DoD official: Russia’s hypersonic missile boast ‘a bit of a head-scratcher’

But U.S. officials also “can’t independently confirm” Russia’s claim, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s not entirely clear, so what we would assess is it’s certainly possible.”

Russia’s claim about the hypersonic missile has drawn scrutiny from arms observers in recent days, and the senior DoD official described the weapon’s alleged deployment as confusing given the circumstances of its use.

Hypersonic missiles fly faster than five times the speed of sound and are maneuverable, making them difficult to shoot down. All ballistic missiles can achieve hypersonic speeds, but the Russians claim the Kinzhal can also be guided during flight, changing course to avoid air defenses. It is not clear if this missile used that capability or if it…

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