In its continuing bid to modernize and strengthen its military forces, Russia is developing and fielding a wide range of new military tech. Among them, hypersonic weapons play a prominent role. Zircon [Tsirkon] is Russia’s newest hypersonic cruise missile. I wrote about the missile in more detail, and about an earlier test of the Zircon, here.
But it was apparently now successfully test-launched against a surface target at sea at over 200 miles.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said its Admiral Gorshkov frigate fired the hypersonic cruise missile at a ground target located on the coast of the Barents Sea and hit its intended target 350 km (217 miles) away. The missile is said to have traveled at Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound, or 5,371 mph)
#Footage #RussianNavy continues tests of the #Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles. In the White Sea, the #AdmiralGrigorovich frigate successfully strikes a land target with a #Tsirkon missile on the coast of the #SeaOfBarents https://t.co/olmWB2oCUo#MissileLaunch #RussianWeapons pic.twitter.com/dgn8kfj4SH
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) July 19, 2021
Russia is also planning to arm its submarines with the Zircon missile. According to the Russian News Agency TASS:
The first launch from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate within the state trials is planned for the first part of August. The second part of August will see flight trials of Zircon from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine.
Putin Has been touting this new line of nuclear-capable weapons that can breach U.S. defenses and hit a target “anywhere in the world,” since 2018. During his annual state-of-the-nation speech in March 2018, TASS reported that Putin said:
A low-flying low-visibility cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead and possessing a practically unlimited range, unpredictable flight path and the capability to impregnate practically all interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and future anti-missile and air defense weapons.