Russia tests its latest Zircon hypersonic missile

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Navy carried out another test of a future hypersonic missile on Saturday, a demonstration of the military’s long-range strike capability amid fighting in Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry said the Admiral Gorshkov frigate of the Northern Fleet in the White Sea launched the Zircon cruise missile into the Barents Sea, successfully hitting a practice target in the White Sea about 1,000 kilometers away. (540 nautical miles).

The launch was the latest in a series of tests from Zircon, which is expected to enter service later this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Zircon is able to fly at nine times the speed of sound and has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Putin stressed that his deployment would significantly boost the capacity of the Russian military.

Zircon is intended to arm Russian cruisers, frigates and submarines and could be used against enemy ships and ground targets. It is one of many hypersonic missiles under development in Russia.

Russian officials have boasted about Zircon’s capability, saying it is impossible to intercept with existing anti-missile systems.

Putin, who has sternly warned Western allies against meddling in Ukraine, has warned in the past that Russian warships armed with Zircon would give Russia the ability to strike ‘decision centers’ within minutes. they were deployed in neutral waters.

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