Russian defense ministry officials have claimed that the country used a new hypersonic missile in an attack on Ukraine on Friday, marking its first use in combat.
The hypersonic missile, called Kinzhal (“Dagger” in Russian), was used in an attack on a large underground warehouse in southwestern Ukraine, according to Bloomberg News, which cited that Russia’s claim had yet to be independently verified.
Hypersonic missiles are weapons designed to fly at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5, which is about 3,800 mph (6,100 kph). Their speed and ability to maneuver themselves to a target makes them extremely difficult to track and shoot down. The United States, Russia, China and North Korea have been developing hypersonic weapons, some of which are launched into space, in pursuit of long-range flight and maneuverability.