Russian President Vladimir Putin attended war games between the Russian Northern and Black Sea fleets on 9 January and had a chance to see the cutting-edge hypersonic missile Kh-47M2 Kinzhal in action as it was launched from a modified MiG-31K fighter jet.
The missile was used to strike targets on a firing range along with several 3M-54 Kalibr (NATO reporting name: SS-N-27 Sizzler) missiles, which were launched separately from a frigate, a Buyan-class corvette, and a submerged submarine. All of them effectively struck their designated targets, with the head of the Russian Navy calling the war games a "success" in his report to the president.
The military exercise took place in the Black Sea, which frequently sees NATO ships present there for the same purpose, and involved a total of 30 Russian Navy vessels and 40 aircraft.
The Kinzhal demonstration comes the day after US President Donald Trump boasted that the American military is actively developing hypersonic missiles to add to its arsenal of "big, powerful, accurate, lethal, and fast" missiles.
Russia's Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is capable of carrying both regular and nuclear warheads to distances of up to 3,000 kilometres and weighting up to 500 kilograms. It does so while travelling at speeds of between 10 and 12 Machs and constantly manoeuvring, which, as the Russian military argues, makes the Kinzhal perfect for penetrating any enemy air defences.