March 23, 2018

Russian Federation test-fires Kinzhal hypersonic missile

12 March 2018, 04:29 | Lucia Cruz

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Putin, who is widely expected to be re-elected as Russia's president later this month, claimed the missile that flies at 10 times the speed of the sound can not be intercepted by air-defense systems.

In this video grab on March 1, 2018, a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet releases the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a test at an undisclosed location in Russia.

A Russian jet successfully test-lauched a hypersonic missile Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"A MiG-31 fighter crew of the Russian Aerospace Forces made a training launch of a hypersonic missile of the Kinzhal high-precision air missile system in the predetermined area", the ministry said.

The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address on March 1, ahead of a presidential election on March 18.

The BBC reports the Kinzhal missile system, which is named for a type of dagger, can travel 10 times the speed of sound and has a range of 1,200 miles. Cruise speed is 2.35 Mach with a combat range of 1450 km. The Kinzhal system was developed based on the MiG-31 upgraded interceptor jet.

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The US leader had also added Australia to a list of likely carve-outs, as a "great country" and "long-term partner". Trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Saturday that he has asked that Japan be exempted from U.S.

It said the intended "target" was hit.

"Crews of the air system on the testing air alert sorties completed over 250 flights year-to-date under the combat training plan".

The first air unit equipped with the Kinzhal system started test air alert flights to master fundamentals of its combat use since December 1 of the previous year.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that, with Russia's presidential election approaching, Putin "was playing to the [domestic] audience, certainly". "And I would just tell you that I saw no change to the Russian military capability and each of these systems (Mr Putin) is taking about that are still years away", he said Monday morning (AEDT).

Vladimir Putin said a new Russian missile was the "ideal weapon".

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