One of Vladimir Putin’s warships wielding “unstoppable” hypersonic Zircon missiles is playing war as it heads towards the British Isles via the Norwegian Sea. A promotion on Russian state TV showed the frigate named Admiral Gorshkov “repelling a simulated enemy’s air strikes” six days into its mission to scare the West.
March 9 Zircon missiles – the missiles on the boat – are one of the world’s deadliest weapons and new to Putin’s arsenal. They can travel at speeds of nearly 7000mph.
Russia first tested the weapon in 2020 and then again in 2022 and claimed the test was a success and had flown more than 600 miles at incredible speeds.
The frigate carrying the weapon released footage today depicting the vessel in the midst of a military exercise.
However, at no point were missiles launched during the recorded drills.
Russian warships moving through the Norwegian Sea happen often but the drill is especially notable because of the strength of the weaponry on board.
Norway’s Armed Forces have stressed the ship is legally within international waters but that they are “closely monitoring any movements”
Reacting to the ships departure from the Severomorsk port on January 4, Vladimir Putin said: “Today we have an important, if not landmark, event: the frigate Admiral Gorshkov is departing for a long-distance naval mission.
“There is nothing unusual here, this is common practice; but this time the ship is equipped with the cutting-edge Zircon hypersonic missile system, which has no analogue.
“I know that such powerful weapons will make it possible to reliably defend Russia from potential external threats and will help ensure our national interests.
The reason for the drills is reportedly to “test the air defence circuit, air and electronic lighting systems, anti-aircraft fire systems, tactical camouflage electronic warfare systems and air defence circuit control systems.”
The videos commentary states the tasks were “achieved” and that the frigate is “ready to repel air attacks from different altitudes and directions”.
Commodore Trond Gimmingsrud, Chief of the Norwegian Navy said: “It is completely legitimate for Russians to sail in international waters. We have a good overview of what is happening outside our coast.”
Last Wednesday, Putin praised the Zircon hypersonic missile as a “unique weapon” that has no “equivalent in any country in the world”.
He previously claimed the weapon would give Russia a strategic advantage over the West as it could strike the West’s “decision-making centers”.
In response to the departure of Admiral Groshkov, the Pentagon said they will “routinely monitor” the ship.
Army Colonel Roger Cabiness added: “While we do not comment on specific capabilities or speculate on hypotheticals, the Department of Defense remains confident in our ability to deter our adversaries and defend United States national security interests at any time, in any place.”