03:26 GMT04 August 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian developers plan to increase the speed of the Kinzhal and Zircon hypersonic missiles to more than Mach 10, or 7,600 miles per hour, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Aleksey Krivoruchko said.

    "Hypersonic weapons prototypes are created to use them with both air [Kinzhal system], and land and sea carriers [Zircon]. The development of crucial technologies that provide an increase in flight speed — to more than Mach 10 — range, and precision pointing continues," the deputy minister told Krasnaya Zvezda, the Russian Defense Ministry's official newspaper.

    In December, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian warplanes armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles carried out over 380 patrol missions over the Black and Caspian Seas.

    The speed of hypersonic weapons makes them almost impossible to detect and destroy with existing missile defense technology.

    Hypesonic weapons can travel faster than sound. Hypersonic speeds start at about Mach 5 or about 3,800 miles per hour. Russia's Zircon advanced hypersonic missile will have a speed of Mach 9, Putin said in February.

    Two types of hypersonic weapons are being developed: cruise missiles and glide missiles. Cruise missiles are powered by rockets or special systems throughout the flight, which makes them a faster version of regular cruise missiles, while glide missiles are launched into the upper atmosphere on top of rockets.


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