Russia successfully test launched an ultra-maneuverable air-launched missile “Kinzhal” from a MiG-31 interceptor jet, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
"A MiG-31 fighter crew of the Russian Aerospace Forces made a training launch of a hypersonic missile of the Kinzhal high-precision air missile system in the predetermined area," TASS reports quoting the ministry as saying.
Video released by the ministry showed a military jet taking off from an airfield in the Southern Military District carrying a large missile before launching it mid-flight.
"Performance characteristics and time indicators of the Kinzhal high-precision airborne missile system were confirmed during the hypersonic missile launch," the ministry said.
The Kinzhal missile was one of the weapons the Russian president unveiled in his state of the nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on 18 March that he is all but guaranteed to win.
Putin claimed the tested hypersonic missile flies at 10 times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defence systems.
The Kinzhal system is intended for destruction of surface and waterborne targets. The Kinzhal system was developed based on the MiG-31 upgraded interceptor jet. It is equipped with high-precision aeroballistic missiles supporting strikes at a range over 2,000 km without entering the enemy’s air defense zone.
The first air unit equipped with the Kinzhal system started test air alert flights to master fundamentals of its combat use since December 1 of the last year.