Russia launches hypersonic missile dubbed as 'ideal weapon' by Putin


A Russian fighter jet carried out a training and combat launch of the hypersonic missile of Kinzhal, and the missile hit the target, the Russian Ministry of Defense said Sunday.

The so-called "Kinzhal" missile was set off in the southwestern part of the country using a MiG-31 aircraft, Russia's defense ministry said, according to an Agence France-Presse report on Sunday.

Crews of the Kinzhal air system, which includes a MiG-31 interceptor and an advanced hypersonic missile, have carried out 250 flights this year, and have been trained "in full scope day and night in various weather conditions", said the ministry.

The defence ministry said the missile was launched from a MiG-31 jet that took off from an airfield in southwest Russian Federation on Saturday.

The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win. Cruise speed is 2.35 Mach with a combat range of 1450 km.

The footage of the missile test comes as US Defence Secretary James Mattis expressed skepticism at the supposedly new, high tech Russian missiles.

The MiG-31 departed from an airfield in the Southern Military District within the framework of a testing air alert.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Facebook that Russian Federation had been working to modernize the MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile. "The launch was normal; the hypersonic missile hit the preset target on the test site".

Kinzhal air system crews have conducted hundreds of tests emulating attacks made from a position of defense.

Mr Putin is widely expected to be re-elected as Russia's president in a week's time.

"I saw no change to the Russian military capability and each of these systems that he's talking about that are still years away, I do not see them changing the military balance", Mattis said.

Vladimir Putin said a new Russian missile was the "ideal weapon".