Russia says it has performed a successful hypersonic missile test; see video

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Amid the dispute over the development of hypersonic missiles, Russia announced this Monday (29) that the test with its Tsirkon cruise weaponry has been successfully completed.

The Russian army said in a statement that the artifact was launched from the frigate Admiral Gorchkov against a target more than 400 km away, located in the waters of the White Sea, in the Arctic — and that it was destroyed.

A video published by the Ministry of Defense shows the missile taking off at night, amid a flash of light, followed by a trail of smoke.

This type of weapon can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, at around 6,200 km/h. In the case of the Tsirkon, which is a cruise ship, it also has the ability to maneuver in mid-flight, which makes it much more difficult to intercept.

The artifact was announced by President Vladimir Putin in 2018, who took advantage of his State of the Union address to reveal new hypersonic weapons by claiming that it could hit targets at sea and land, a thousand kilometers away.

The Tsirkon began to be tested in 2012, with launches of prototype aircraft and ground bases. Since the beginning of 2020, it has been used on the frigate Admiral Gorchkov. In early October, Moscow announced that it had successfully launched the missile for the first time from a submarine, which expanded the possibilities for using this type of weapon.

Part of the next generation of long-range weapons that are harder to detect and intercept, hypersonic missiles are part of a dispute involving China, Russia, the US and North Korea.

Beijing’s military might is a recurring theme in international news. In October, the British newspaper Financial Times reported that China had tested a hypersonic missile in August that circled the Earth before accelerating towards its target, which would have surprised US intelligence.

Beijing denied the report and said that what was tested was a rover, not a missile.

Recently, the newspaper returned to the subject and also reported that one of the tests included a technological advance that allowed the country to fire a missile as it approached the target traveling at least five times the speed of sound — a capability that no nation had demonstrated to date. .

This time, the Chinese embassy said it “is not aware” of the missile test. “We are not at all interested in having an arms race with other countries,” Liu Pengyu, an embassy spokesman told the Financial Times. “The US in recent years has been making excuses like the ‘Chinese threat’ to justify its arms expansion and the development of hypersonic weapons.”

Since the British newspaper published its first report, tensions have continued to rise. Also in October, China and Russia sent ten warships for the first time to cross the strait that separates the two main islands of the Japanese archipelago, which was seen as a direct provocation to the US and Japan in the Pacific.

In the field of speeches, President Joe Biden sought to make a show of force by saying, in an interview with CNN, that the US would defend Taiwan from an eventual Chinese invasion. The speech touched a sore spot for Beijing, which views Taiwan as a rebel province and often accuses Washington and its Western allies of interfering in an issue that concerns only China.

“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other fundamental interests, there is no room for compromises or concessions,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for Beijing’s diplomacy at the time. “And no one should underestimate the Chinese people’s strong determination, unwavering will and great ability to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

In late October, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen also gave an interview to the American press and confirmed reports that more than 20 US special operations members and a contingent of Marines have been in Taiwanese territory for more than a year. . The statement came weeks after the largest air raid in Chinese history against Taipei’s defenses.

Regional tension has translated into threats. In early November, Chinese officials said they would criminally punish Taiwanese pro-independence politicians and activists “for the rest of their lives” in a rhetorical escalation that has not been seen in years. The country has not ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control, despite the Taiwanese government’s assertion that it is an independent nation and that it will defend its freedom and democracy.

Next, satellite images from an American company showed that China had built life-size models of a Navy aircraft carrier and other US warships in the Xinjiang desert. The models were possibly developed to serve as a training object.

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