The Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate, first of the class, will launch a Zircon hypersonic missile during live-fire drills in late 2019, the Russian state media says. This will be a first launch of Zircon from a naval carrier. Previously, Zircon missiles had been fired from stands only.
According to various sources, Zircon has a speed between Mach 6 and Mach 9 and is capable of striking both naval and land targets. According to President Vladimir Putin’s recent address, the weapon has effective range in excess of 1,000km.
Admiral Gorshkov (Project 22350) became the first large warship to be designed and built after the collapse of the USSR. Furthermore, the Russian military is already preparing plans to obtain modernized warships of this class – Project 22350M.
“The Northern design bureau has completed designing frigates of Project 22350M and is now developing working design documentation for these vessels in line with the customer’s tactical and technical order,” a source told state news agency TASS.
Project 22350M frigates be capable of carrying up to 48 cruise missiles each and will have a displacement of 7,000t. Both Kalibr cruise missiles and Zircon hypersonic missiles will be a part of its armament.
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