Russia says it conducted hypersonic missile exercises with a frigate

Russia says it conducted hypersonic missile exercises with a frigate in the Atlantic

Russian missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov arrives in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong province, in this photo taken on April 21, 2019.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday one of its hypersonic missile-carrying frigates was conducting “hypersonic missile exercises” in the western part of the Atlantic.

The frigate Admiral Gorshkov was testing the strike capabilities of Russia’s much-vaunted Zircon hypersonic missile in the western Atlantic, using “computer simulation” exercises, according to a statement released by the ministry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the development of the hypersonic Zircon (or Tsirkon) missiles back in 2019, saying the missiles would have a top speed of Mach 9 (or nine times the speed of sound) and a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) . ). The missiles, Putin said, “can hit naval or national targets.”

“According to the training situation, the frigate practiced arranging [a] Tsirkon hypersonic missile strikes a sea target at a distance of over 900 kilometers,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in its statement on the exercise.

It was not said to have fired a missile.

The ministry noted that the frigate Admiral Gorshkov “is a modern multipurpose ship, equipped with guided missiles and designed for use in distant sea and ocean areas”.

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“Equipped with Tsirkon [missiles]the ship is capable of launching pinpoint and powerful attacks on all offshore and onshore targets,” it said.

Russia’s testing of its offensive capabilities in the Atlantic Ocean is likely to be viewed as a provocative move by the US and its NATO allies.

Relations between Moscow and the West are at an all-time low following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Russia accuses the West, which has supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars in arms and military aid, of a proxy war against Ukraine.