Russia ‘test-fires hypersonic Kinzhal missile’


missile with streak of light behind itImage copyright

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called the missile “an ideal weapon”

Russia says it has successfully test-launched a hypersonic missile, one of a range of nuclear-capable weapons announced by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.

The country’s defence ministry released video footage showing the missile detaching from a fighter jet and leaving a fiery trail behind it.

It said the intended “target” was hit.

On 1 March, Mr Putin described the Kinzhal missile – named for a type of dagger – as “an ideal weapon”.

He said it was part of a new stockpile of “invincible” weapons.

The Kinzhal is said to travel at 10 times the speed of sound and have a range of 2,000km (1,200 miles).

The defence ministry said the missile was launched from a MiG-31 jet that took off from an airfield in southwest Russia on Saturday.

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

Mr Putin is widely expected to be re-elected as Russia’s president in a week’s time.

As part of his annual state of the nation speech on 1 March, he played a video graphic that appeared to show missiles raining down on the US state of Florida.

The US state department said this was not “the behaviour of a responsible international player”.

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