Russian military tests nuclear-capable hypersonic missile
Russia's Kinzhal hypersonic missile flies during a test in southern Russia. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service / AP)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, March 12, 2018 12:13PM EDT
MOSCOW -- The Russian military said it has conducted a successful test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile capable of sneaking through enemy defences.
A video posted by the Defence Ministry Sunday showed a MiG-31 fighter jet launching a Kinzhal (Dagger) missile during a training flight. The ministry said the missile, which carried a conventional warhead, hit a practice target at a firing range in southern Russia.
President Vladimir Putin named Kinzhal this month among the new nuclear weapons he said would bolster Russia's military capability and render the U.S. missile defence useless.
Putin said Kinzhal flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead. The military said it's capable of hitting both land targets and navy ships.
Putin said the missile already had been put on combat duty with a unit of Russia's Southern Military District.
The Defence Ministry said in Sunday's statement that the test launch proved the missile's capability. It added that the new weapon has no equal thanks to its superior manoeuvrability and ability to dodge enemy radars.