Russia announces successful test of 5,000mph hypersonic missile

·1-min read
A new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched by the frigate Admiral Gorshkov by the Russian navy from the White Sea (AP)
A new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched by the frigate Admiral Gorshkov by the Russian navy from the White Sea (AP)

Russia’s military has announced a successful test launch of its new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.

The Russian defence ministry said on Monday that the missile, launched from an Admiral Groshkov frigate in the White Sea, successfully hit a target more than 217 miles away on the coast of the Barents Sea.

The defence ministry added that the missile flew at Mach 7, or seven times the speed of sound, approximately 5,381 mph.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that the missile would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound, and would have a range of 620 miles.

Monday’s test follows a first successful test conducted in October, on Mr Putin’s birthday.

The Russian president hailed the October launch as a “big event” for the country.

He added: “Equipping our armed forces – the army and the navy – with the latest, truly unparalleled weapons systems will certainly ensure the defence capability of our country in the long term”.

The Zircon hypersonic missiles can be used on surface ships and submarines in the Russian fleet. Land and submarine tests of the missiles are expected to take place soon.

The missiles are part of a new generation of Russian weapons that Mr Putin announced in 2018; in a speech, he boasted they could hit almost any location in the world and evade US-built missile shields.

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