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Russia tests new hypersonic missile from submarine

A potential Russian hypersonic missile has been successfully test-fired from a nuclear submarine for the first time, the military said on Monday.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Zircon missile was launched from a Severodvinsk submarine and struck a designated simulated target in the Barents Sea.

The launch marked Zircon’s first launch from a submarine. It has been repeatedly tested from a naval warship before, most recently in July.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the zircon will be capable of flying nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Putin has emphasized that its deployment would significantly increase Russian military capability.

The Zircon trials are to be completed later this year and will be commissioned by the Russian Navy in 2022, officials said.

The Zircon is intended to arm Russian cruisers, frigates and submarines. It is one of several hypersonic missiles under development in Russia.

 

The Kremlin has made modernizing the country’s arsenal a top priority amid tensions with the West following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

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