Russia’s president has welcomed the successful launch of a Zircon cruise missile as a ‘major event’ for Russia.

Travelling at speeds of up to Mach 8, the missile covered 450 kilometres in 4.5 minutes, hitting a target in the Barents Sea.

Congratulating the military, Putin said: “I would like to thank all of you for the work done, for its results and express hope that in the future all of the specialists involved in the rearmament of the Russian military will [continue to] work as efficiently and as persistently as it has done to this point.”

The missile was first tested in 2015 and three years later Putin said it was capable of evading American missile defences.

The Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is launched from the Admiral Groshkov frigate in the White Sea Russian Defence Ministry