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Russian warship launches supersonic cruise missile in the Black Sea during live fire exercise

Putin fires warning to the West: Russian warship launches supersonic cruise missile in the Black Sea during live fire exercise ahead of arrival of British frigate and destroyer following his climbdown in Crimea

  • Russian cruiser Moskva fired the Vulkan missile from its Basalt missile system
  • A surface target was hit at a distance of 19 miles after foreign ships were blocked
  • It comes before the arrival of two Royal Navy warships amid tension in Ukraine  

Russia has launched a supersonic cruise missile in the Black Sea in a live fire exercise coinciding with the first visit by a US Legend-class national security cutter in 13 years.

The Vulkan firing comes shortly before the arrival of two Royal Navy warships amid deep tension in Ukraine over fears of a Russian invasion.

The Black Sea fleet said the Russian cruiser Moskva ‘fired the Vulkan missile from the vessel’s main Basalt missile system for the first time in modern history’.

Russia has launched a supersonic cruise missile in the Black Sea in a live fire exercise coinciding with the first visit by a US Legend-class national security cutter in 13 years

The Vulkan firing comes shortly before the arrival of two Royal Navy warships amid deep tension in Ukraine over fears of a Russian invasion

The Vulkan firing comes shortly before the arrival of two Royal Navy warships amid deep tension in Ukraine over fears of a Russian invasion

A surface target was hit at a distance of 19 miles, said naval sources.

A large area of sea was closed by 20 Russian naval vessels for the firing, blocking access for foreign ships, an act condemned in advance by the US.

Video of the live fire drill from the Moskva – flagship of the Black Sea fleet – was released by the Russian defence ministry.

Its ‘success’ contrasted with a botched missile launch revealed on Thursday when a Kalibr missile misfired and almost hit the Marshal Shaposhnikov Udaloy-class destroyer in the Sea of Japan on Russia’s Pacific coast.

The failed Kalibr cruise missile left the warship’s launcher, rose and rotated alarmingly before crashing into the pacific ocean, it is claimed.

The Black Sea fleet said the Russian cruiser Moskva 'fired the Vulkan missile from the vessel's main Basalt missile system for the first time in modern history'

The Black Sea fleet said the Russian cruiser Moskva ‘fired the Vulkan missile from the vessel’s main Basalt missile system for the first time in modern history’

Video of the live fire drill from the Moskva - flagship of the Black Sea fleet - was released by the Russian defence ministry

Video of the live fire drill from the Moskva – flagship of the Black Sea fleet – was released by the Russian defence ministry

A large area of sea was closed by 20 Russian naval vessels for the firing, blocking access for foreign ships, an act condemned in advance by the US

A large area of sea was closed by 20 Russian naval vessels for the firing, blocking access for foreign ships, an act condemned in advance by the US

The failed missile posed a major threat to the newly renovated Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate as it hit the water, with flames visible on the surface.

The Kalibr missile burned out in the Pacific Ocean, as the warship sped away from the site of the crash.

The missile was conventional – but the frigate is destined to carry Vladimir Putin’s 6,100 mph ‘unstoppable’ Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile still undergoing tests. 

The weapon – reportedly a Kremlin favourite – is designed to destroy Western cities in the event of a nuclear war.

Earlier this week US Coast Guard patrol ship Hamilton entered the Black Sea.

Earlier, a Russian frigate narrowly avoided striking itself with a cruise missile in a weapons test gone wrong (pictured)

Earlier, a Russian frigate narrowly avoided striking itself with a cruise missile in a weapons test gone wrong (pictured)

Pictured: The Kalibr missile is launched from renovated Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate. The warship has been retrofitted to be capable of launching Putin's new 'Zircon' missile

Pictured: The Kalibr missile is launched from renovated Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate. The warship has been retrofitted to be capable of launching Putin’s new ‘Zircon’ missile

In May, Britain will deploy a Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate to the Black Sea.

RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the Mediterranean task group’s flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships.

The deployment is aimed at showing ‘unwavering’ backing for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as Russian troops have massed on its borders.

Moments after the missile was launched from the ship, it began to spin dangerously in the air above the vessel, pointing back down towards the Marshal Shaposhnikov

Moments after the missile was launched from the ship, it began to spin dangerously in the air above the vessel, pointing back down towards the Marshal Shaposhnikov

The Russian live firing and closure of part of the Black Sea was condemned by the US as ‘yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilise Ukraine.’

Russia said that sea areas had been blocked to ensure safety.

The US 6th Operational Fleet reported that the Hamilton was sailing into the Black Sea.

While in the Black Sea, the ship will ‘interact with NATO allies and partners in the region’.

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