The long-awaited event for the Navy took place three weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the salvo launch of the Zircon. The tests, he said, passed “successfully, flawlessly.” In fact, this means that after the necessary procedures in such cases, the newest missile system will officially enter the arsenal of naval sailors – as long as our warships will be equipped with them.
Serial production of such weapons is not quick and difficult. Therefore, at the end of August, at the Army-2021 forum, the military department signed a contract with the Tactical Missile Armament Corporation for the supply of 3M22 missiles to the Russian Navy. As Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu later said, this contract is of a long-term nature.
It is known that the frigate of project 22350 “Admiral Golovko” will be the first regular carrier of “Zircons”. The ship has on board 16 universal launchers UKSK 3S14. They are suitable both for firing Kalibr and Onyx cruise missiles and for launching Zirkons.
As for equipping Project 885 Yasen and Yasen-M nuclear submarines with hypersonic weapons, according to a TASS source, a decision on them will be made after the tests of the cruise missile from the submarine are completed. Two such launches were successfully carried out by the crew of the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Severodvinsk” last autumn. There was information that the sailors will continue to test firing from under the water.
The Zircon cruise missile is capable of a long flight at a speed of Mach 9
Zircon is the world’s first hypersonic cruise missile capable of continuous aerodynamic flight at a speed of Mach 9, maneuvering in dense layers of the atmosphere and using its own engine thrust along the entire route. Tests show that the Zircon can be equally effective at both surface and ground targets located at a great distance from the launch site.