Russian forces on Saturday announced the latest successful test of their Zircon hypersonic cruise missile as Moscow took offensive action in its Ukraine.
The missile was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the Barents Sea and “successfully hit” a target 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) away in the Arctic White Sea, the Defense Ministry said.
The ministry said the test was part of an ongoing “new weapons test”.
The first official zircon test, described by President Vladimir Putin as a “great event,” came in October 2020. Other tests were carried out from the same frigate and from a sunken submarine
The latest test of a hypersonic weapon comes when Russia appears to be preparing the ground for an offensive launched in Ukraine in late February.
The weapon can reach speeds of five to ten times the speed of sound and has a maximum range of about 1,000 kilometers.
In March, Moscow said it had for the first time used its high-precision Kinzhal, or Dagger, hypersonic missile in combat.
Putin described the missiles as a family of new “invincible” weapons in Russia’s arsenal.
The new generation of weapons unveiled by Putin in 2018 is more difficult to track and intercept by a missile defense system than conventional weapons, because of their speed but at low altitudes towards their targets.
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