Russia Says It Successfully Test-Launched Hypersonic Missile On Putin's Birthday
October 07, 2020
The Russian military says it has successfully test-launched a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile off Russia's northern coast, in what President Vladimir Putin hailed as a "big event" for the country.
Speaking to Putin by video conference on October 7, General Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov said the test launch took place from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea.
Gerasimov said that the hypersonic anti-ship missile flew at a speed more than eight times the speed of sound and hit its target 450 kilometers away in the Barents Sea.
"Equipping our armed forces -- the army and the navy -- with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term," said Putin, who was celebrating his 68th birthday.
Putin has repeatedly spoken about new weapons such as the Tsirkon, claiming that they have no foreign analogues and are impossible to intercept.
Last year, the Russian leader said the Tsirkon would be capable of flying at Mach 9 and have a range of 1,000 kilometers.
He has pledged to beef up Russia's military presence in the Arctic.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and TASS
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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