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Russian Warship With Hypersonic Missiles To Join Drills With China And South Africa

Story Highlights
  • Russia sees the weapons as a way to get through the increasingly advanced U.S. missile defences, which Putin has said could one day shoot down Russia's nuclear missiles.
  • China, Russia, and the United States are all in a race to make hypersonic weapons, which are faster than sound and harder to find.

The Russian state news agency says that in February, a Russian warship with new-generation hypersonic cruise weapons will take part in joint exercises with the navies of China and South Africa.

It was the first time that the frigate “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov,” which has Zircon missiles, was mentioned in an official way.

Russia says the missiles fly nine times faster than sound and have a range of more than 1,000 km (620 miles). Together with the Avangard glide vehicle, which went into service in 2019, they are the most important parts of its hypersonic arsenal.

“‘Admiral Gorshkov’ will go to the logistical support point in Tartus, Syria, and then take part in naval exercises with the Chinese and South African navies,” the agency said, citing an unnamed defence source.

The South African National Defense Force said Thursday that the drills, which will take place from February 17 to February 27 near the port cities of Durban and Richards Bay, are meant to “strengthen the already strong ties between South Africa, Russia, and China.”

After a drill in 2019, this will be the second time that the three countries will work together in South Africa. This is what the defence force said in its statement.

This month, the “Gorshkov” did drills in the Norwegian Sea. It was sent to the Atlantic Ocean by President Vladimir Putin to show the West that Russia would not give up on the war in Ukraine.

Russia sees the weapons as a way to get through the increasingly advanced U.S. missile defences, which Putin has said could one day shoot down Russia’s nuclear missiles.

China, Russia, and the United States are all in a race to make hypersonic weapons, which are faster than sound and harder to find. These weapons are seen as a way to get an edge over any enemy because they are faster than sound and harder to find.

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