Russia used Zircon hypersonic missile for first time, experts say

Russia attacked Ukraine with a 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile for the first time since the start of the full-scale invasion, Oleksandr Ruvin, director of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise said on Feb. 12.

In a post on his Telegram channel accompanied by a video showing alleged missile wreckage from a Feb. 7 attack on Ukraine that killed at least five and injured over 50, Ruvin says that according to preliminary findings, Russia deployed a Zircon missile.

"This is evidenced by the markings on parts and fragments, the identification of components and parts, and the features of the relevant type of weapon," Ruvin wrote.

Ruvin said that several fragments were engraved with the inscription “3L22” and that the bolts on the steering mechanisms were marked with the number 26 — both features of the Zircon.

Other markings on the missile debris indicating the production of its components — 2023-2024 — showing that the missile was built recently.

Moscow earlier said the Zircon hypersonic missile entered the arsenal of the Russian army in early 2023, claiming that it has a range of 600–1,500 kilometers, can travel at nine times the speed of sound, and has a warhead weighing about 300-400 kilograms.

The researchers continue to examine the debris but say that “the weapon does not meet the tactical and technical characteristics claimed” by Russia.

Read also: ‘My hatred only grows:’ Kyiv residents lament over their homes destroyed by Russian attack

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