Russia said today that it successfully launched a hypersonic missile capable carrying a nuclear warhead.
President Vladimir Putin called it ‘an ideal weapon’ when he unveiled a new array of next-generation arms earlier this month.
The high-speed, high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile – capable of flying at almost 7,700mph across 1,250 miles – was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet that took off from an airfield in the South Military District in Russia’s southwest.
‘The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,’ the ministry added.
The high-speed, high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile – capable of flying at almost 7,700 mph -was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet that took off from an airfield in the South Military District in Russia’s southwest
President Vladimir Putin called it ‘an ideal weapon’ as he unveiled a new array of next-generation arms earlier this month
‘The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,’ the ministry added. Pictured: The missile flying through the sky in the video
The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win. Pictured: A still from the video released today
Set to rousing, patriotic music, the video shows the plane safely landing after test-firing its payload
The ministry released video footage showing two pilots gearing up for a flight and then running towards a jet with a large missile slung beneath its underbelly
It comes just days after the belligerent Russian leader said he would unleash a ‘global catastrophe’ if a Third World War were to break out and threaten his country.
The ministry released video footage showing two pilots gearing up for a flight and then running towards a jet with a large missile slung beneath its underbelly.
Set to rousing, patriotic music, the video then shows a missile detaching from the airborne plane and gliding across the dark sky, leaving a fiery trail behind.
Some 250 flights have been conducted in training for day and night launches, and in all weather conditions, it was reported.
The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win.
Putin said the missile flies at 10 times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defence systems.
The missile has been deployed in the Southern Military District since December 1, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Facebook that work had also been done to modernise the ‘unique’ MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile.
Since the start of the year, more than 250 sorties have been carried out by the aircraft to perfect the work of the missile systems, the defence ministry said.
President Putin also showed the crowd video footage of a test of the new Sarmat missile, carried out last year
Social media users were quick to point out that this computer generated sequence from earlier in the month appears to show missiles raining down on the US state of Florida
During his speech, Putin said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s US-led missile defense ‘useless’. Pictured: A demonstration of one of the weapons last week
In his speech at the beginning of the month, Putin said Russia had tested an array of new nuclear weapons ‘invulnerable to enemy interception.
He said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone.
He also showed video footage of the launch of a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on big screens.
The video footage also contained a computer-generated sequence showing the potential power and reach of the new rocket, which included bombs raining down over the US state of Florida.
During his speech, Putin said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s US-led missile defense ‘useless,’ and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to block Russia’s military development.
In his speech at the beginning of the month, Putin said Russia had tested an array of new nuclear weapons ‘invulnerable to enemy interception
The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone (pictured) also has an ‘intercontinental’ range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities
He said: ‘I want to tell all those who have fuelled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened.
‘You have failed to contain Russia.’
Speaking of the new arsenal, Putin said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has an unlimited range and high speed and maneuverability allowing it to pierce any missile defense.
The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone also has an ‘intercontinental’ range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities.
He said its operational depth and high speed would make it immune to enemy intercept, adding: ‘It’s just fantastic!’
A computer generated missile is seen separating and flying above the Earth’s atmosphere in the video from earlier this month
Putin added to applause that names for the nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone haven’t yet been chosen, and suggested that the Defense Ministry run a nationwide contest for the best names.
The President accompanied his statement to an audience of hundreds of senior officials and lawmakers with videos and computer images of new weapons, which were shown on giant screens at a conference hall near the Kremlin.
‘No-one in the world has anything like that,’ he said. ‘It may appear someday, but by that time we will develop something new.’
Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, with a range and number of warheads exceeding its Soviet-era predecessor, known in the West as Satan.
He praised a new generation of young scientists working on such weaponry, calling them ‘the heroes of our time’.
The Russian leader emphasised that the development of new weapons that have no equivalent in the West came in response to the US withdrawal from a Cold War-era treaty banning missile defenses and US efforts to develop a missile defense system.
He said that the US has ignored Russian complaints.
‘No one has listened to us,’ he said. ‘You listen to us now.’
He said the new weapons will help ensure global stability and draw a line under attempts to weaken Russia.
He said the Kinzhal, or Dagger, already has been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District.
He said it’s a hypersonic missile carried by an aircraft that that flies at 10 times the speed of sound with an unpredictable trajectory towards its target.
Late last week, Putin said he would destroy the world with nuclear missiles if Russia came under attack.
He made clear that if Russia was hit by nuclear weapons and faced being wiped out, then the world would not be worth saving.
In a TV documentary he said: ‘I want to tell you, and I want this to be known here and abroad.
‘Our plans for using it (his nuclear arsenal), I am hoping it will never happen, our theoretical plans of using it is a so-called retaliatory, counter strike.
‘A decision about using nuclear weapon can be made only if our missile warning system recorded not only the launch of missiles, but also gave an accurate prediction of flight trajectories and the time when the warheads fall on Russia.’
He said: ‘This is called a retaliatory, counter strike, when we receive a legal right to respond.
‘Yes this will be a global catastrophe for humankind. It will be a global catastrophe for the world.
‘But as a citizen of Russia, as a head of the Russian state, I want to ask – why do we need a world if Russia ceases to exist?’
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