Amid row with Ukraine, Russia tests Tsirkon hypersonic missile system

WION Web Team
Moscow Published: Dec 24, 2021, 09:37 PM(IST)

Russia launches new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from Severodvinsk nuclear submarine Photograph:( AFP )

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said the launch of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile system was aimed at 'enhancing Russia’s security and defence capability'. 

Amid tensions with Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced the country's defence forces had test-launched the Tsirkon hypersonic missile system.

"This morning, the Tsirkon hypersonic system was salvo-launched. This is our latest missile that can strike both naval and ground targets," President Putin said.

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The Russian president said the launch was aimed at "enhancing Russia’s security and defence capability".  "Tests were successful and impeccable," the Russian president added.

The move comes as tensions continue on the Ukraine border amid repeated warning from the US that Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border.

Meanwhile, Russia's news agency TASS quoting a local newspaper reported that Russian troops are set to receive Very Short-Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) Gibka-S systems next year. The Gibka-S system was tested by Russian forces two years ago.

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Reports say the Gibka-S missiles can intercept drones, cruise missiles and high-precision weapons at low and limited visibility.

In a bid to de-escalate tensions, Russia's foreign ministry said its officials are ready for "direct dialogue" with NATO on security guarantees.

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NATO chief  Jens Stoltenberg had offered to start talks with Russian officials year next year without setting a date to discuss the situation in Ukraine. 

Russia had earlier submitted a document on security guarantees to NATO and the US underling its concerns while emphasising that the Western military alliance should not extend its influence in the east and desist from giving NATO membership to former Soviet block countries referring to Ukraine.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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