Russia said on Saturday it had successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile that President Vladimir Putin described on March 1 as “an ideal weapon”. Putin had said the Kinzhal missile can fly at 10 times the speed of sound and can overcome air defence systems. It has a range of 2,000 km.
A MiG-31 aircraft fired the missile after it took off from an airfield in south-western Russia, the Ministry of Defence said, adding that the missile hit its target. The government also released footage of two pilots running towards a jet carrying the missile. The video showed the missile detaching from the aircraft and shooting off into the sky.
“Kinzhal” is Russian for a dagger.
In an address to the nation on March 1, Putin had announced a new range of nuclear weapons that he said could hit almost any point in the world without being intercepted. A new intercontinental ballistic missile, a small nuclear warhead that can be attached to cruise missiles, underwater nuclear drones and a supersonic weapon were among those he said were either being developed or were ready.