Russian warship to test HYPERSONIC MISSILE that can reach US mainland within FIVE MINUTES – A HYPERSONIC missile boasted to be “invincible” by Vladimir Putin is to be fired by a Russian warship for the first time, it has been reported.
Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate will reportedly launch the new 6,000mph Zircon missile at the end of 2019 in a test likely to cause anxiety across the West.
The Mach 8 missile was identified last month by Moscow’s state-controlled TV as being Putin’s weapon of choice to wipe out a number of American cities in the event of nuclear war.
Deep secrecy has surrounded tests and designs of the Zircon, which Putin claims is unmatched by any Western missile.
“Trials of launching a missile from a naval vessel are planned to start at the end of the year,” Russian news agency TASS reported, citing a military source.
“The Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate, also known as Project 22350, from the Northern Fleet will be used.”
The Russian defence ministry did not immediately confirm the TASS report.
Fired at an estimated speed of 9 Mach (6,900mph), Zircon missiles will “ensure the capability to st-rike key control systems” and “command centres” in the US, Retired Russian rear admiral Vsevolov Khmyrov said last month.
“Such a hypersonic system as Zircon penetrates practically any air defense and missile defense system,” Khmyrov said.
“There is no protection from it.”
He said two or three Russian vessels with 40 Zicron missiles on board could be put on “combat duty” in the West Atlantic and East Pacific.
His sobering warning came after Putin threatened the US with an array of strategic weapons in his annual state address.
In his speech, Putin said he will be forced to take “reciprocal measures” should the US deploy missiles to Europe.
“Let them calculate the range and speed of our weapons systems,” he said. “Only then should they make decisions that pose a serious threat to our country.”
Previously it is believed that the shark-nosed Zircon has been tested at least five times from land-based sites, and is capable of a speed of 1.7 miles per second.
In June 2017 the missile reached eight times the speed of sound, according to reports.
The Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile is reportedly only capable of intercepting targets flying up to Mach 3.
Putin has been talking up Russia’s weapons capabilities since Trump threatened to pull out of the Soviet-era INF Treaty.
The INF treaty, signed by ex-US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S Gorbachev in 1987, bans the development and deployment of cruise missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km.
It has prevented the deployment of US nuclear-tipped missiles to Europe since its inception.
Last month Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show Vesti Nedeli, showed on screen a map of the US identifying targets he claimed Moscow would want to hit in a nuclear war.
Kiselyov, seen as a top Putin propagandist, said the Zircon missile could hit the targets in less than five minutes.
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