The Russian cruise missile Zircon has become the world’s first sea-based hypersonic anti-ship missile, Director of the Bureau of Political-Military Analysis Alexander Mikhailov told Izvestia on Wednesday, October 7.
Earlier that day, the Russian Ministry of Defense published a video from the site of the successful Zircon test. The day before, on October 6, from the White Sea, the lead frigate of Project 22350 “Admiral of the Soviet Union Fleet Gorshkov” fired a “Zircon” rocket at a sea target in the Barents Sea.
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“The advantages of the rocket are undeniable. The possibility of using “Zircons” neutralizes the capabilities of any combat ships of the US Navy – the most formidable potential enemy of Russia at sea, “Mikhailov said.
The main targets of the Zircon are aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other large military vessels of a potential enemy, the expert said.
At the same time, the “Zircons”, moving at speeds up to Mach 10, “pierce” any missile defense of US ships, the military political scientist noted.
“The late Soviet-designed supersonic anti-ship missiles of the Granite and Onyx type have recently been able to intercept the latest US sea-based anti-missile missiles. For example, SM-6 missiles capable of flying at speeds up to Mach 3.5. Unlike them, it is not yet possible to intercept the Zircon missiles with NATO air defense or missile defense systems, ”said the director of the Bureau of Political-Military Analysis.
He added that the Russian Navy plans to equip all promising large surface warships and submarines with Zircons. In addition, hypersonic missiles can be used as a means of coastal anti-ship defense.
During the tests on October 6, the Zircon’s flight range was 450 km, and the maximum altitude was 28 km. The flight time is 4.5 minutes, a hypersonic speed of over Mach 8 (9.5 thousand km / h) was achieved.