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Zircon: Russia claims successful test launch of new hypersonic missile

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
Russia's Defence Ministry said the missile had successfully hit a target more than 350 kilometres away.
Russia's Defence Ministry said the missile had successfully hit a target more than 350 kilometres away.   -   Copyright  Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
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Russia says it has conducted another successful test launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.

The missile was reportedly launched from an Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea in northern Russia on Monday.

Russia's Defence Ministry said the missile had successfully hit a land-based target on the coast of the Barents Sea.

According to the statement, the missile flew at Mach 7and hit the target "located 350 kilometres away".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Zircon missile would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometres.

The missiles can be used on surface ships and submarines in the Russian fleet and are part of a range of weapons developed by Moscow that Russia says are unmatched anywhere else in the world.

The first official test launch took place in October, which Putin hailed as a "great event" for the country. At least two other tests have taken place since, each time from the Admiral Gorshkov.

"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," he said at the time.

Against a backdrop of tensions with Western countries, Russia has recently made numerous announcements of new weapons presented as "invincible" by President Putin.

Several other weapons such as the hypersonic Kinjal missile for the air force, or the nuclear-powered Bourevestnik missile are also being developed.