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A British reconnaissance plane that monitors Russian war games in the Arctic and Moscow confirmed it has now completed initial tests of Vladimir Putin’s deadly new missile.
Reports say the 6,100 mph Zircon hypersonic weapon has now been fired a total of four times from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and will go into service next year.
Putin sees the Mach 8 Zircon as his missile of choice to target American cities in the event of a nuclear conflict, it is claimed.
A British RC-135W reconnaissance aircraft was circling the skies where the Gorskhov this week sailed off the Kola Peninsula, reported the Barents Observer.
It was the second time in a week that a British spy plane had buzzed an area of the Barents Sea to snoop on Russian conducted missile tests, said the report.
The Gorshkov had been expected to fire the “unstoppable” weapon this week, but the defence ministry only specifically confirmed supersonic Oniks missile launches from the frigate which hit a target off Novaya Zemlya.
The coast already has a large area of water that was declared “forbidden to navigate for all vessels” on both the Barents Sea and Kara Sea sides of the Arctic archipelago.
Despite this, a military source told Russian state news agency TASS: “Flight trials (of the Zircon) from Admiral Gorshkov have been completed successfully.
“A total of four launches have been made. All missiles hit the ‘bullseye’.
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“Trials of the Zircon missile are planned to be finished in 2021, while serial production of the new weapon is expected to commence in 2022."
Tests of the Mach 8 missile from a submarine are due soon.
Putin has previously described the Ziron – also known as Tsirkon – as “truly unparalleled … in the world”.
The first Zircon test launch of the missile from the Gorshkov was staged in early October – and seen as a 68th birthday present for Putin.
More test launches followed in November and December.
A radiation leak during a military accident that killed two and wounded six in 2019 was seen as involving testing on the missile.
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 the Kremlin 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.
- Vladimir Putin
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