The lead Russian frigate, Admiral Gorshkov, has been equipped with Zircon hypersonic missiles and is now on a long-distance voyage in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday.
The ceremony was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin via video conference, in which he thanked the specialists from Russia’s military-industrial complex for starting the serial production of the Zircon missiles. The president said the weapon is globally unique.
He added that Russia will further develop the combat potential of its armed forces
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that during the long voyage, the frigate will practice using Zircon cruise missiles. He pointed out that “this weapon reliably penetrates air and missile defense systems and has a speed of over Mach 9 and a range of over 1,000 kilometers.”
He said that the ship can use Zircon missiles to deliver targeted and powerful strikes against both naval and land-based adversaries.
The Russian president announced the development of hypersonic weapons in his speech to the Federal Assembly (the two houses of parliament) on Feb. 20, 2019. The testing of the Zircons was completed on June 1 last year, and Putin announced on Dec. 21 that the Admiral Gorshkov frigate equipped with hypersonic missiles would be deployed early this year.