(CNN) – Ukraine claims to have used a US-made Patriot air defense system for the first time to intercept a Russian hypersonic missile.
Yes, we intercepted the “incomparable” Kinzhal missile, Mykola Oleshuk, the commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said on Telegram on Saturday, adding the word “Patriot” and an emoji of the Ukrainian flag.
Kh-47 Kinzhal is a hypersonic ballistic missile.
Ukraine has received at least two Patriot systems, one from the United States and one from Germany, to improve its air defenses, which have so far been unable to intercept more modern Russian missiles such as the Kinzhal.
Olchuk stated that the interception “occurred during the night attack on May 4 in the sky over the Kiev region.”
He said that the Kinzhal missile was launched by a MiG-31K from Russian territory.
Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman for the Air Force Command, told Ukrainian TV on Saturday: “Yes, we have anti-ballistic missile weapons. No one knows if the Patriot can work against ballistic missiles. Well, yes, it can.”
“It is good that we have such weapons. Unfortunately, there are not many,” he added.
Last month, Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov declared that Patriot missiles would be useful in defending Ukraine’s infrastructure against ballistic missiles.
“Building a multi-level anti-missile and air defense system as soon as possible is one of our priorities,” he said. “This is about protecting peaceful cities, critical infrastructure, and our people on the front and rear lines. Patriot systems create a capability that hasn’t existed before: defeating ballistic targets.”
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