Russian fleet to acquire new hypersonic missiles in ‘coming months’ - Putin

AFP

2 min read
This handout video grab released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows the launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from the the Admiral Gorshkov warship at a target in the Barents Sea, on November 29, 2021.
Handout / Russian Defence Ministry / AFPThis handout video grab released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows the launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from the the Admiral Gorshkov warship at a target in the Barents Sea, on November 29, 2021.

Zircon cruise missiles have a maximum range of around 620 miles

The Russian Fleet will acquire "in the coming months" new Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles which "know no obstacles," President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday.

The country’s navy "is capable of inflicting a lightning response to all those who decide to undermine our sovereignty and freedom," Putin said during a naval parade in Saint Petersburg, emphasizing that its military equipment "is subject to continuous improvement."

He mentioned in particular the "ultra-modern Zircon hypersonic missiles which know no obstacles."

"Their delivery to the Russian armed forces will begin in the coming months," Putin said.

With a maximum range of around 620 miles, the Zircon cruise missiles belong to a family of new weapons developed by Russia, which Putin described as "invincible." Their trials have been carried out since October 2020.

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The Admiral Gorshkov warship will be the first Russian ship to be equipped with these missiles, while the area of ​​deployment of this ship will be chosen according to "Russia's security interests." 

“Homeland is a sacred notion for all of us, and defending it is a duty and the meaning of life for each of us,” the president added.

Putin oversaw the naval parade in Saint Petersburg, which brought together more than 40 ships and submarines and around 3,500 military personnel in the former imperial capital on the occasion of Russian Fleet Day, widely celebrated across the country. 

Earlier on Sunday, the festivities were canceled in the Crimean port of Sevastopol after a drone attack, which targeted the staff of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, wounded six.

Local authorities blamed the attack on "Ukrainian nationalists" as Russia is facing Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the Kherson region, located not far from the annexed Crimea. Kyiv denied its involvement in the attack.

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