Russia Says It Test-Fired Hypersonic Missile for ‘Reinforcement’

Russia said it has launched a Zircon hypersonic missile, just over six months after successfully test-firing an LY-class hypersonic, nuclear-powered cruise missile.

“Today Russia test-fired a hypersonic Zircon weapon, a nuclear-powered cruise missile with an operational range of at least 3,400 km [about 1,850 miles],” the U.S. State Department said.

State Department spokesman Rob Joyce called it “another example of Russia’s destabilizing destabilizing behavior.”

The U.S. military doesn’t view hypersonic weapons as a threat because they don’t use nuclear weapons.

Reuters reported that Russia said the Zircon has the range and payload for reconnaissance or strike purposes. The weapon failed in one test in June 2017.

“It was a successful test. Test results mean quite a lot,” Maj. Gen. Yuri Burtsev, of the directorate of strategic nuclear forces, told RIA Novosti.

Burtsev said the weapon produced a “visible fiery glow” when it was accelerated for nearly 700 feet, a distance similar to the distance from Manhattan to the Pentagon.

He said that the Zircon was tested using a government-owned experimental hypersonic missile.

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