MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian navy on Saturday conducted another test of a future hypersonic missile, a demonstration of military capabilities for long-range strikes during fighting in Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense announced that the frigate of the Northern Fleet Admiral Gorškov in the White Sea launched the Zircon cruise missile in the Barents Sea and thus successfully hit a training target in the White Sea, about 1000 kilometers (540 nautical miles).
The launch was the last in a series of Zircon tests scheduled to begin later this year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Zircon is capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Putin stressed that his deployment will significantly increase the capacity of the Russian military.
Zircon is intended for the armament of Russian cruisers, frigates and submarines and could be used both against enemy ships and against land targets. It is one of many hypersonic missiles being developed in Russia.
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Russian officials boasted of Zircon’s ability, saying it was impossible to intercept with existing anti-missile systems.
Putin, who has strongly warned Western allies against interfering in Ukraine, has warned in the past that Russian warships armed with zircon would allow Russia to attack “decision-making centers” within minutes if deployed in neutral waters.
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