MOSCOW, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Russia test-fired around 10 new Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missiles from a frigate and two more from a submarine, Interfax news agency said on Friday citing northern fleet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lauded the weapon as part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems.
Putin has called a missile test, conducted last week, “a big event in the country’s life”, adding that this was “a substantial step” in increasing Russia’s defence capabilities.
Some Western experts have questioned how advanced Russia’s new generation of weapons is, while recognising that the combination of speed, manoeuvrability and altitude of hypersonic missiles makes them difficult to track and intercept.
Putin announced an array of new hypersonic weapons in 2018 in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Editing by Louise Heavens)
Photo – Russian President and Armed Forces Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin on board of the Russian Northern fleet’s Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL