Russia test-fires ‘ideal’ hypersonic missile

In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet releases the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a test at an undisclosed location in Russia. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
Updated 11 March 2018
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Russia test-fires ‘ideal’ hypersonic missile

MOSCOW: Russia said Sunday it successfully launched a hypersonic missile which President Vladimir Putin called “an ideal weapon” as he unveiled a new array of next-generation arms earlier this month.
The high-precision Kinzhal (Dagger) missile was launched from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet that took off from an airfield in the South Military District in Russia’s southwest, the defense ministry said.
“The launch went according to plan, the hypersonic missile hit its target,” the ministry added.
The ministry released video footage showing two pilots gearing up for a flight and then running toward a jet with a large missile slung beneath its underbelly.
Set to rousing, patriotic music, the video then shows a missile detaching from the airborne plane and gliding across the dark sky, leaving a fiery trail behind.
The Kinzhal missile was one of an array of new weapons Putin unveiled in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this month, ahead of a presidential election on March 18 that he is all but guaranteed to win.
Putin said the missile flies at 10 times the speed of the sound and can overcome air-defense systems.
The missile has been deployed in the Southern Military District since December 1, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Facebook that work had also been done to modernize the “unique” MiG-31 supersonic jet that will carry the missile.
Since the start of the year, more than 250 sorties have been carried out by the aircraft to perfect the work of the missile systems, the defense ministry said.


Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

Updated 2 min 37 sec ago
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Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

  • Local police say online activist Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night
  • In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police say an activist known for his online criticism of the country’s military and politicians has been killed by unknown assailants in a wooded area of the capital, Islamabad.
Local police official Ayaz Khan says Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night, drawing condemnation from his friends on social media.
Police said Monday that an unknown person called the activist to come to the Karachi Company neighborhood, where he and his cousin were attacked with daggers.
The cousin was in critical condition.
In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist.
The attack took place hours after Khan bluntly criticized the newly appointed spy chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, who had previously worked as the head of internal security at Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence.