On Putin's birthday, Russia launches hypersonic cruise missile

The missile was launched in the White Sea and hit a target in the Barents Sea. Putin revealed the existence of the missile in 2019 and said it will fly at a speed of nine times the speed of sound

The launch of the Zircon missile last week. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, hailed the first launch of the Zircon hypersonic missile last week. The Russian military's chief of staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, announced that the launch was carried out on October 6 in the White Sea in the north of the country, and that the missile hit a target in the Barents Sea. The hypersonic missile was launched from the deck of the Admiral Geroshkov frigate on Putin's 68th birthday.  

The president declared that "Equipping our armed forces - the army and the navy - with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term." In 2019 Putin revealed the existence of the hypersonic missile and said that it will fly at a speed on nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000km. This week, after the first launch, no details about the missile were released.