Russia test-fires ‘Zircon’ supersonic missile

Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced on the 28th (local time) that it had successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile “Zircon”. According to Reuters, the Russian Defense Ministry explained that the zircon was launched from the Barents Sea near the North Pole and hit a target located in the White Sea in northwestern Russia.

Russia added that the launch was part of testing a new type of weapon. In a video released by the Ministry of National Defense, the missile was launched from a ship and soared into the sky. “According to objectively controlled data, the Zircon missile successfully hit a sea target located at a distance of about 1,000 km,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described zircon missiles as part of a new generation of unique weapons systems. In his 2018 State of the Union address, Putin unveiled new hypersonic weapons, including zircon missiles. The Zircon missile is a hypersonic anti-ship missile of the Russian Navy.

The launch is interpreted as a warning against Western aid to Ukraine and Finland and Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Recently, CNN reported, citing multiple government sources, that the U.S. government is poised to provide a state-of-the-art long-range rocket system to bolster Ukraine’s forces. The United States provided Ukraine with 155mm M777 howitzers, and Denmark agreed to support Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The U.S. will also announce support for the M142 multiple rocket launcher (HIMARS) and multiple rocket launcher (MLRS), which have a range of several hundred kilometers depending on shells, next week, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing an administration official.

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