RUSSIA has confirmed its hypersonic missle that can destroy the Royal Navy's top warships in a single strike are ready "as of today".
Vladimir Putin's defence boss reportedly confirmed the weapons, which can travel up to SIX times the speed of sound at 4,600 mph and reportedly more than 600 miles, were ready for war.
Head of the Russian defence council Viktor Bondarev confirmed the Zircon cruise missile was ready "as of today" while speaking on Tuesday reports the Daily Star.
Moscow tested the weapon back in June and the Zircon – also known as Tsirkon – has been in development for over 20 years.
Military experts warn the weapon has changed the face of modern warfare, Sunday People claim.
Currently, the Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor can shoot down missiles travelling at 2,300 mph, which is nowhere near Zircon's capabilities.
One senior Naval source told the Sunday People: “Hypersonic missiles are virtually unstoppable.
"With no method of protecting themselves against missiles like the Zircon the (UK) carrier would have to stay out of range, hundreds of miles out at sea."
Pete Sandeman, a naval expert, said: “Even if the missile is broken up or detonated by close-in weapons, the debris has so much kinetic energy that the ship may still be badly damaged.”
The Royal Navy’s new £6.2bn aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – already face delays and soaring costs according to a bombshell report published recently.
Zircon missiles can cover 155 miles in just 2.5 minutes, which is faster than a bullet from sniper's rifle.
The "enemy will not have enough time to get scared let alone react", according to military website Strategic Culture.
Nuclear-powered Admiral Nakhuimov battle cruiser could be the first Russian ship equipped with the lightning fast weapon when it returns to service next year.
The rocket-mounted weapons come equipped with a radar target seeker and the ability to avoid enemy missiles, and they can be launched from land, sea carrier or submarines and fitted with a range of warheads from explosive to nuclear.
Harry J Kazianis, executive editor of US foreign policy magazine The National Interest, wrote such missiles could turn "America's super-carriers into multi-billion dollar graveyards for thousands of sailors".
Kremlin chiefs announced in October the development of the Satan II nuclear rockets – each capable of wiping out an area the size of Texas or France.
Last month it emerged Russia had secretly deployed a cruise missile in violation of a historic arms control treaty with the US.
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