Russia deploys terrifying hypersonic missile at SEVEN times the speed of sound

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The Russian defence ministry said a warship has fired a hypersonic cruise missile and blasted a surface target more than 200 miles away. The new generation weapon was launched from the Admiral Gorshkov ship as it sailed in the White Sea.

Russian officials said the missile travelled at seven times the speed of sound and struck a ground target on the coastline of the Barents Sea – located 350km (217 miles) away.

In a statement released on Monday, the ministry said: “According to live monitoring data, the Tsirkon missile successfully hit a target directly at a range of over 350km.

“During the test, the tactical and technical characteristics were confirmed.

“The flight speed reached nearly 7 Mach.”

Russia plans to equip the Tsirkon missile system to its submarines and surface ships.

A speed of seven Mach equates to around 8,643kmh (5,370mph).

Missiles launched at such speeds are almost impossible to detect at certain ranges as the air pressure formed at the front of the weapon can absorb radio waves.

Most advanced radars interceptors require around 10 seconds of reaction time to deter an attack.

President Putin has previously said the missile would eventually be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000km (620 miles).

The weapon was also tested last October on President Putin’s birthday, with the leader hailing it a “big event”.

Speaking at the time, President Putin boasted the Russian military weapons would be unrivalled.

He said: “Equipping our armed forces, the army and the navy, with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defence capability of our country in the long term.”

At least two other tests have taken place since and both were deployed from Admiral Gorshkov vessel.

President Putin announced a programme of creating advanced hypersonic weapons in 2018.

During the speech, he warned the weapons could hit almost any point in the world and even evade a US-built missile shield.

The following year, President Putin threatened to deploy hypersonic missiles on vessels outside US territorial waters, if Washington moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

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Washington has not deployed such missiles to the continent,

In February, Moscow and Washington agreed to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The agreement limits each side to 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads.

Each nation is allowed, in total, no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear arms.
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