Hellfire R9X missile used to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri
Tags: Science and Technology
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used its ‘secret weapon’ — the Hellfire R9X missile to kill Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri on the balcony of a safehouse in Kabul.
What is the Hellfire R9X missile?
It is basically a modified version of the renowned Hellfire missile which was an anti-tank weapon developed in the 1980s.
It was modified several times to specifically target individuals after the 9/11 attacks.
It is an American-origin missile developed to target individuals and cause minimal collateral damage.
This missile has no warhead, it deploys razor-sharp blades in the final phase of the attack.
It also helps it break through thicker steel sheets and lowers the target by using the kinetic energy of its propulsion.
The blades eject from the missile and hit the intended target without causing massive damage to the surroundings.
Why was the Hellfire R9X missile developed?
The main reason for the development of the Hellfire R9X missile was to reduce civilian casualties.
The missile was also developed to eliminate doubts about the structural robustness of a building such as the mud and thatched huts that terrorists commonly use as a hideout.
In January 2019, this missile was used to kill Jamal al-Badawi while Ahmed Hassan Abu Khair al-Masri was killed in February 2017.
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