Ten MiG-31 fighter jets (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fitted with the air-launched Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile are on test combat duty, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in an interview published on the Zvezda TV channel website on Saturday.
“It is a cutting-edge weapon, namely a hypersonic long-range missile capable of overcoming air and missile defenses. It is invincible, having serious combat might and potential. The MIG-31 is its carrier as the jet is the most fitted for accelerating this missile to required speeds,” he said.
“In support that it is not something exotic, [I’ll say] today ten jets have gone on test combat duty and are ready for use depending on the situation,” Borisov said.
The project of the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile platform was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1.
According to the Russian president, the Kinzhal missile flying at more than 10 times the speed of the sound is capable of maneuvering and overcoming existing and future air defense and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. Since December 1, 2017, Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems have been on experimental and combat duty.
Initially, the MiG-31BM was named as the aircraft to carry Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems. Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the MiG-31K had been picked as a carrier for Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
Borisov also said that Peresvet laser combat system is likely to be shown at a Victory Day parade in Moscow in a span of two or three years, as now it is being upgraded.
“I think it is possible in two or three years, since the work is underway to upgrade the complex. If today it requires rather many support vehicles, it will be quite compact soon. Perhaps, we will show it to the public, too,” Borisov said when asked if the laser system would be presented during the Victory Day parade.