President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the Russian navy would receive hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles within the next few months and that the area of their deployment would depend on Russian interests.
Speaking on Russia’s Navy Day in the former imperial capital of St Petersburg, Putin praised Tsar Peter the Great for making Russia a great sea power. Putin did not mention Ukraine directly.
But the Kremlin chief said he had signed a new navy doctrine, the details of which were not published, and touted the Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles as unique in the world.
“The delivery of these (missiles) to the Russian armed forces will start in the coming months,” Putin said. “The Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be the first to go on combat duty with these formidable weapons on board.”
“The key thing here is the capability of the Russian navy… It is able to respond with lightning speed to all who decides to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom.”
Hypersonic weapons can travel at nine times the speed of sound, and Russia has conducted previous test-launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines over the past year.