17 Dec 2020 22:42

Russia completing development of Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile - Putin

MOSCOW. Dec 17 (Interfax) - Russia has virtually completed the development of the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, and it will be capable of being deployed on various delivery vehicles, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We're about to have the Tsirkon, a very important weapon. Another test was conducted recently, a very important test for us. In fact, the work on it has been mainly completed, [its velocity is] Mach 8, and it has a long range. It can be deployed both on stationary launchers and on surface ships or submarines. Where can it be deployed? In neutral waters. Calculate the range and the speed, and everything'll be clear to you. Does this influence the situation anyhow? Of course it does, and it changes it, too," Putin said at his annual press conference on Thursday.

"Our American partners had a prompt global strike theory, meaning above all, a strike upon control centers using precision-guided munitions," Putin said.

"They do have precision-guided weapons, but they don't have hypersonic ones. Of course, they'll make them, absolutely for certain, but as I've said before, we'll be prepared by that time," he said.

There is already an arms race going on now, Putin said.

"It's happened already, it's obvious. Everything started after the U.S. quit the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty. One country is building an umbrella for itself, and its ultimate objective is to nullify our nuclear capability. What were we supposed to do? Anything to make sure it doesn't happen: either build our own missile defense system or create systems that this missile system can't beat. We've done that using hypersonic weapons, including Avangard. I'll remind you that it can fly at Mach 20 and has a global range. No missile defense systems can affect it," he said.