The Russian Defense Ministry has reportedly announced that a combat training launch of its Kinzhal aero ballistic hypersonic missile was conducted from the Russian Air Force’s MiG-31 fighter jet.

In a statement, the ministry was quoted by Defence as saying: “A MiG-31 interceptor jet made a training launch of a Kinzhal high-precision ‘aeroballistic’ hypersonic missile and the missile hit a target on the test range.”

The ministry also said that the MiG-31 aircraft took off from an airfield in the Southern Military District.

As part of the combat training plan, crew members of the Kinzhal air system have completed more than 250 flights to date.

The ministry was further quoted by TASS as saying: “Performance characteristics and time indicators of the Kinzhal high-precision airborne missile system were confirmed during the hypersonic missile launch.”

“Crew members of the Kinzhal air system have completed more than 250 flights to date.”

The ministry added: “The air staff has been trained in full scope day and night in various weather conditions.”

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Developed based on the upgraded MiG-31 interceptor jet, the Kinzhal system is said to be capable of striking down surface and waterborne targets.

Integrated with high-precision aeroballistic missiles, the weapon system has a strike range of more than 2,000km.

Test air alert flights on the Kinzhal system have been underway since it became operational on 1 December.