Armed Conflicts
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Air defence alert in Rostov, Russia - US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone "lost" connection in the Black Sea

Russian air defense crews shot down an air target on approach to the Rostov region, regional governor Vasily Golubev said on his Telegram channel.

"Today at 10:10, an air defense unit covering the territory of the Rostov region destroyed an air target that was approaching the territory of the region," his publication said. There were no casualties or damage.

A resident of Rostov-on-Don, who witnessed the incident, told RIA Novosti that he saw traces in the sky above the city's left bank on Thursday morning. According to the interlocutor of the agency, no explosion was heard, but "there was a hum".

The Ukrainian military regularly attacks Russian territories using drones. The main attack falls on the borderlands, namely the Bryansk, Belgorod and Kursk regions, as well as Crimea and Central Russia. In September, two UAVs were shot down over Rostov. The facades of three buildings and several cars were damaged.

In addition, a US RQ-4B Global Hawk reconnaissance drone sounded the alarm over the Black Sea, according to data from FlightRadar24.

It is noted that after the 7,600 signal was given, the drone began to move away from Crimea and head towards Sicily. Code 7600 means connection lost. Radio Sputnik previously reported that a Su-30 fighter jet "kicked out" an American reconnaissance drone from the border of the Russian Federation.

The main goal of patrolling the Black Sea by MiG-31K aircraft with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles is to launch direct strikes on installations with American ATACMS missiles that have been detected by intelligence services, military analyst, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine Igor Korochenko additionally says.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that the Russian Aerospace Forces are starting to permanently patrol the airspace over the Black Sea with MiG-31K fighters armed with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.

"These aircraft act precisely as a platform for hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. These weapons are activated and can be used at any time for instantaneous, almost online, strikes against identified targets in the context of the start of deliveries of American ATACMS missile systems to Ukraine," he said in RIA Korochenko.

He added that the Kinzhals will be used as part of the reconnaissance and strike contour, which will work specifically for the task of early detection of ATACMS missile launchers, firing positions and storage areas.

Military expert, editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine Alexei Leonkov agrees with Korochenko's conclusions.

"The carrier of the Kinzhal MiG-31 is primarily a high-speed long-range interceptor, its main function is to reach the target interception area as quickly as possible. Combined with the Kinzhal, this makes it possible to sharply reduce the reaction time in identified positions of the MLRS-type launchers from which ATACMS missiles are launched," the expert told RIA Novosti.

Korochenko does not rule out that there may be other targets. The Kinzhal is, to a certain extent, a forward-deployed weapon, so it is a visible demonstration that Russia is not ruling out any response options in the event of a political or military decision. We understand that the "Stiletto" can be used both in a conventional version and with special ammunition (nuclear warhead), the analyst explained.

Leonkov, in turn, recalled that the primary goal of the "Daggers" during the deployment was to fight against American aircraft carriers.

"The high penetrating ability of even a conventional Kinzhal warhead allows several missiles to sink such a large ship. In the Black Sea, this could be useful if carrier ships carrying Ukrainian-flagged maritime drones are detected," he clarified the same.

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