FEARS about the defence of western nations are growing after Russia tested a new hypersonic missile which is too fast to be stopped by any defence measure in the world.
A total of ten of the 3M22 Tsirkon anti-ship missiles were tested by the Russian Navy. The news was reported by the state-run Tass Russian News Agency. They were fired at targets several hundred kilometres away.
A Russian defence source told Tass news they “repeatedly destroyed designated naval targets at hypersonic speed”.
US News network CNBC reported US intelligence sources as saying the most recent launch took place on December 10.
They added this missile reached about two miles per second in speed, eight times the speed of sound.
The speed is believed to be fast enough to evade any currently operational countermeasures.
The US fears full-scale production of the weapons could begin in 2021, and they could be deployed by 2022.
A defence Russian source commented: “Last week’s successful test showed that the Russians were able to achieve sustained flight, a feat that is crucial to the development of hypersonic weapons.
“What we are seeing with this particular weapon is that the Russians designed it to have a dual-purpose capacity.