USA's Patriot unable to shoot down Kinzhal missiles, but it can survive their attack

USA's feeble Patriot systems survives Russia's Kinzhal missile strike

USA's Patriot anti-aircraft missile system is unable to detect targets that fly at an altitude of up to 100 meters, Russian military expert Viktor Litovkin believes.

"The Patriot has a number of major drawbacks. It does not see the targets that fly at an altitude of up to 100 meters, this is a dead zone for the system,” he said in an interview with

Russia's S-300 and S-400 air defence systems cover Pantsir anti-aircraft missile systems that can shoot down drones at minimum altitudes, the expert noted.

According to him, Patriot systems are unable to counter hypersonic targets.

"They can do away with supersonic aircraft as they fly high enough, but not with hypersonic aircraft — the system does not have enough speed and reaction to shoot down hypersonic aircraft,” the expert said.

On May 16, the Russian Defence Ministry announced the destruction of the US Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. However, on May 17 CNN said with reference to US officials that the system received minimal damage in the attack and could be repaired in Ukraine.

The Patriot radar module, one of its most important elements, has not been damaged in the Russian missile strike. Moreover, US officials believe that the Patriot can be repaired inside Ukraine and there is no need to take the system out of the country for repairs.

On May 16, the Russian Defence Ministry announced that the Patriot complex in Kyiv was destroyed in a Kinzhal missile strike. A CNN source then clarified that the US-made air defence system was most likely damaged, but not destroyed.

  • Kinzhal is a missile complex with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles;
  • the speed of the Kinzhal missile is ten times the speed of sound;
  • the range exceeds 2,000 km;
  • the missile is capable of penetrating all air and missile defense systems;
  • warhead mass — 500 kg.

A day later, a Reuters source said that Washington and Kyiv were discussing a possibility of repairing the damaged Patriot. The agency then noted that the parties were evaluating the possibility of repairing the air defence system on the territory of Ukraine.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova
Editor Dmitry Sudakov