Exclusive R9X missile video shows the scene of an airstrike conducted by the U.S. military targeting suspected Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan. The R9X Missile video (which also called Flying Ginsu) was published by Wall Street Journal in theirs latest article covering thee recent US strike on ISIS hideouts.
Watch R9X Missile video, below.
According to details, The Pentagon used a special Hellfire missile (R9X Missile) that packs no explosives to strike Islamic State militants in Afghanistan on Saturday in retaliation for a suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport last week, according to two U.S. officials.
The airstrike, carried out by a Reaper drone flown from the Persian Gulf region, killed two militants associated with the Afghanistan offshoot of the Islamic State extremist group, and injured a third individual.
What is R9X Missile or Flying Ginsu
A February 2017 airstrike in Idlib, Syria targeted and killed Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, a deputy to al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Masri was one of the first foreign terrorists to have been killed using the U.S. military’s newest counter-terrorism weapon: the AGM-114R9X (R9X) Hellfire missile, often called the “ninja missile” or “the flying Ginsu” (Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2020). The missile is a new variant on the Hellfire. However, instead of delivering an explosive payload, the R9X missile releases six blades shortly before impact, crushing and cutting its target.
At first glance, the R9X missile, described as “a weapon that combines medieval brutality with advanced technology,” appears to be an important breakthrough in the U.S. counter-terrorism arsenal (Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2019). Despite its Hellfire connotation, the R9X missile is more like a long-range sniper round than its explosive cousins.
Take an in-depth look at a bold and bizarre new weapon in the U.S. arsenal called the Hellfire R9X missile or the “Flying Ginsu”. It’s a rarely used non-explosive missile with six blades and no warhead. Watch the video, below.
The payload allows a drone operator based in the United States to target terrorist leaders anywhere in the world to an accuracy of only a few feet, and potentially without any collateral damage. But there are downsides, including a failure to adequately address ethical and human rights questions and a lack of clarity about if it can be deployed effectively in future battles.
Background and Early Use of the R9X
Although the R9X missile has been employed in both Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pentagon strikes, it has been used sparingly (Asia Times, December 9, 2019). Officials suggest there have been half-a-dozen deployments, although research by this author points to at least nine strikes.
The weapon was developed under the Obama administration to reduce civilian casualties from U.S. counter-terrorism strikes abroad, and a similar missile was considered for the successful mission in 2011 that killed then al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (Jerusalem Post, May 15, 2019).
A former U.S. official expressed hopes the weapon could even solve a “right seat, left seat” problem, with the missile, in fact, being capable of discriminately targeting passengers in a moving vehicle (Asia Times, December 9, 2019).