International News

Russia ‘test-fires hypersonic Kinzhal missile’

The Russian air force has successfully test fired a hypersonic air-to-surface missile for the first time, Russia’s defense ministry says.
The missile, dubbed Kinzhal (“Dagger”), was fired by a Mig-31 fighter jet and hit its designated target at an undisclosed test range, the ministry said in a statement Sunday.
“MiG-31 jet of the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted a test launch of hypersonic aviation and missile system Kinzhal in a set district. The launch was successful, the hypersonic missile hit the designated target at the field,” the statement added.
Hypersonic speed, combined with flight and technical characteristics of MiG-31, is what makes the Kinzhal missile unique.
Kinzhal can reportedly reach speeds of around 7,673mph and travel an incredible distance of 1,243 miles (2,000km). The missile is intended to destroy surface and waterborne targets.
The defense ministry specified in its statement that besides crew training, the Russian air force had conducted over 250 flights in the beginning of the year to ensure the project would yield the desired results.
The test came days after President Vladimir Putin showcased Russia’s new strategic weapons, including nuclear-powered submarine drones, massive intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with hyper-sonic warheads, cruise missiles and a ground-based laser weapon that had already entered service.
Putin said then that the new weapons were developed as a response to Washington’s violation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which was signed between the US and the Soviet Union to limit the use of missile defense systems.
Putin said Washington unilaterally withdrew from the agreement under former President George W. Bush to advance its missile technology, but Moscow has made sure that its strategic weapons can get past any modern US system.