Russia Announces Hypersonic Zircon Missile Test
May 28, 2022
Russia announced on May 28 that its navy had conducted a further test of one of several hypersonic missiles in development against the backdrop of Moscow's war in Ukraine and the resulting international isolation.
The Defense Ministry said that a Zircon cruise missile was launched from the Admiral Gorshkov, a Russian North Sea frigate, in the Barents Sea, at a target in the White Sea about 1,000 kilometers away.
Russian officials have claimed the sea-based Zircon can evade all existing anti-missile systems, although such a claim is impossible to confirm.
President Vladimir Putin has suggested such missiles' deployment on Russian frigates, cruisers, or submarines on the high seas could enable strikes on "decision-making centers" within minutes.
Russia has announced previous tests of the Zircon, whose hypersonic speeds are purported to reach nine times the rate of sound.
Russia's military has taken a pounding since its troops rolled across its and Belarus's borders into Ukraine on February 24 into staunch resistance from professional and volunteer Ukrainian fighters supported by Western weapons and reportedly intelligence.
Last month, Russian officials test-launched a new nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile, the Sarmat.
Based on reporting by The Washington Post, Reuters, and AP
Copyright (c) 2022. 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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