On Wednesday, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, announced that a Russian frigate armed with recently developed hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles will be deployed on a mission to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The mission could be seen as a warning to the West regarding its continued involvement in Ukraine.
In an effort to ensure that the announcement was made public, Putin made it himself in a televised call with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. In addition to Shoigu, Putin also addressed the commander of the frigate, Igor Krokhmal, and reminded him, publically, that the ship will carry Russia’s newest weapon, Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles.
Putin told Krokhmal, “This time, the ship is equipped with the latest hypersonic missile system — ‘Zircon’ — which has no analogs.” Putin added, “I would like to wish the crew of the ship success in their service for the good of the Motherland.”
The ship, named “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” is expected to also enter the Mediterranen Sea at some point during its deployment, although it remains unclear exactly when the mission will take place.
In response to Putin’s announcement, Shoigu replied, “This ship, armed with ‘Zircons,’ is capable of delivering pinpoint and powerful strikes against the enemy at sea and on land.” Shoigu also emphasized that Zircon missiles are undefeatable given that they reportedly have the ability to fly at 9 times the speed of sound, making them too fast for anti-air defense systems to intercept.
The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that the warship has already gone past Britain and to the Atlantic Ocean.
The announcement of the mission and the veiled threat to the West comes after repeated warnings from the Kremlin not to get involved with Russia’s war in Ukraine. NATO and the West have continuously given financial and military support to Ukraine, with the U.S. alone giving the country more than $100 billion and providing Patriot missiles, among other arms and equipment.
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