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Russia Says Latest Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile Test Successful

The Admiral Gorshkov warship launched a Tsirkon missile at a target in the Barents Sea at a range of 400 kilometers, the Defense Ministry said. mil.ru

Russia said Monday it had carried out another successful test of its Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, as world powers race to develop advanced weaponry.

Russia, the United States, France and China have all been experimenting with so-called hypersonic glide vehicles — defined as reaching speeds of at least Mach 5.

As part of "the completion of tests" of Russia's hypersonic missile weapons, the Admiral Gorshkov warship launched a Tsirkon missile at a target in the Barents Sea at a range of 400 kilometers, the Defense Ministry said.

"The target was hit," the ministry said, describing the test as successful.

The missile has undergone a number of recent tests, with Russia planning to equip both warships and submarines with the Tsirkon.

Putin revealed the development of the new weapon in a state of the nation address in February 2019, saying it could hit targets at sea and on land with a range of 1,000 kilometers and a speed of Mach 9.

Russia's latest Tsirkon test came after Western reports that a Chinese hypersonic glider test flight in July culminated in the mid-flight firing of a missile at more than five times the speed of sound over the South China Sea.

Up until the test, none of the top powers had displayed comparable mastery of a mid-flight missile launch.

China denied the report, saying it was a routine test of a reusable space vehicle.

Russia has boasted of developing several weapons that circumvent existing defense systems, including the Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Burevestnik cruise missiles.

Western experts have linked a deadly blast at a test site in northern Russia in 2019 — which caused a sharp spike in local radiation levels — to the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile.

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