PUBLISHED: 14:27, Wed, Oct 7, 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52, Wed, Oct 7, 2020
Moscow flexed its military muscle with a test launch of its Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, which successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, on the 68th birthday of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to Mr Putin by video link, senior commander Valery Gerasimov, chief of the army’s general staff, said the test strike was carried out from the Admiral Gorshkov vessel which was located in the White Sea in northern Russia.
President Putin, who has pledged to beef up Russia’s military presence in the Arctic, has previously talked up hypersonic missiles and a new generation of Russian weapons.
He told Mr Gerasimov: “This is a big event not only for the life of the armed forces, but also for all of Russia, for the whole country.”
Mr Gerasimov said the missile hit its target at a distance of 450 kilometres (280 miles) in four and a half minutes after reaching hypersonic speeds of more than Mach 8.
Russia has flexed its military muscles in its latest photos (Image: REUTERS )
Putin has pledged to beef up Russia’s military presence in the Arctic (Image: REUTERS)
He said the tests would continue and that Russian surface vessels and submarines would be armed with the missile when those tests are completed.
Russia reportedly test-launched the missile successfully from a military vessel for the first time in January.
The Tsirkon test comes amid tensions over arms control between Russia and the US.
READ MORE: WW3 fears erupt as Russia considers missile deal with Iran
The test strike was carried out from the Admiral Gorshkov vessel which was located in the White Sea in northern Russia (Image: REUTERS)
New START, the last major nuclear arms pact in place between the two countries, is due to expire in