A Russian warship armed with “unstoppable” hypersonic missiles is sailing towards the US coast in a show of strength, reports claim. The guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov has been closely monitored by Nato navies on its maiden voyage armed with 6,670mph Zircon weapons.
An unconfirmed Russian Telegram channel report says it was “spotted on radar in neutral waters of the Atlantic Ocean – at an effective salvo launch distance from the US coast”. The nuclear-capable Mach 9 missiles have a reported range of 625 miles.
The Russian defence ministry has not commented on the latest report. It comes after the Royal Navy intercepted the Gorshkov as it sailed through the English Channel earlier this month.
More recently the Russian vessel was tailed by the Portuguese navy in the Atlantic and was expected to sail round Africa. But radar monitoring sites suggest the Gorshkov made an unexpected diversion.
One report said it had separated from its escort tanker ship Kama in the Bay of Biscay and headed west. The Kama continued its route to the south, passing the Azores.
The missile frigate was tracked to 800 miles west of the Portuguese island of Flores in the Azores, suggested ItaMilRadar. At this distance it would not yet be in range of the US for its deadly Zircons.
The frigate is also carrying Kalibr missiles, a type used in Russia’s war in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin hailed it as “an important, if not momentous, event” when the vessel embarked from Arctic naval base Severomorsk on January 4.
He made clear this mission was intended as a show of strength to the West. And he boasted Nato could not match his “latest generation” of hypersonic firepower. The Zircon “has no equivalent in any country in the world”, he said.
Putin went on: “I am sure that such a powerful weapon will allow us to reliably protect Russia from potential external threats and help ensure our country’s national interests.” (SOURCE)