RUSSIA said today it has successfully test fired its new lethal Zircon hypersonic missile from a submarine for the first time.
Video footage shows the 6,670mph rocket being fired from the nuclear-powered sub Severodvinsk before streaking into the night sky.
The weapon was launched from the surface in the White Sea and successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, said the defence ministry in Moscow.
Russia claims the “unstoppable” Mach 9 missile is able to evade all Western defences.
“The Russian navy carried out the first tests of the Zircon hypersonic missile from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine,” said an official statement.
“The missile was test fired at a conditional sea target in the Barents Sea.
“The test-firing of the Zircon missile from the nuclear submarine was recognised as successful.”
Russia said last week said it had completed flight tests of the new-age missile from a frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, and a coastal mount.
MOSCOW, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday it had successfully test launched a Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile from a submarine for the first time, a weapon President Vladimir Putin has lauded as part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems.
The defence ministry, which tested firing the Tsirkon missile from a warship in July, said that the Severodvinsk submarine had fired the missile while deployed in the Barents Sea and had hit its chosen target.
Low-quality video footage released by the ministry showed the missile shooting upwards from a submarine, its glare lighting up the night sky and illuminating the water’s surface.
“The test firing of the Tsirkon missile from a nuclear submarine was deemed successful,” the ministry said.
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.
In July, parts of footage showing Russia’s advanced new S-500 surface-to-air missile system appeared to have been deliberately blurred to make it harder to examine in detail.
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 Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Alexander Marrow Editing by Andrew Osborn)