Monday, January 23, 2023

Russian warship participating in manoeuvres with China and South Africa while carrying hypersonic missiles

Russian warship armed with hypersonic missiles to join drills with China, South Africa

 The Russian state news agency TASS announced on Monday that in February, a warship armed with hypersonic cruise weapons of the latest generation will participate in exercises with the navies of China and South Africa.

It was the first official mention of the participation of the Zircon-equipped frigate known as "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov."

Russia claims that the missiles have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and fly at nine times the speed of sound. Together with the Avangard glide vehicle, which entered combat service in 2019, they are the centerpiece of its hypersonic arsenal.

The agency said, citing an unidentified defense source, "'Admiral Gorshkov' will go to the logistic support point in Syria's Tartus, and then take part in joint naval exercises with the Chinese and South African navies."

"To strengthen the already flourishing relations between South Africa, Russia, and China," the South African National Defense Force stated on Thursday regarding the drills, which will take place near the port city of Durban and Richards Bay from February 17 to February 27.

After a drill in 2019, the defense force added in its statement that this will be the second exercise involving the three countries in South Africa.

This month, President Vladimir Putin sent the "Gorshkov" to the Atlantic Ocean to show the West that Russia would not back down from the war in Ukraine. The "Gorshkov" then practiced in the Norwegian Sea.

Russia sees the weapons as a way to break through the increasingly sophisticated missile defenses of the United States, which, as Putin has warned, could eventually bring down its nuclear missiles.

Hypersonic weapons are seen as a way to gain an advantage over any adversary because of their speeds, which are greater than five times that of sound, and because they are harder to detect. China, Russia, and the United States are in a race to develop hypersonic weapons.

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