Russian navy to receive ‘formidable’ hypersonic missiles, says Vladimir Putin

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Russian navy to receive ‘formidable’ hypersonic missiles, says Vladimir Putin
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Vladimir Putin has claimed the Russian navy will receive hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles in the next few months.

Speaking in St Petersburg on Russia’s annual Navy Day, Mr Putin claimed the missiles were unique and ’formidable’ as he spoke to crowds who gathered in the city.

The powerful weapons can travel at nine times the speed of sound, making it difficult for missile defence systems to protect against them.

Russia has conducted previous test-launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines over the past year.

“The delivery of these (missiles) to the Russian armed forces will start in the coming months,” said Mr Putin.

“The Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be the first to go on combat duty with these formidable weapons on board.

“The key thing here is the capability of the Russian navy."

Shortly before the speech, the Russian leader also signed a new naval doctrine which cast the United States as Russia’s main rival.

It also set out Russia’s global maritime ambitions for crucial areas such as the Arctic and in the Black Sea.

Mr Putin, who praised Tsar Peter the Great for making Russia a great sea power, did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during his speech.

It comes as Ukrainian forces struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Russian-held Sevastopol early on Sunday.

Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev was quoted by Russian media as saying five members of staff were wounded in the attack when what was presumed to be a drone flew into the courtyard at the headquarters.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities said heavy Russian strikes hit the southern cities of Mykolaiv and Nikopol overnight and early on Sunday.

Two people were killed and three wounded when 12 missiles hit homes and educational facilities, Mykolaiv mayor, Oleksandr Senkevych, told Ukrainian television.

He had earlier described the strikes as "probably the most powerful" on the city of the entire war.

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