The Russian Navy tested the Zircon hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
At a conditional sea target in the Barents Sea, they fired from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine.
“The flight of the missile <…> corresponded to the specified parameters <…>. Test firing <…> was recognized as successful,” the release said.
The Zircon is the world’s first hypersonic cruise missile capable of carrying out prolonged aerodynamic flight with maneuvering in dense layers of the atmosphere, using its own engine thrust throughout the entire route.
The maximum speed of the missile reaches approximately Mach 9 (about 2.65 kilometers per second at an altitude of 20 kilometers, or more than ten thousand kilometers per hour). The maximum range is 1,000 kilometers.
Low-quality video footage released by the ministry showed the missile shooting upwards from a submarine, its glare lighting up the night sky and illuminating the water’s surface.
Moscow has in recent years touted the development of weapons that it hopes will give it the edge in any arms race with the United States at a time of growing tensions with the West.
Hypersonics can travel more than five times the speed of sound and maneuver in mid-flight, making them much harder to track and intercept than traditional projectiles.
It is planned to arm frigates of project 22350, the newest multipurpose submarines of project 885M Yasen-M, as well as the cruiser Admiral Nakhimov, which is undergoing modernization, and the submarine Irkutsk, which they want to upgrade to the level of 949AM, with the Zircon.
Earlier, in August 2021, The Russian Defense Ministry signed the first contract for the supply of Zircon hypersonic missiles.
“In fact, this is the world’s first sea-based hypersonic missile, the analogue of which no one else has. The Americans are preparing the same, but their missile has passed unsuccessful tests. Therefore, the first contract for the supply of Zircon missiles is, of course, a huge success. will go into service with “Zircons”, it will be clear, because the method of basing is chosen different. These missiles can be based even on relatively small ships: they are about the same size as cruise missiles, which are already on small missile ships and frigates. ” “They will dramatically increase the combat capabilities of the Russian fleet – a single missile hit is enough to destroy a large ship, even an aircraft carrier,” said Alexey Podberezkin, director of the Center for Military-Political Research.
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