Executive Intelligence Review


CNBC Reports Russia Successfully Tested Kinzhal Hypersonic Cruise Missile

July 18, 2018 (EIRNS)—On July 13, CNBC ran a report citing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources reporting that the Russian Aerospace Forces have recently conducted at least three flight tests of the Kinzhal (“Dagger”) hypersonic missile, which it describes as “A Russian missile the U.S. is currently unable to defend against,” and which “will likely be ready for combat as early as 2020.” The third known test of the device was successfully carried out earlier this month against a target nearly 500 miles away. The U.S. intelligence report noted that the hypersonic missile was tested 12 times on a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet, but work is currently underway to mount the missile on a strategic bomber (the Tu-22M Backfire supersonic bomber, which TASS reported on July 2). The CNBC report also claims that the nuclear-powered cruise missile that was also among the new weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled in his nationally televised Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, has yet to have a successful test flight, while the hypersonic glide vehicle (the Avangard, but not named by CNBC) is expected to be combat-ready by 2020. The sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said Russia successfully tested the weapon, which could carry a nuclear warhead, twice in 2016.

Sputnik responded to the CNBC report with one of its own, titled “Jumping the Gun: U.S. Media Report Successful Test of Russia’s Hypersonic Missile.” Despite the headline’s implication, however, Sputnik neither confirmed nor denied the claims of successful test flights of the Kinzhal. “At present there has been no mention in the Russian media about the successful test of a Kinzhal missile referred to by CNBC,” Sputnik writes.