Russia test-fires hypersonic Kinzhal missile

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the missile as “an ideal weapon.” Russia claims the missile that flies at 10 times the speed of the sound cannot be intercepted by air-defense systems.

Russia said on Sunday it had successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile, one of a range of next-generation weapons unveiled by President Vladimir Putin in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month.

The country’s defense ministry released video footage that showed the high-precision Kinzhal missile detaching from a MiG-31 supersonic fighter jet and darting across the dark sky, leaving a fiery trail behind.

“The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,” the ministry added.

‘Ideal weapon’

The Kinzhal — the name means a double-edged Russian dagger — was described as “an ideal weapon” by Putin during the missile’s unveiling on March 1.

Putin, who is widely expected to be re-elected as Russia’s president later this month, claimed the missile that flies at 10 times the speed of the sound cannot be intercepted by air-defense 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 Russia had been working to modernize the MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile.

ap/jm (AFP, Reuters)

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