Russia has conducted a ‘successful’ military test of its state-of-the-art new interceptor missile intended to neutralise incoming Western attacks.
The Kremlin declined to name the rocket system shown on video blasting off from Sary-Shagan, an anti-ballistic training range in Kazakhstan.
But it is believed to be the deadly PRS-1M hypersonic interceptor missile, crucial to protecting Moscow and other strategic sites in the region from potential incoming NATO or other enemy missiles.
Footage tweeted by the Russian defence ministry shows the unfolding and preparation of the weapon’s vehicle and the moment of launch from six different angles.
The missile is shown shooting upwards from the ground leaving a trail of smoke and dust behind it.
‘Another test-launch of a new Russian interceptor missile was successfully conducted,’ said the ministry.
‘After a series of trials, the new interceptor missile confirmed its characteristics and successfully completed the task by striking an assigned target with precision.’
Russian state news agency TASS indicated that the tests were linked to earlier trials at Sary Shagan last year.
These involved the upgraded PRS-1M interceptor missile which is described as ‘much faster and deadlier than its predecessor’.
This new missile is a development of the older 53T6 which ‘previously flew several times faster than a bullet and accelerated within seconds to 3 km per second, making it the world’s fastest missile’, said gazeta.ru
‘The modernised version’s speed has already approached 4km per second.’
This is 1.86 miles per second and 2.48 miles per second respectively.
‘The new product’s kill zone is practically one and a half times greater in terms of altitude and range,’ reported gazeta.ru in analysing the PRS-1M.
‘Interception of enemy ICBM warheads is now assured at an altitude substantially higher than 50 km (31 miles).
‘The missile carries a nuclear warhead of several kilotons.’
The new missile will be deployed to protect Russia’s borders from ‘incoming aerospace weaponry’, according to state-owned news channel Russia-24.
The channel reported that the missile struck ‘an assigned target with precision’ and said, citing military experts, that ‘no other country has a similar weapon’.
In March last year Russia’s President Vladimir Putin described his hypersonic arsenal as ‘invincible’ during a state-of-the-nation address.