In recent years, Moscow has emphasized the development of futuristic weapons, which it hopes will give it an advantage in any arms race with the US at a time when tensions with the West are rising.

Russia announced Monday that it had completed another successful test of its Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, a new addition to President Vladimir Putin's "invincible" arsenal of weapons.

In recent years, Moscow has emphasized the development of futuristic weapons, which it hopes will give it an advantage in any arms race with the US at a time when tensions with the West are rising.

The Admiral Gorshkov warship was seen launching a cruise missile at a target on the Barents Sea coast in northern Russia, according to footage released by the Russian defense ministry.

"At a range of over 350 kilometers, the Zircon missile successfully hit a target directly (217 miles). The flight speed was close to Mach 7 "In a statement, the ministry said.

In a state of the nation address in February 2019, Putin revealed the new weapon's development, saying it could hit targets at sea and on land with a range of 1,000 kilometers and a speed of Mach 9.

The defense ministry has stated that the Zircon will be installed on both warships and submarines.

The missile has undergone several recent tests, with Putin describing one of them as a "great event not only in the life of our armed forces but for all of Russia" in October of last year.

The Sarmat intercontinental missiles and the Burevestnik cruise missiles are two weapons that Russia has boasted about developing to circumvent existing defense systems.

Western experts have linked a deadly blast at a test site in northern Russia in 2019 — which resulted in a sharp increase in local radiation levels — to Putin's 2018 announcement of the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile.


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