A Russian hypersonic missile meant to strike Ukraine accidentally fell from a MiG-31 aircraft and struck inside Russia, according to reports by several news outlets.
Russia’s Kinzhal missile reportedly crashed in the city of Stavropol on September 14, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
Local media initially reported that the missile was a Ukrainian Tu-141 Strizh reconnaissance drone meant to attack Russian infrastructure.
An “UFO” has reportedly crashed in #Russia’s southern #Stavropol region injuring five people including one child, local media reports. pic.twitter.com/8Ep3Mxp100
— Newsistaan (@newsistaan) September 14, 2022
However, many have noticed similarities between the wreckage and the Kinzhal, particularly the winglets and the booster’s separation mechanism.
A Twitter user suggested that the missile’s booster or aerodynamic cover didn’t separate from the weapon when it was released.
He claimed that the main engine did not ignite during the launch, based on viral photos and videos of the incident.
If anyone wondered what #crashed today in #russian Stavropol' region injuring 6 firefighters, you'd be very much surprised to know that it wasn't a "Ukrainian UAV", but a russian #Kinzhal missile. pic.twitter.com/QULK8kt2gJ
— LotA (@LotA47816230) September 14, 2022
Aerotime News also reported that a booster was found in the wreckage, suggesting the missile either misfired or was accidentally dropped.
The explosion caused by the accident injured at least six people, including four residents and one firefighter.
Russia’s Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile
Unveiled in 2018, the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is a nuclear-capable, hypersonic ballistic missile that can be carried by the Tu-22M bomber or the MiG-31 heavy interceptor aircraft.
It can reportedly carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, with a payload of up to 480 kilograms (1,060 pounds).
The weapon can be launched from an altitude of up to 18 kilometers (11 miles) and travel at least five times the speed of sound.
The missile can accurately strike stationary and moving targets using an advanced radar seeker.
Russia claimed that the hypersonic weapon was used to destroy an underground warehouse for missiles and ammunition in western Ukraine.