Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russia test-launches hypersonic missile

Russia test-launches hypersonic missile

The Kinzhal hypersonic missile was launched from an MiG-31 interceptor jet, which departed from an airfield in the Southern Military District, Russia's TASS News Agency reported.

"The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target on a testing ground", the ministry said.

Set to rousing, patriotic music, the video then shows a missile detaching from the airborne plane and gliding across the dark sky, leaving a fiery trail behind.

Mr Putin described the Kinzhal missile - named after a type of knife - as "an ideal weapon" while speaking at the annual state-of-the-nation address on March 1.

America's current missile defence systems are created to stop ballistic missiles from foes such as Iran or North Korea, and would be overwhelmed by a large salvo of incoming rockets from a major power such as Russian Federation.

The Kinzhal is reportedly able to travel at ten times the speed of sound and possess a range of 2,000km (1,200 miles).

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Putin in his address said Russian Federation is developing missiles and underwater drones, among other weapons, because the US pulled out of the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty it had signed with the Soviet Union.

The defense ministry specified in its statement that besides crew training, the Russian air force had conducted over 250 flights in the beginning of the year to ensure the project would yield the desired results.

The first air unit equipped with the Kinzhal system started test air alert flights to master fundamentals of its combat use since December 1 of the past year. "The attempt at curbing Russian Federation has failed", Putin said. "They do not impact any need on our side for a change in our deterrence posture".

Putin said that the country also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, with a range and number of warheads exceeding its predecessor.

"It doesn't change anything other than how much money do they want to spend on something that does not change at all the strategic balance", he said.

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