Russia announced on Saturday that it has begun full-scale production of its 6,670 MPH Zircon hypersonic missile which they claim can evade 'all' Western defense systems, according to state-sponsored TASS news agency.
The 'unstoppable' weapon has been ordered to be manufactured at the top-secret Reutovo plant near Moscow, even before trials have been completed, following several recent successful tests of the Mach-9 munition - the most recent being on November 18.
"Serial production of Tsirkon missiles is underway at NPO Mashinostroyenia (plant), although state trials of this product’s surface launches will continue," according to an anonymous source.
So - Russian state news wants the world to know that they're kicking it up a notch, ahead of schedule, with a weapon that they claim will render all the NATO border defenses completely useless.
According to the report, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the missile to be deployed next year by the Russian Navy - saying that it is "truly unparalleled in the world."
The Zircon, reportedly Putin's 'weapon of choice' to wipe out American cities in the event of a nuclear war, was successfully fired from a submarine for the first time in October. It's designed to strike both sea and ground targets, according to Tass, and has a range of more than 625 miles.
News of the hypersonic missile comes as the UK army announced that it would beef up its 'permanent' presence of troops and hardware in Germany, despite drawing down their forces a year ago, according to The Sunday Times.
On Friday, US State Department official Karen Donfried expressed concerns over 'large and unusual' Russian troop movements near the border with Ukraine, according to the Daily Mail.
NATO foreign ministers will next week discuss options for dealing with the perceived Russian threat, amid claims by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of Moscow’s backing for a plot to overthrow him, a claim the Kremlin has denied.
Other flashpoints relate to Russian gas supplies to Europe during the winter amid shortage fears, and Moscow’s ally Belarus encouraging a flood of migrants to break into the EU.
The Zircon will be deployed on Russian frigates and, later, on submarines. -Daily Mail
According to a recent announcement, more tests of the Zircon system will proceed in 2024 or 2025 despite the decision to begin manufacturing immediately.
"They will be carried out from the Project 885M submarine Perm that will differ from its predecessors by a slightly modified design," said one source from the ministry of defense. "If the submarine is not ready for the Zircon test-launches in 2024, they will be resumed in the first half of 2025."
According to Kremlin deputy premier Yury Borisov, Russia is kicking America's ass at hypersonic weapons development and aims to maintain its lead.
"We have broken forward, specifically, in the sphere of hypersonic weapons and (those) based on new physical principles," he said, adding "We now have serious advantages in this regard over the leading Western countries - and will try to maintain this position."
Now the question is; how far will President Brandon go to defend his good friends in Ukraine?