hypersonic during its initial flight phase. This one was shot down during the terminal phase. The PAC-3 travels at mach 4.1. It could have been faster than the Kinzhal at time of impact.

      • TonyL says:


        The hypersonic missile is *maneuvering* too fast for the Patriot system to track it and calculating a solution.

        • TTG says:


          Who says that? The PAC-3 is designed with great speed and maneuverability. The PAC-3 MSE increases those attributes. PAC stands for Patriot advanced capabilities. This is not the Desert Shield/Desert Storm Patriot.

          • TonyL says:


            The radar capability and the tracking algorithm are quite important (more so than the interceptor). You can build a fast interceptor, but tracking and locking in a solution for a target that is moving too fast, and maneuvering at the same time is very hard. I have some knowledge about these things.

            Furthermore, if the interept were real there would be nothing but thousand pieces of metal on the ground.

    • AngusinCanada says:

      It is ridiculous to believe that a Patriot system successfully intercepted a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile. The credulity of people continues to surprise me. The power to believe what one wants to believe is so strong. That’s why there’ll not likely be any real accounting for the covid debacle. People won’t accept they were lied to, then behaved like goddam nazis towards anyone who didn’t believe the lies.
      Same thing with Ukraine and Russia.
      This nonsense is up there with the lady taking out the drone with a pickle jar lol.

      • TTG says:

        You people need to examine your deep seated belief in the holy invincibility of the Kinzhal. Ukraine and the West obtained the complete guidance and electronics of the Iskander-M last year. That teardown is publicly available. We’ve had a pretty good idea of the inner workings of Kinzhal for months since that missile is derived from the Iskander-M. There’s no little Baba Yaga in the Kinzhal providing magical protection. It’s electronics even include Western components.

        • Fred says:


          So the Kinzhal isn’t a wunderwaffe? We better not tell the trolls, they’ll get emotional. Meanwhile the Russian navy can’t shoot down missles of decades old design. Hopefully our navy is still trained to look 360 degrees and not all stare at the same distraction at the same time.

  10. gpc says:

    my 3 cents – it is not impossible, but…

    – the russian claim is, that during the terminal phase at high speed in lower, higher dense atmosphere that missile is surrounded by gas-plasma, therefore radar don’t work – IR-tracking is possible and with some long range radar or/and remote sensors is was possible to calculate in advance where a single Kinzhal will strike and send “blindly” few pac-3 missiles to intercept – than lead them by IR or calculated path – possible!

    after strike with HE blast/fragmentation head from pac-3 the Kinzhal would generate a lot of heat thought deceleration – wouldn’t that ignite the charge of 500kg of explosives? there are a lot of cams in kiev – no records of that went public! – at least some starting pac-3 should have been recorded.

    maybe we may see some clips in next days, contradicting my view here, but – oddly enough, only one Kinzhal in that night – isn’t that strange? all air forces prefer some kind of saturation attack – but on that day not?

    • Leith says:

      gpc –

      “Plasma stealth” is an old and well known method attempting to disguise an object from radar. Look it up, it dates back to the 1960s. It can reduce a missile’s radar cross section (RCS), but it can’t make that RCS completely invisible. And it only works against low Megahertz range frequencies such as are in Early Warning or Over The Horizon radars. It is not effective against microwave or higher frequency radars. The Patriot uses the AN/MPQ-65 radar that operates in the high Gigahertz C-Band and G/H Bands. And the PAC-3 missile itself has an onboard K-Band radar in the Gigahertz range. Kinzhals can definitely be tracked and intercepted by the Patriot.

      We all need to take Putin’s claims of his wonder weaponry with a grain of salt.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        It’s a fascinating topic but missing from informed discussion ought to be the word “certainty.” This link contains the text pasted below. The statistical and economic considerations are valid imo. Apologies for the cluttered ads on the page, and yes, obviously it’s grinding its own axe. I am way out far from my bailiwick here but I would probably be looking at what fuels those rockets and will not wonder further out loud about that topic.

        Jeffrey Lewis, the founding publisher of ArmsControlWonk, the first blog on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation, has been skeptical about the development. He told the EurAsian Times: “I am not sure Ukraine actually did intercept a Kinzhal and, statistically, one intercept doesn’t really tell us all that much.”

        He added: “To be clear, a PAC-3 ‘might’ have intercepted a Kinzhal but a single hit (or miss) doesn’t provide a statistical basis to assess whether defenses are a cost-effective solution to the problem of Russia’s extremely heavy use of ballistic and cruise missiles.”

        Talking about the investment returns on Patriots, retired General Mark Hertling, a former US Army-Europe commander, said that it would not be prudent to use the costly rounds from any Patriot system missile to shoot down every missile Russia launches at Ukraine.
        “This is not a system that is going to catch up to smaller drones or ballistic missiles,” he said. “Can it do that? Very. But when you’re talking about taking down a US$20,000 drone, or a US$100,000 Russian-bought ballistic missile, with a US$3-5 million rocket, that doesn’t give you much of a return on investment. What it can do is free up low- and mid-range systems to pursue such targets,” Hertling was quoted in the International Military.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Sorry, I forgot to include these links and another paragraph. Maybe TTG will see fit to address this issue in a later post, it looks alarming.

        Britain prepares to send long-range missiles to Ukraine
        The U.K. is pushing the Biden administration into providing Ukraine with weapons that can reach further into Russian-held territory.

        NATO powers move to send long-range missiles to Ukraine.
        On Tuesday, a UK defense official confirmed to the Washington Post that Britain is preparing to send long-range missiles to Ukraine capable of striking Crimea.

        The British official who spoke to the Post explained that this action would set the stage for other NATO members to provide long-range missiles of their own.

        “It’s a position the United Kingdom can uniquely do… We know that if we give something it makes it slightly easier for others,” he said. “There is definitely a different risk tolerance among different countries. We’re often in an earlier place.”

        The Post noted that “Pentagon officials expressed no concern when asked about the prospect of Britain sending long-range missiles to Ukraine.”

        This announcement is meant to clear the way for the provision of the long-range ATACMS missile by the United States, as well as the announcement, long in preparation, that the United States would send F-16 fighter jets.

        The move by the key US ally marks another action that NATO officials had previously unconditionally ruled out.

        In May, US President Joe Biden categorically declared, “We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia.”
        I think it was English Outsider who in a recent post attempted to take some heat off our American (deleted expletive meaning evil & despicable) Neocons for taking all the blame re getting the ball rolling on Ukraine. I haven’t reread his post but he didn’t point the finger in the corrected direction entirely, probably out of patriotic sentiment but I don’t know. His blessed Brits, sad to say, or a very influential subset thereof to put it mildly, were doing this way back as early as the turn of the century – I’m thinking of a man named Lucas who was an editor of the Economist and author of a book of alarum on what the evil Russkies were up to. The Economist is British Intelligence – the whole gamut. They are centuries old enemies of Russia and just won’t stop agitating against them ever. It reminds me of Colonel Lang’s wise observations on the Borg, sinecures and bureaucratic rice bowls. Now that Amazon has all the 1950s TV shows on speed dial for Joe Sixpack I availed myself of the opportunity to check out the UK secret agent TV serials. Many more than I ever knew of as a fan of Patrick McGoohan or the lovely Diana Rigg. It’s a way of life. Archaic and not fit for purpose but it persists. They are in my humble opinion off their rockers. That’s not to say they aren’t brilliant people in many ways, they are, but they’re bonkers. Watch Peter O’Toole in The Ruling Class if you need a refresher. Newton and Napier were about as smart as a person can be in terms of mental gymnastics but they each also wrote detailed treatises which claimed to pinpoint the precise date of the Apocalypse. We need to wake up here. Every major news show features UK announcers on site in Ukraine, whether CNN or MSNBC or the big three networks. They are in charge I regret to say. Remember the Steele dossier.

        • English Outsider says:

          F&L. Our late host, Colonel Lang, delivered some very scathing judgements on UK Intel or connected fringe set-ups and what they were getting up to in Syria. UK support for and assistance for the White Helmets came in for particularly severe comment. When the amount of money we spent on such activities in Syria was officially released I could see why.

          As for similar activities in Ukraine, I’m still mulling over the reports on the involvement of UK personnel in the Commando raids on Energodar. Also claims of other even less creditable UK involvement in activities elsewhere along the lines of the frequent Jidadi atrocity theatre events in Syria. It’s not possible to say much on all that because as far as I know there’s no hard and fast evidence coming out. Could all be propaganda. Might not be. Have to wait and see. And there’s no authoritative and knowledgeable Colonel Lang around any more to give me a steer.

          So verdict “Not Proven” and one can only wait to see if more emerges. But there’s no shadow of a doubt that the UK is heavily into the Ukrainian war. Both HMG and our media, academia, most think tanks or their UK equivalent, and our commentariat, are in about as far in as is possible to go.

          We’ve also got big ideas. I’ve referred to this telling document before:-

          We continue to have big ideas. Backed up by doing more than just clearing out the barn when it comes to sending weapons to Ukraine but, as is noted above, sending weapons that are far removed from obsolete or old inventory.

          We also trained and equipped the Kiev forces from well before 2022 and were rushing in weaponry like crazy just before February 24th. That’s clear – the Germans at that time were said not to be allowing the flights through their air space so it all got fully reported. We’re sending personnel over – that’s also now established – and in addition a fair few volunteers, some of whom are coming back with PTSD and some not coming back at all.

          So HMG’s all in, fully as much as the neocon faction in Washington, and maybe more so because we shan’t have to carry the can so much when it all blows up in our faces.

          But none of that, and none of the big talk, alters the fact that it’s Germany and to a far lesser extent France who were the big players in Europe. It’s decisions made in Berlin and less so in France that have determined the future of Europe so far and will continue to determine our future. That’s the reality.

          Over the last year I’ve moved away from the notion that it’s Washington that’s responsible for this disaster, with the Europeans following on more or less passively or even reluctantly behind. That’s getting to be a popular cry in some quarters in Europe. It’s popular because as the extent of the disaster unfolds we can pretend it’s all the fault of the Americans and we in Europe are little more than victims. Complicit victims, true, but we can still claim it’s the big bad Americans who bear the guilt.

          I now believe different. The Europeans were all in too. Without Scholz in particular this disaster would not have got off the ground. Until we look fair and square at that we in Europe will be deluding ourselves.

          Hence it is not my pro-American cast of mind that leads me to point to Germany and to a lesser extent France as fully or more responsible than the Washington neocons. Nor any desire to soft pedal the extent of UK involvement. It is because, as said before, if we insist on using the US as our “sin eater”, and pretend we in Europe were only ancillary players, we shall not see clearly how this war came about and shall not be able to attempt to put it right.

          That was the reason for writing that comment addressed to “LeaNder” above.

          • LeaNder says:

            It is because, as said before, if we insist on using the US as our “sin eater”,

            Interesting, you are familiar with the ‘sin eater’, EO?

            As far as I am concerned, I don’t blame anyone, neither the US nor the UK or anyone else for Russia’s bad decision. Why should I? Russia attacked Ukraine, not the other way round. If it was lured into a trap, well, bad luck. Live isn’t fair? Recall who told us so?

            It is now of course pretty obvious that Russia may have chosen the last chance to act. As others used the for it fitting propaganda to explain matters. But yes, definitively: The longer it waited, the more weapons and training Ukraine would get. That was easy to witness. Germany and France were the source of all that military training and material support post Maidan? Even before Maidan?

            I may disagree with TTG occasionally, and am far less gung-ho than he is, but I fully accept his scenario. If Russia indeed feared an imminent attack on LPR + DPR, there must have better ways to deal with it.

            Putin–this is my personal uninformed opinion–had forced himself into a corner with his ultimatum to the Western world. That ultimatum addressed the leader of the Western Pack, and that is the US of A and not Germany or France.

            Putin tried/tries to create facts on the ground. As others, he may in the end get away with it. Partly? He will lose? Will be killed? We’ll see.

          • LeaNder says:

            oops, horrible mistake. I guess there are others, like a missing “been”: there must have been.

            Life isn’t fair. But it’s worth living. 😉

            Returning to the restoration of my table.

            Did you loose your humor when you turned into a Dr. North acolyte?

  11. blue peacock says:

    ‘Complete a**hole’: Wagner mercenary chief mocks Putin following embarrassing one-tank Victory Day parade in his most daring challenge to the Russian leader’s authority yet

    Mustering just one tank for Victory Day. Lol! I wonder if Prighozin is doing these media communications because he sees a political opportunity as he perceives Putin’s weakness or for some other purpose?

    • English Outsider says:

      Looks as if the job of the Wagner group here is to inch forward and thus compel the Ukrainians to put in more forces. But not to take the place too fast because Bakhmut is, horrible term, one of Surovikin’s meat grinders. In attempting to supply or rotate great numbers of Ukrainian troops are being killed. Very tough on the Wagner group, using them in that way, and since they don’t appear themselves to get rotated they’ve been there too long

      Prighozin is all over the place. He’s not the commander of the group. His contradictory statements get a lot of attention. One sees reams of analysis of those statements, most of it conjectural. Distracts from what’s happening elsewhere. Maybe that’s why he was allowed to run his mouth so much.

  12. Sam says:

    Ukrainians making some strong claims about their effectiveness in destroying Russian forces in Bakhmut. Wiping out whole units and retaking a large piece of ground. It does seem more and more that they believe that followed exactly the right strategy there.

    I was under the impression that Wagner and the Russian army were imminently capturing Bakhmut some months ago?

    • Fred says:


      Wasn’t Bakhmut of strategic importance to Ukraine, but now isn’t? Oh how the stories change.

      • Sam says:


        We’ll see the story change many times more I’m sure. Is the next edition gonna be … no longer of strategic importance to the Russian army & Wagner?

        Considering how unimportant it is … rather amazing how much blood has been shed by both armies.

        • Fred says:


          Any day now the Russians will take Mariopol. Whoops, I mean the heroic defenders are still keeping the Russians out of .

  13. Peter Williams says:

    A Kinzhal was not downed –
    The alleged Kinzhal –
    What it probably was –
    A real Kinzhal looks nothing like this.

    • TonyL says:

      Peter Williams,

      Yes, that photo looks fake. The Patriot interceptor is a hit-to-kill missile. It does not punch a hole like that. The impact from a successful intercept would disintegrate the target missile.

  14. Peter Williams says:

    Well the Patriot doesn’t work nearly as well as TTG thinks, and at least one battery was taken out by a Kinzhal.

  15. leith says:

    Peter W –

    Minor damage from the falling debris of an intercepted Kinzhal.

    The Ukrainians are claiming that a swarm of Kinzhals targeted that Patriot battery – none got through.

  16. leith says:

    Peter W. – Whether the Kyiv Ghost existed or not, the Ukrainians are good at Info Ops. That meme had VVS panties in a knot. By the way, Patriot batteries consist of six separate launchers and they are typically spread out over a large area. It would take more than a single Kinzhal to destroy an entire battery.

    Wiz – Why? Perhaps you are right. Maybe that swarm was targeting Kyiv and not that particular Patriot battery, or both? In any case it was a mix of weapons. Reportedly half a dozen Kinzhal, plus at least 18 cruise missiles and UAVs. True or false? You be the judge.

    • leith says:

      Wiz – Not a swarm, that was my bad use of language. It was more of a barrage: six Kinzhal, nine Kalibr cruise missiles, three S-300, six Iranian Shahed. Plus three RU Orlan recon UAV. All toast now brags Ukraine and damage to Patriot not much more than a fender bender.

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