Russian officials have claimed the successful firing of its new hypersonic Zircon cruise missile, capable of hitting targets more than 600 miles away.
According to the country’s Ministry of Defence, the missile was launched from the Admiral Gorshkov warship, travelling from the Barents Sea to a practice target in the waters of the White Sea.
Posting a video of the Zircon firing, said to be conducted as part of a test of new weapons, the Russian Defence Federation said in a statement: "According to objective control data, the hypersonic Zircon cruise missile successfully hit a sea target located at a distance of about 1,000 km.
“The hypersonic missile's flight met the specified parameters.”
It was previously claimed that because the Zircon flies so fast and low – up to nine times the speed of sound – it cannot be detected by US missile interceptor systems.
Speaking of the latest video, shared on 28 May, state-run broadcaster TV Zvezda said: “The Russian Zircon hypersonic missile's stealth features have been disclosed…
“The speed of the Zircon hypersonic missile is so high that it prevents the opponent's air defence system from detecting its impact in time. In fact, its launch will be known only after the target has been hit.”
Putin previously said the deployment of the Zircon missile, one of several hypersonic weapons being developed in Russia, forms an important part of its military presence.
"Now, it is especially important to develop and implement the technologies necessary to create new hypersonic weapons systems, high-powered lasers and robotic systems that will be able to effectively counter potential military threats, which means they will further strengthen the security of our country," he said in a televised statement last November.
The latest missile test unfolded near Finland and Sweden, both countries which recently ended their neutrality status by sending a joint application to NATO in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
The #RussianFederation tested the #Zircon #CruiseMissile near #Finland and #Sweden, which are joining #NATO— News from Ukraine (@uasupport999) May 28, 2022
The missile was fired from the #AdmiralGorshkov frigate. The target was located in the White Sea. pic.twitter.com/aj95REX6xQ
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after receiving the application: “I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners.
"The applications you have made today are an historic step. Allies will now consider the next steps on your path to NATO.”
Some believe the launch could have been a warning shot after Russia threatened ‘retaliatory action’ should the countries join the Western military alliance.
Featured Image Credit: Russian Defence Ministry
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