Russia said it has carried out tests of a hypersonic missile which experts say could render Western defences “obsolete”. The missile system, known as Zircon, has been tested ‘successfully’ a year ahead of schedule.
The Zircon rocket would be almost impossible to intercept and would be capable of travelling six times the speed of sound, DW.com reports. Defense analyst Tim Ripley told DW that Russia’s hypersonic missile would travel 7,400 kph and described it as a “quantum leap in technology.”
He said it could potentially render Western anti-aircraft defenses “obsolete”. Ripley added: “It will greatly reduce the reaction time that they have to deploy their own defenses and counter-measures.” The anti-ship technology will be able to cover a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles) in just 2.5 minutes.
Its speed is believed to make it so fast that it is immune to interception by conventional technology. But now reports say Zircon could be fully operational by the end of the decade. These tests have come as relations between the West and Russia are at ‘their weakest’ since the Cold War. This has been fueled by the crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria and alleged interference in Western politics, mainly the U.S. elections.