The Russian Navy’s Admiral Golovko, its third Project 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov) frigate, will become the first warship to be equipped with Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missiles.
"It is planned that Admiral Golovko will become the first standard carrier of Tsirkons," a defense industry source was quoted as saying by government-owned TASS on Saturday.
Admiral Golovko was laid on February 1, 2012 and floated out on May 22, 2020. Other two frigates of this class - Admiral Gorshkov and the Admiral Kasatonov - are already operational. Another six frigates are under construction.
Frigates of Project 22350 are designated to fight submarines and warships in oceans and seas and to repel air attacks both independently and within formations. The hull of the frigates is flush-decked. It has a three-island superstructure, one mast-turret and one steel funnel. Stealth technologies were used in the construction to make the warship practically invisible for the radars of the potential adversary. Full displacement is 5000 tons, the length is 135 meters. The speed is 29 knots. The crew comprises over 170 men. Diesel gas-turbine power plant has a capacity of 65000 horsepower. It can carry Ka-27 helicopter or its modifications.
The main weapons comprise two 16-cell universal vertical launchers 3S-14 for Kalibr missiles. The Admiral Gorshkov, the project’s lead ship, is taking part in Tsirkon trials.
The Tsirkon (Zircon) 3M-22 hypersonic missile was designed by NPO-machinostroeniya in Reutov in Moscow region. It is a part of 3K-22 (Zircon code) complex which NATO reports as SS-N-33. The missile can develop a speed of Mach 9 and fly at an altitude of 30-40 km where the range and speed increase as air resistance is smaller. Experts estimate the payload at 300-400 kg and the missile length at 8-10 meters. The missile is to be fired from universal vertical launchers 3S-14 on warships and submarines and from Bastion mobile coastal missile launchers.