Russian naval aviation to be armed with Kinzhal


The Russian naval aviation will be armed with Kinzhal with air ballistic hypersonic missiles. It will help MiG-31 control the Arctic and Pacific coast. The weapon can destroy adversary warships and aircraft at a distance of 2 thousand km, the Izvestia daily writes.


Russian naval aviation to be armed with Kinzhal A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ALBM being carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K interceptor (Picture source: kremlin.ru)


Sources in the defense industry told the newspaper the weapon will be supplied to regiments armed with MiG-31. Kinzhal will be fully integrated into the Navy combat force. Warships and submarines will provide guidance to aircraft in real time.

General Chief-of-Staff Valery Gerasimov told military attaches last week that Kinzhal had launched hypersonic missiles at ranges in various climates, including the Arctic. The airfield network is being developed to expand the engagement geography of the weapon.

The Russian naval aviation currently has two units armed with MiG-31. One is deployed at Monchegorsk airfield in Murmansk region and the second one in Yelizovo in Kamchatka. The airstrip in Monchegorsk was overhauled in October 2013. Over 2 thousand concrete plates were replaced, as well as taxi drives and parking lots. In Yelizovo, the airstrip was overhauled in the summer of 2016. It is nearly 3.5 thousand meters long.

Kinzhal will make the Navy operational in any Arctic region. The new missiles can destroy targets at a distance of 2 thousand km. The aircraft deployed in the Kola Peninsula will control a space from the shores of Iceland to the Kara Sea. MiG-31 in Kamchatka will defend the East Siberia, Bering Seas and the Sea of Okhotsk.

In 2018, units of the 21st combined air division armed with MiG-31 were deployed in Perm, Krasnoyarsk and Chelyabinsk regions. Armed with Kinzhal they will defend the airspace along the perimeter of the country.

The Arctic has long become a zone of active geopolitical standoff, expert Vadim Kozyulin said. "There are several crossings of interests of some countries. There is a question who would develop natural resources in the ocean shelf. MiG-31 regiments with Kinzhal will be deployed in the key areas of the region," he said.

MiG-31 armed with Kinzhal can control immense territories, including the Northern Sea Route from airfields in the Kola Peninsula and Kamchatka. It is specifically important for regions with no ground infrastructure, the expert said.

MiG-31 is a supersonic long-range fighter jet. It was designed yet in the Soviet Union, but many experts call it unprecedented aircraft in its class. Several MiG-31 can cover a 900-km long airspace. The range of the jet without heavy arms is close to 2 thousand km.

In 2018, a MiG-31 modification was created to carry Kinzhal. The MiG-31K jets differ from the basic option by new onboard equipment, bigger fuel reserve, communications and guidance provision equipment, the Izvestia said.


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