MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military on Wednesday reported a successful test launch of the new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, giving Russian President Vladimir Putin something to smile about on his 68th birthday.
Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch was carried out Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea, north of Russia.
The missile successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, Gerasimov said.
Putin praised the successful test as "a big event" for Russia.
"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," the president said.
Putin talked about the coming deployment of the new Zircon hypersonic missile for the Russian navy in 2019, saying that it's capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and will have a range of 620 miles.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.