The Russian leader attended the country’s Navy Day parade in St Petersburg on Sunday. Putin described the Kremlin’s priority as securing the “capability of the Russian navy”, launching the hypersonic missiles initially from frigates.
He pinpointed Moscow’s ability to “respond with lightning speed” in an ominous threat to those who “infringe on our sovereignty”.
He told the crowd: “The delivery of these [missiles] to the Russian armed forces will start in the coming months.
“The Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be the first to go on combat duty with these formidable weapons on board.”
He added: “The key thing here is the capability of the Russian navy.
“It is able to respond with lightning speed to all who decide to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom.”
The Zircon was tested by the Kremlin in May, reportedly firing the missile 625 miles.
It was first put to the test in January 2020, which the Kremlin said was capable of reaching Mach 9, or over 6,600mph.
This veiled threat to Western countries and NATO members comes as Putin appears to make a screeching U-turn on its aggressive nuclear rhetoric.
READ MORE: Russia panics as ex-Putin ally suddenly taken ill after leaving Moscow
However, despite the de-escalating rhetoric from Moscow on Monday, the Ukraine war has always held an undercurrent of nuclear tension.
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Putin put Russia’s nuclear arsenal on high alert.
He warned the West in late February against any attempts to “hinder” the invasion, provoking an “immediate” reaction from Moscow.
He added: “And it will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history.”
Putin continued: “There should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.”
The Kremlin has previously called the risk of nuclear war a “serious” prospect.
Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said in April: “The risks now are considerable.”
He added: “I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that.
“The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”