Russia test-fires hypersonic missile from submarine

Russian Zircon hypersonic missile. (source: Youtube video caption)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Russia successfully performed the first launch of its Zircon anti-ship hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine, the Russian defense ministry announced on Monday.

According to the information, the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine of the Russian Navy carried out a successful test in the Barents Sea against a presumed naval target. The Russian Ministry of Defense rated the testing as successful.

A few hours later, the ministry also announced a second successful launch of the missile, this time from a water depth of 40 meters, also from aboard the Severodvinsk submarine. According to the ministry, the presumed target was hit again by the missile this time and the second test was also successful.

Previous tests of Zircon were reported by the Russian Armed Forces on July 26, Oct. 7, and No. 26 last year, and on July 19 this year. Earlier launches were from aboard the Admiral Gorskov frigate.

Speaking in front of two houses of the Russian parliament in February 2019, President Vladimir Putin said the Zircon will be capable of destroying sea and land targets at a speed of nine times the speed of sound and will have a range of over 1,000 kilometers.

In December 2019, he announced that a land-based version of the hypersonic cruise missile is was also being developed. Alexander Moiseev, commander of the Northern Fleet, envisioned in March last year that submarines would also be made suitable for launch.

Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko announced in January that the delivery of Zircon to the Russian Armed Forces was scheduled to begin in 2022. In August, at the Armija 2021 Military Technology Forum, the Moscow Military Ministry announced that it had contracted with Tactical Missile Corporation (KTRV) for production.

The Russian Northern Fleet, which tests the Zircons, has been granted the status of an independent military district on January 1, 2021. It has the strongest submarine grouping in the Russian Navy.

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