Russia’s Defense Ministry has released stunning video of its latest test of its modernized anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) carried out this week over Kazakhstan.
Already in service with Russia’s aerospace forces, it’s being described as protection against air and space attacks. Moscow and Washington have lately downplayed the other’s ballistic capabilities, and Russia is hoping to “prove” what officials previously called “false information” advanced by the US.
“At the Sary-Shagan testing range (Republic of Kazakhstan), a combat crew of the air and missile defense troops of the Aerospace Forces successfully carried out a regular test launch of a new missile of the Russian missile defense system,” the ministry said.
The announcement of the successful test also came synonymous to a White Sea test of a “hypersonic anti-ship missile” off Russia’s northwest coast.
That separate missile test reportedly struck a target at up to 450km away and traveled at a speed of over Mach 8.
TASS described of the far northern operation:
“In its flight, the missile developed a speed of over Mach 8,” the ministry stressed.
The frigate Admiral Gorshkov test-fried a Tsirkon hypersonic missile for the first time in early October. The missile launched from the White Sea struck a sea target in the Barents Sea, flying at eight times the speed of sound at an altitude of 28 km.
Footage of a prior Tsirkon test from October:
#Footage First-ever launch of a #Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile carried out by the 22350 class frigate #AdmiralGorshkov to hit a target located in the Sea of Barents https://t.co/4WxDqhWWdW #RussianNavy #CruiseMissiles #MissileLaunch #Trials #RussianWeapons pic.twitter.com/F7FnA0n8yj
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) October 7, 2020
Russia previously vowed it would conduct a series of hypersonic and ballistic missile tests through the end of the year.
This is worrisome especially given the potential for a ‘new Cold War’ style arms race between the United States and Russia as the landmark New START nuclear arms reduction treaty is set to expire in February 5, 2021, unless it is renewed.
Ongoing negotiations between the Kremlin and the Trump administration has looked promising, but it’s likely Russia will at this point wait to continue the talks with the incoming Biden administration.