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Russian military might has got much fiercer thanks to their newly developed hypersonic missile which can reach speeds of up to 6,000 mph.

Vladimir Putin’s defence minister has confirmed that ‘as of today’ it has weapons with the ability to fly at Mach 8 – eight times the speed of sound.

Viktor Bondarev, the Kremlin’s head of the defence council, confirmed the completion of the Zircon cruise missile and its readiness for use in their ever growing arsenal in a statement made last Tuesday.

The missile was first tested successfully back in June 8 this year, however the Zircon – which also goes by the name Tsirkon and was first revealed back in 1995 – was being worked on secretly for the past 20 years, The Daily Star reports.

According to weapons experts the next arms race will heavily feature hypersonic weapons – those exceeding speeds of Mach 5 – with the US, China and Russia leading the pack.

It appears Moscow is well in front as they now hold a weapon which can defy NATO’s missile interceptors.

Russia’s naval fleet, aircraft fighters and missile launchers will soon be equipped with the hypersonic missile which is said to be capable of outmanoeuvring the current military defence systems of other nations.

The missile has been designed to take out enemy ships and can travel up to 250 miles at speeds of over 6,000mph.

To put this into context, the Royal Navy’s current missile interceptors can only shoot down missiles flying at a Mach 3 (approximately 2,300mph).

Bondarev claimed:

As of today, we have in our arsenal unique strategic bombers tactical missile systems with powerful ballistic and cruise missiles, Sarmat heavy missile complexes, air defence missile systems, intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered missile cruisers with powerful anti-ship missiles and Skif bottom missiles.

According to new reports in Russia, Bondarev is referring to their advanced hypersonic missiles when he mentions the ‘powerful anti-ship missiles’.

Putin’s administration has put billions of roubles into bringing their arsenal on par with NATOs. However with the development of Zircon they’ve now surpassed the inter-governmental body.

While the rest of the world is only finding out about this now, scientists have been warning everyone Russia was already ahead of the curve – in terms of weapons development – by 15 years.

Putin has personally requested two battleships, the Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Velikiy, to be retrofitted with the new hypersonic missiles.

Not to be outdone, China has revealed their success in developing their own brand of hypersonic weapons, boasting new nuclear ICBMs which can reportedly top speeds close to 20,000mph, according to The Star.

Speaking earlier this year, The US Air Force’s Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein stated:

Our adversaries aren’t standing still. They are looking for every advantage they can get.

It is expected by the 2030s hypersonic air fighters and missiles will be commonplace in the theatre of war.

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