Russia claims it has successfully tested hypersonic missile ‘which makes Western defences obsolete’

State news agency reports that new system could be ready for use as early as next year

Russian warships sail past exploding anti-missile ordnance during a rehearsal for the Navy Day parade in 2016
Russian warships sail past exploding anti-missile ordnance during a rehearsal for the Navy Day parade in 2016

Russia has claimed it has carried out successful tests of a hypersonic missile, a year ahead of schedule.

According to government-controlled news agency Sputnik, the missile system - known as Zircon - could be installed on Pyotr Veliky, the country’s nuclear-powered missile strike ship.

The hypersonic missiles are a “quantum leap in technology,” defence analyst Tim Ripley’s told DW.

They can travel faster than any other missile on the planet, up to 4,600mph, which is almost 6 times the speed of sound and enough to practically guarantee they cannot be targeted or intercepted.

Mr Ripley explained that this effectively rendered Western defences, such as the anti-missile systems aboard new Royal Navy carriers the HMS Prince of Wales and the HMS Queen Elizabeth, “obsolete”.

​“It will greatly reduce the reaction time that they (Western military) have to deploy their own defences and counter-measures," he said.

While the world's media were aware that Russia was developing the missiles, these tests come much earlier than the original projected date of 2018.

Military analyst Vladimir Tuchkov told Sputnik: “It (the Zircon missile system) is expected to be added into Russia’s arsenal between 2018 and 2020.”

These reports emerge as relations between the West and Russia reach their worst since the Cold War, fuelled by the crisis in Ukraine, the devastating conflict in Syria and the alleged Russian meddling in Western politics – most notably, the US elections.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in