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Putin Hails Multiple Launch Test of Hypersonic Missile

Putin speaks at a government meeting via video conference on Dec. 24. Alexey Nikolsky / Sputnik / AFP

President Vladimir Putin said Friday the Russian military successfully fired a simultaneous salvo of its Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, calling it "a big event" for the country. 

As world powers race to develop advanced weaponry, Russia has carried out a number of successful tests of its Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile.

This was however the first time that Russian authorities reported a successful simultaneous launch test of several Tsirkon missiles.

Speaking at a government meeting on Friday, Putin said that the salvo launch of the missile had been conducted overnight. 

"The tests were conducted successfully, immaculately," Putin said in televised remarks. 

"This is a big event in the life of the country and a considerable step in strengthening Russia's security and improving its defense capability," he added.

A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry could not provide further details when reached by AFP.

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.

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 withing a range of 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) at a speed of Mach 9.

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