Vladimir Putin announced the Russian navy is set to be armed with 7,000mph hypersonic zircon missiles, in a chilling warning to the West.
Speaking on Russia’s Navy Day in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg, Putin heaped praise on Tsar Peter the Great and credited him with helping make Russia a great sea power.
Following that, he gave a short speech in which he promised naval ships would soon be equipped with unique zircon hypersonic missiles, which he claimed would give Russia the military might to defeat any opponents.
The president said the missiles would be deployed in the coming months and would allow the Russian navy to respond quickly to any potential threats.
Putin said: ‘The delivery of these [missiles] to the Russian armed forces will start in the coming months.
‘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 decide to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom.’
Although Putin did not reference Ukraine directly in his speech, he said he had ‘no problem’ with using the missiles to defend Moscow’s interests around the world.
Russia carried out tests of the new zircon missiles in May, releasing footage of the ‘unstoppable weapon’ being launched from a ship in the Barents Sea and successfully hitting a target over 625 miles away.
The rockets are said to be capable of travelling at speeds of up to Mach 9 – nine times the speed of sound – and have been hailed by Russian state TV to be Putin’s preferred weapon of choice to target US cities.
Shortly before giving the speech, Putin signed a 55-page naval doctrine which outlines Russia’s naval aims and objectives for the foreseeable future, including a desire to establish itself as a ‘great maritime power’ whose influence extends all over the world.