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6 Dec, 2018 12:24

Russia’s Su-57 may get ‘Kinzhal-like’ hypersonic missile for internal bay – report

Russia’s Su-57 may get ‘Kinzhal-like’ hypersonic missile for internal bay – report

The advanced Sukhoi Su-57 multipurpose jet may be armed with a hypersonic missile similar to the Kinzhal. Unlike the large already-introduced projectile, the future one will be small enough to fit inside the weapons bay.

Kinzhal is Russia’s freshly-introduced air-launched ballistic missile which can fly at Mach-10 speed and has a reported range of 2,000km (1243 miles). The weapon needs to be fired from an already fast-moving platform, like the Mig-31K interceptor or a Tu-22M3 bomber.

There has been some speculation that the Su-57, Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter jet, will eventually be able to deploy the advanced projectile as well.

The Russian military want to arm the Su-57 with a smaller hypersonic missile capable of fitting inside the stealth aircraft’s weapons bay, according to an aviation industry source cited by TASS. The alternative of fitting the large Kinzhal on a hard point, would have increased the jet’s radar cross-section.

The development of the new missile is part of Russia’s current military buildup program, which covers a period between 2018 and 2027, the source said. No details about a timetable for the development or the planned specifications for the missile were offered. The Defense Ministry would neither confirm nor deny the information.

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The Kinzhal missile is currently in test service in the Russian military. It was made public earlier this year by President Vladimir Putin as part of a larger presentation of advanced and future Russian weapons meant to counter US development of anti-ballistic missile technologies.

Some sources say the projectile is partially derived from the land-launched 9K720 Iskander missile, and is capable of destroying large moving targets like an aircraft carrier while avoiding air defenses, thanks to its tremendous speed and high maneuverability.

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