loader image
Trending News
HomeTechRussian military successfully tests terrifying 6,000mph hypersonic nuke ‘too fast to block’

Russian military successfully tests terrifying 6,000mph hypersonic nuke ‘too fast to block’

Russian military successfully tests terrifying 6,000mph hypersonic nuke ‘too fast to block’

RUSSIA has successfully tested an “unstoppable” nuclear missile that can fly through the air at more than 6,000mph (9,600kph).

The hypersonic weapon was fired from a naval ship in the White Sea, north of Russia, this week to celebrate President Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday.

The Russian military reported the successful test launch on Wednesday, marking a major shift in escalating nuclear tensions with the West.

Known as Zircon, the nuke is said to travel faster than the speed of sound, making it too quick for US and UK anti-missile systems.

Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch was carried out Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate.

The missile successfully hit a target 280 miles (450km) away in the Barents Sea, Gerasimov said. It took just just 270 seconds to get there.

AP:Associated Press

Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov speaking to Putin following the launch[/caption]

Putin praised the successful test as a big event for Russia.

“Equipping our Armed Forces the army and the navy with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term,” the president said.

The Zircon – or Tsirkon – has been identified by Moscow’s state-controlled TV as Putin’s weapon of choice to wipe out American cities in the event of nuclear war.

Putin talked about the coming deployment of the new hypersonic missile for the Russian navy in 2019.

AP:Associated Press

A Russian Zircon missile launches from the Admiral Groshkov frigate in the White Sea, north of Russia, on Tuesday[/caption]


The weapon is said to travel at more than 6,000mph, making it too fast for US anti-missile systems[/caption]

He boasted that it’s capable of flying at eight times the speed of sound – roughly 6,138mph (9878kph) – and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000km).

Speaking on Wednesday, Putin called the launch “a great event not only in the life of the Armed Forces, but also in the whole of Russia”.

The deadly missile is “the newest, truly unparalleled weapon system in the world” ensuring “the defence capability of our state”, he added.

Zircon missiles – also known as Tsirkon – have been in development for over 20 years and are considered a key next step for Putin’s arsenal.


Artist impression of the Zircon missile. The US is also working on hypersonic missile technology[/caption]

The weapons are designed to attack both ships and ground targets, and will be loaded onto Russia‘s newest frigates as early as 2021.

A radiation leak during a military accident which killed two and wounded six last year is believed to have involved a test of the Zircon missile.

Radiation levels temporarily soared 20 times above the normal level in Severodvinsk, a city lying some 18 miles (29km) from the weapons testing site at Nyonoksa, according to Greenpeace citing the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

Putin has openly encouraged his armed forces to develop new weapons as part of a hypersonic arms race with the West.

Terrifying space weapons of the future

Here are three of the scariest…

Rods from God

  • A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed “rods from the God” and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
  • Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
  • These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth’s atmosphere.
  • One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth’s atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
  • Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
  • As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.

Molten metal cannons

  • This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
  • It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
  • This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
  • The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.

Space force ships

  • Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
  • The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
  • It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
  • Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.

Currently, the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor can shoot down missiles travelling at 2,300 mph, which is nowhere near Zircon’s capabilities.

The “enemy will not have enough time to get scared let alone react”, according to military website Strategic Culture.

Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show Vesti Nedeli, last year showed on screen a map of the US identifying targets he claimed Moscow would want to hit in a nuclear war.

Kiselyov, seen as a top Putin propagandist, said the Zircon missile could hit the targets in less than five minutes.

Most read in Science


Shock viral ‘meteorite’ clip revealed to be Russian rocket crashing to Earth


When is the meteor shower tonight? How to watch the Draconids in the UK


Oldest EVER photos of England taken from 1848 show life in simpler times


Dozens of habitable planets ‘BETTER for life than Earth’ discovered ‘nearby’


Robot brickie set to build entire HOUSE from scratch in
world first


New snap of ‘Loch Ness monster’ goes viral – but could be huge catfish

In other news, the US military is developing a laser can ID terrorists by scanning their heartbeats from 650 feet away.

The US’s $550million nuke bomber plane that can hide from Russian and Chinese missiles is nearly ready.

And, the US Navy Seals and Royal Marines are looking to kit out their special forces with 50mph Iron Man-style jet packs.

What do you think of Russia’s new weapon? Let us know in the comments!

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at tech@the-sun.co.uk