Russia’s defense ministry (MoD) released video showing a rare ship-launched hypersonic missile test in action on Wednesday, which it said was successful.
The hypersonic launch of the Zircon winged missile was conducted from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea, and had reportedly traveled 280 miles after which it hit a mock naval target in the Barents Sea.
It further was described as flying at an altitude of 28km with the total flight lasting four-and-a-half minutes at speeds reaching more than Mach 8.
The Russian Defense Ministry published video of the successful launch, which was described as also marking President Putin’s 68th birthday.
In public remarks to chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov, Putin hailed the “great achievement” and successful test of the missile which is expected to enter active service after more near-future tests.
Watch the new hypersonic missile test below:
“This is a big event not only for the life of the armed forces but also for all of Russia, for the whole country,” Putin said of the test, which grabbed international headlines.
Given social distancing coronavirus measures, Putin observed the test remotely from his office.
Crucially it comes the same week that US and Russian negotiators are discussing the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty in Finland.
The two major nuclear powers have yet to agree on the conditions for extending what’s widely considered the most significant nuclear arms reduction treaty, set to expire in February 2021 if the two sides don’t agree to renew it. So far ongoing talks between Moscow and Washington have failed to extend it by up to five years, despite pressure to strike an extension by America’s allies.
Thank you to President @niinisto and the wonderful people of Finland for their generous hospitality in hosting such pivotal US-Russia nuclear arms control negotiations. Important progress. 🇺🇸🇫🇮 pic.twitter.com/AfalM7bfMH
— Ambassador Marshall S. Billingslea (@USArmsControl) October 6, 2020
After the collapse of the INF treaty as well as Open Skies, there’s been surprising word of “progress” made from these latest talks in Helsinki.