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Hypersonic missile system goes on combat duty in Russia's south

The possession of hypersonic weapons gives Russia a serious advantage, Putin has noted

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. The Kinzhal hypersonic complex capable of delivering missiles to a discharge point within just several minutes assumed combat duty in south Russia from December 1, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday.

"As an important stage of armament development, a precision hypersonic aviation and missile complex has been created," Putin said.

From December 1, 2017, the new missile complex called Kinzhal "started carrying out its experimental and combat duty missions at aerodromes of the Southern Military District," the Russian president said.

According to Putin, "the unique flight and technical characteristics of the high-speed aircraft-type carrier make it possible to deliver missiles to a discharge point within just minutes while the missile flying at a hypersonic speed exceeding the speed of sound by 10 times maneuvers at all the flight trajectory’s sections, which enables it to reliably overcome all existing and, I believe, future air defense and anti-ballistic missile defense systems, delivering nuclear and conventional warheads to the target to the distance of over 2,000 kilometers," Putin said, adding that the system was called Kinzhal.

The Kinzhal’s capabilities were demonstrated in a video, which drew the audience’s applause.

The possession of hypersonic weapons "gives serious advantages in the sphere of the armed struggle," Putin said.

"Their power and might, as military experts say, can be huge while their velocity makes them invulnerable to today’s ABM and air defense systems because interceptors simply fail to catch them up," the Russian leader said.

"Dear friends, Russia does possess such weapons. It already possesses them," Putin said to the audience’s applause.