Russia has successfully tested another Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, a new addition to a series of Russian weapons called “invincible” by President Vladimir Putin.
Launched from the Admiral Gorshkov warship located in the White Sea, the missile hit a surface target off the coast of the Barents Sea directly at a range of over 350 km and the flight speed of 7 Mach, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“During the test, the tactical and technical characteristics were confirmed. The flight speed reached nearly 7 Mach,” the statement said.
The ministry said that the Russian government is planning to equip submarines and surface vessels of the Russian Navy with the Tsirkon system.
In recent years, Moscow has been touting the development of a new generation of weapons that would take the lead in any arms race with the US.
President Putin first revealed the development of the new missile in a state of the nation address in February 2019, saying the projectile would have a range of 1,000 km and a speed of 9 Mach, and able to hit targets both at sea and on land.
The testing of the missile began five years ago, with nearly a dozen launches completed by 2018.
In his address to the Russian parliament back then, Putin described the missile as one of the main strategic systems capable of reaching “almost any point in the world” and of evading the US-made missile shields.
Russia has unveiled several advanced weapons that can circumvent existing defense systems, including the Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Burevestnik cruise missiles.