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Russia reports successful test launch of hypersonic missile

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Russian Defense Ministry Press Service

In this photo taken from a video distributed by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Oct. 7, 2020, Russian Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched from the Admiral Groshkov frigate, in the White Sea, north of Russia. The Russian military has reported a successful test launch of the new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, giving the news to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his 68th birthday. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed the successful test launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile as a “big event” for the country.

Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch took place Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea, in the north of Russia.

The missile successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, he added.

“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," said Putin, who was celebrating his 68th birthday Wednesday.

In 2019, Putin had said the Zircon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).