RUSSIA has successfully tested an “unstoppable” 6,000mph nuclear missile primed to wipe out US cities if World War 3 breaks out.
The hypersonic nuke has been identified by state-controlled TV as Vladimir Putin’s “weapon of choice” in the event of a full-scale conflict.
The rocket soared into the sky above the White Sea at 6,000mph[/caption]
The hardline Russian leader has bragged the Mach 8 Zircon – or Tsirkon – is “truly unparalleled … in the world” in what was seen as a threat the US.
It is said to travel faster than the speed of sound, making it too quick for US and UK anti-missile systems.
The cruise missile was launched from the White Sea and “successfully” hit a dunny target in the Barents Sea 280 miles away, claimed the Kremlin.
It took just just over four minutes to get there.
Footage shows the Zircon being fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate under the cover of darkness.
A previous test launch of the missile was staged in early October and seen as a 68th birthday present for Putin.
A radiation leak during a military accident which killed two and wounded six last year was reported to have been linked to a testing on the missile.
Radiation levels temporarily soared 20 times above the normal level in Severodvinsk, a city lying some 18 miles from the weapons testing site at Nyonoksa, say reports.
Putin was today visiting a plant in closed town Sarov where the victims were from.
The missile is designed to be used against ships or land-based targets, and to enter production in 2021, commencing service the following year.
Putin talked about the coming deployment of the new hypersonic missile for the Russian navy in 2019.
He boasted that it’s capable of flying at eight times the speed of sound – roughly 6,138mph – and will have a range of 620 miles.
The deadly missile is “the newest, truly unparalleled weapon system in the world” ensuring “the defence capability of our state”, he added.
It was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate at a dummy target 280 miles away[/caption]
Zircon missiles have been in development for over 20 years and are considered a key next step for Putin’s arsenal.
Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show Vesti Nedeli, last year showed on screen a map of the US identifying targets he claimed Moscow would want to hit in a nuclear war.
Kiselyov, seen as a top Putin propagandist, said the Zircon missile could hit the targets in less than five minutes.
Putin warned this year that the West is seeking to steal secrets relating to Zircon and other state-of-the-art Russian weapons such as the Avangard.
News of the launch came hours after the Sun Online told how Putin’s military had tested a terrifying new 9,000mph “star wars” ballistic missile capable of destroying US satellites in space.
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That rocket was launched from the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan and wiped out a dummy target, according to the Kremlin.
Footage released by Putin’s Defence Ministry showed the weapon – “designed to protect against air and space attacks” – taking off in a ball of flames.
“The new missile … has reliably confirmed its characteristics in a series of tests,” claimed Andrey Dyomin, commander of the 1st air and missile defence army of Russian aerospace forces.