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Russia fires hypersonic missile capable of reaching target 600 miles away

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Russia has successfully fired its new hypersonic Zircon cruise missile ahead of the weapon’s debut on warships in the coming weeks, its defency ministry said.

It was launched from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the Barents Sea, and hit its target some 625 miles away in the White Sea, Russia’s defence ministry announced.

“According to objective control data, the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile successfully hit a sea target located at a distance of about 1,000 km,” its statement read.

“The flight of the hypersonic missile corresponded to the specified parameters.”

The Zircon was first tested on Vladimir Putin’s birthday in October 2020, in which he celebrated the launch as a “big event” for the country.

“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,” Mr Putin said.

The missile, which can reach speeds of up to 7000mph, was tested again last summer where it reached speeds of 5,381mph, and hit a target 217 miles away.

Mr Putin hailed the weapon as a part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems in a 2018 speech, in which he boasted it could strike any location in the world as well as evade US-built missile shields.

Russia in January confirmed tests had almost been completed with the rollout of the weapon, first on frigates and later on submarines, to begin later in the year.

“The state tests of the Zircon sea-based hypersonic cruise missile are nearing completion. From 2022, serial deliveries will begin,” Deputy Defence Minister Alexey Kryvoruchko said.

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