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Russia tests new 'invincible' hypersonic cruise missile

AFP

clock 2 min read

Russia's MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jets carrying hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2018.
Yuri Kadobnov/AFPRussia's MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jets carrying hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2018.

The military said it fired a Zircon missile from a Severodvinsk nuclear submarine on Monday

Russia said on Monday it launched a new hypersonic cruise missile from a submarine, the latest test of emerging weapons President Vladimir Putin dubbed “invincible.”

Moscow, in recent years, touted the development of weapons that it hopes will give it the edge in any arms race with the United States at a time of growing tensions with the West.

Hypersonic missiles can travel more than five times the speed of sound and maneuver in mid-flight, making them much harder to track and intercept than traditional projectiles.

The military said on Monday it fired a Zircon missile from a Severodvinsk nuclear submarine and hit a test target in the Barents Sea in Russia's Arctic. 

"The test launch of the Zircon missile from a nuclear submarine was considered successful," the defense ministry said in a statement.

The ministry released video footage showing missile flares illuminating the night sky.

The Zircon underwent several tests in recent years, including a launch from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate. 

Putin used his state of the nation address in 2018 to reveal new hypersonic weapons, including the Zircon, saying it could hit targets with a range of over 620 miles.

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The Zircon is set to join Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles that were put into service in 2019 and the air-launched Kinzhal missiles in Russia's arsenal.

The launch comes a week after North Korea said it tested a new hypersonic weapon, becoming the latest country to join the hypersonic arms race.