Russia’s Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile has completed tests from the Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate.
"The flight tests of Tsirkon, with launches from a coastal mount and Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov frigate have been successfully completed. Over 10 launches were performed, the latest of them in July," a source close to the Russian defense ministry was quoted as saying by Russian government-owned TASS News Agency.
The next series of Tsirkon trials is to begin in November and will go on until next year. Delivery of the missiles to the Russian armed forces will begin soon after.
NPO Mashinostroenia, the developer of Tsirkon, has declined to comment on the information, the report said.
During Army-2021 Forum, Russia’s Defense Ministry signed a contract for the delivery of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Russian troops. According to Alexander Leonov, CEO of NPO Mashinostroenia, it has to be fulfilled by 2025.
The Tsirkon (Zircon) 3M-22 hypersonic missile 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.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on July 19 that the frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov had successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic missile at a ground target. The missile flew at Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound) across a distance of over 350 km.