In what appears to be a world-first, Russia on Monday successfully launched a hypersonic cruise missile from a submarine. Russia's defense ministry subsequently published video of the nighttime launch from the far northern Barents Sea, saying the test was successful and that the missile hit its target.
"The test firing of the Tsirkon missile from a nuclear submarine was deemed successful," the ministry stated. And Reuters detailed that "Low-quality video footage released by the ministry showed the missile shooting upwards from a submarine, its glare lighting up the night sky and illuminating the water's surface."
#Footage #RussianNavy to perform the first test launch of a #Tsirkon hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine https://t.co/ndA9YevUrz#CruiseMissiles #MissileLaunch #WeaponTrials #Submarines #RussianWeapons pic.twitter.com/CWZEAWfgYz— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) October 4, 2021
The experimental weapon, which Putin has previously declared "unrivaled" to any missile system in the world, was launched from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine. He's also called them "invincible" as they are believed so fast as to be nearly impossible to shoot down.
Putin has also touted that Russia's hypersonic arsenal is capable of evading the US mainland's network of defensive missiles, especially in a series of remarks going back to 2018 when Russia began publicizing its hypersonics program.
A follow-up video issued by the Russian MoD on Monday appeared to show a second test, this time with the submarine submerged underwater at the moment the missile was fired...
#Footage The second test launch of a #Tsirkon-class hypersonic missile performed by the the #Severodvinsk nuclear submarine – for the first time while being submerged at a 40-meter's deep.#CruiseMissiles #MissileLaunch #WeaponTrials #RussianWeapons pic.twitter.com/e1mYIHnmbZ— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) October 4, 2021
In July of this year the Russian Navy had first successfully fired the Zircon from a warship in the White Sea.
Russian officials have described the Zircon missile as capable of traveling upwards of Mach 9, or about 6,900 mph and a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles). Putin described the recent launches as a "great event not just in the life of our armed forces but for all of Russia."
* * *
Here is the July test of the Zircon launched from a warship, which had also been a first for Russia: