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Hypersonic missiles allegedly deployed in Belarus by Russian military

The Russian military has allegedly deployed hypersonic missiles in Belarus according to the British Ministry of Defence.

 

According to the British Ministry of Defence in its daily update on the conflict in Ukraine, on Tuesday, November 1, for the first time during the war, Russia has deployed air-launched hypersonic missiles to a base in Belarus.

A satellite image that was reportedly taken on October 17 showed at least two Russian warplanes. A well-protected container can be seen in the aerial shot, which the MoD said is normally used for storing AS-24 Killjoy missiles.

The photo was allegedly captured at Machulishchy Airfield, just outside of Minsk, the Belarusian capital. MoD analysts established that the aircraft – with a range of more than 1,200 miles – were probably MiG-31K Foxhunter interceptor jets, specially modified to carry the AS-24 Killjoy hypersonic missiles.

“Russia has occasionally launched these weapons during the Ukraine war, but stocks are likely very limited. It has likely carried out the deployment mainly to send a message to the West and to portray Belarus as increasingly complicit in the war”, said the MoD.

Deploying the jets to Belarus would have little impact on the number of targets they could potentially hit in Ukraine added the MoD.

AS-24 Killjoy missiles can carry a 500kg explosive payload, or a tactical nuclear warhead. They are capable of travelling at up to 10-times the speed of sound, or Mach 10. Unlike conventional ballistic missiles, their velocity makes them a lot harder to intercept and shoot down. They are one of the most-feared weapons possessed by the Russian military.

However, some Western analysts argue that the AS-24 Killjoy missiles are based on an old 1980 design and have cast doubts over the weapon’s actual capabilities, as reported by uk.news.yahoo.com.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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