Russia announced Saturday that its navy conducted a successful test firing of a new hypersonic cruise missile, another demonstration of its advances in missile technology even as losses in the Ukraine war mount. The defense ministry said the Zircon was fired from a frigate in the Barents Sea, the Admiral Gorshkov, and struck its practice target in the White Sea, 625 miles away, the Independent reports. Government video shows the missile launched from a ship on a steep trajectory, per Reuters. Russia plans to add the missile to warships this year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Zircon missile can fly at nine times the speed of sound and has a range of 620 miles, per the AP. Defense officials have said existing anti-missile systems can't intercept it. It's designed to be launched from cruisers, frigates, and submarines. The Zircon is among several hypersonic missiles Russia is developing. Putin announced last month that the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which he said should make anyone threatening Russia "think twice," was tested successfully. The Sarmat can carry 10 or more nuclear warheads and could reach the US, Russia said. (Read more Russian military stories.)