Russia's Putin oversees hypersonic missile test near Crimea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday oversaw military exercises from a naval vessel in the Black Sea near Crimea, including the test launch of a hypersonic air-launched Kinzhal missile, the Kremlin said.

A pair of MiG-31K interceptor jets test fired the Kinzhal (Dagger) missile at a target on a military test site, the Kremlin said. The exercise involved several navy vessels.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has since built up military infrastructure on the peninsula.

The first public outing of the Kinzhal occurred during a Red Square military parade in May 2018 and was one of several world premieres for Russian weapons.

Putin disclosed the Kinzhal’s existence in March that same year along with other missile systems he touted as unbeatable, describing how they could evade any enemy defences.

Russian media have said it can hit targets up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles) distant with nuclear or conventional warheads and that the missiles have already been deployed in Russia’s southern military district.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Writing by Alexander Marrow and Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)