MOSCOW, Russia - On Sunday, Russia declared that it had successfully launched a hypersonic missile called the Kinzhal missile, which it has dubbed its ideal weapon.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the powerful Kinzhal missile as part of his new armaments unveiled earlier this month during his state of the nation address.
The Russian defence ministry said that the Kinzhal missile was launched from a MiG-31 aircraft that took off from an airfield in south-western Russia.
The high-speed, high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile is capable of flying at almost 7,700mph across 1,250 miles.
The ministry said in its statement, “The launch went according to plan: the hypersonic missile hit its target.”
The defence ministry also added that since the start of the year, more than 250 sorties have been carried out by the aircraft to perfect the missile system.
The defence ministry also released footage, with rousing patriotic music playing in the background as two pilots prepare for a flight.
They are then seen running towards a jet carrying a large missile.
The video then shows a missile detaching from the airborne plane and gliding across the sky, leaving a fiery trail.
Speaking to reporters, the U.S. defence secretary, James Mattis, said that nothing Putin showed off changed anything from the Pentagon’s perspective.
Commenting on the launch, he said, “I saw no change to the Russian military capability and each of these systems that he’s talking about that are still years away, I do not see them changing the military balance. They do not impact any need on our side for a change in our deterrence posture.”
According to the Russian President, the hypersonic missile that was tested, flies at ten times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defence systems.
He added that the missile has been deployed in the southern military district since December 1.
Putin also said in that speech that Russia had tested an array of new nuclear weapons “invulnerable to enemy interception.”
He said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone and also showed video footage of the launch of a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on big screens.
The footage showed a computer-generated sequence displaying the potential power and reach of the new rocket, which included bombs raining down over the U.S. state of Florida.
Putin said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO's U.S.-led missile defense “useless,” and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to block Russia's military development.
The Russian President said, “I want to tell all those who have fuelled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin said in a Facebook post that work had been carried out to modernize the “unique” MiG-31 that will carry the missile.