The Zircon hypersonic cruise missile — the weapon Russian President Vladimir Putin boldly called“invincible” — was successfully tested on July, 19, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.
Also called the Tsirkon, the weapon was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, hitting a ground target off the coast of the Barents Sea, Aerotime Hub reported.
Officials said the 3M22 Zircon travelled at over 350 kilometers (217 miles) and reached a top speed of nearly Mach 7 (8,643 km/h or 5,370 mph).
“According to live monitoring data, the Zircon missile successfully hit a target directly at a range of over 350 kilometers,” the Ministry said in a statement quoted by Interfax.“During the test, the tactical and technical characteristics were confirmed.”
The Kremlin has made modernizing the country's arsenals a top priority amid the tensions with the West that followed Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
Footage distributed by the defense ministry (attached below) showed the Admiral Gorshkov warship launching the cruise missile at a target on the Barents Sea coast.
The Zircon has a two-stage propellant system that uses a solid-fuel propellant to bring it up to speed, then is powered by a scramjet combustion engine, The National Interest reported.