RUSSIA has successfully completed testing of its 4,600mph hypersonic Zircon missile which it boasts is capable of beating US defences.
Vladimir Putin's defence ministry confirmed on Sunday that the test was completed as the weapon was fired from warship Admiral Gorshkov.
The missile can travel up to six times the speed of sound and fly a range of up to 600 miles - meaning it could reach its target in just seven minutes.
Zircon missiles - also known as Tsirkon - have been in development for over 20 years and are considered a key next step for Putin's arsenal.
The weapons are designed to attack both ships and ground targets, and will be loaded onto Russia's newest frigates.
In a statement, Russia's defence ministry said: "The tests of the Zircon hypersonic missile are also being successfully completed.
"Test launches from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate have confirmed the unique tactical and technical characteristics of this missile in terms of range and accuracy of fire, as well as its hypersonic flight speed."
Admiral Gorshov sailed from Belomorsky Naval Base last week reportedly to conduct the test firing of Zircon, reports AsiaTimes.
Reportedly the test was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic - which has ravaged Russia with 812,485 cases and 13,269 deaths.
Russian media reported earlier this month that the village of Nyonoksa in the country's north was evacuated due to ongoing testing of Zircon.
At least 500 people were warned they were living in a "danger zone" and told to leave their homes for 36 hours.
The village is close to where seven people were killed in an explosion linked to the testing of a "doomsday weapon" in 2019.
A source said: "Firing is carried out on naval targets and because of the secrecy of this Russian weapon, residents of the nearest settlements were evacuated."
Nyonoksa and Belomorsky Naval Base both are on the White Sea, that feeds into the Barents Sea - which is often used in exercises by the Russian Navy.
Putin has openly encouraged his armed forces to develop new weapons as part of a hypersonic arms race with the West.
Zircon's testing comes just days after the US Space Force claimed it had detected Putin's forces firing an anti-satellite weapon in orbit.
Military experts have warned hypersonic weapons will change the face of modern warfare.
Currently, the Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor can shoot down missiles travelling at 2,300 mph, which is nowhere near Zircon's capabilities.
The "enemy will not have enough time to get scared let alone react", according to military website Strategic Culture.
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