A Russian warship armed with advanced hypersonic missiles completed an exercise in the Atlantic Ocean ahead of joint naval exercises with the Chinese and South African navies scheduled for next month, the Russian defense ministry said on Wednesday.
Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate, armed with hypersonic Zircon missiles, was practicing “executing a missile strike against an enemy surface target,” the ship’s commander Igor Krokhmal said in a video released by the ministry.
The exercise, described by state news agency Tass as an “electronic launch” or virtual simulation, confirmed the “designed features” of the missile system, Krokhmal said, pointing to the missiles’ alleged ability to reach distances of more than 900 kilometers (560 miles). 559 miles).
The test was part of a long voyage of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate launched earlier this month, when Russian state media said the warship had been dispatched with the hypersonic missiles. The deployment also includes joint training with the Chinese and South African navies off the coast of South Africa, according to Moscow and Pretoria.
The exercises come as Russia approaches the first anniversary of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine and mark both a show of force and – with the joint exercises – an opportunity for Moscow to show that it is not isolated on the world stage, despite broad international conviction. of his unprovoked war.
The White House said on Monday that the US is “concerned about any country exercising with Russia as Russia wages a brutal war against Ukraine.”
At a joint meeting in Pretoria on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor defended the naval exercises, with Lavrov saying Moscow does not want so-called “scandals” related to the exercises.
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