Vladimir Putin honors his birthday with a hypersonic missile launch
Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated his 68th birthday Wednesday with news about a successful launch of the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, which struck a target in the Barents Sea, according to a report.
Gen. Valery Gerasimov told the strongman through a video link that they carried out the test strike on Tuesday
from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov located in the White Sea, according to Reuters.
Putin, who has vowed to beef up the military presence in the Arctic, mentioned
hypersonic missiles and a new generation of weapons in a March 2018 speech.
“This is a big event not only for the life of the armed forces but also
for all of Russia, for the entire country,” Putin told Gerasimov on Wednesday.
The general said the missile hit its target at a distance of 280 miles in four and a half minutes after reaching speeds of more than Mach 8.
He added that tests would continue and that they would arm Russian ships and submarines with the missile when those tests are completed.
Tuesday’s test comes amid tensions over arms control between Moscow and Washington.
New START, the last major nuclear arms pact between the two countries, is due to expire in February.
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