Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov Frigate Plans Test Launch of Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile

Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov Frigate Plans Test Launch of Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile

A new test launch of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile will be held by the Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate of project 22350 in September this year. According to the Russian press agency TASS, Salvo fire is planned. In July 2020, the Admiral Gorshkov for the first time fired Tsirkon early this year in the Barents Sea. The launches confirmed range and precision characteristics and the hypersonic speed. The hypersonic missile flew over 500 km and hit a coastal target.

The 3M22 Zircon also spelled as 3M22 Tsirkon (NATO reporting name: SS-N-33) is a scramjet powered maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile currently in testing by Russia. Zircon is believed to be a maneuvering, winged hypersonic cruise missile with a lift-generating center body. A booster stage with solid-fuel engines accelerates it to supersonic speeds, after which a scramjet motor with liquid-fuel (Decilin) in the second stage accelerates it to hypersonic speeds.

Zircon will be first deployed with the Kirov-class battlecruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Velikiy after 2020. The ships will have their P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles replaced with the 3S-14 universal VLS cells capable of carrying the Oniks, Kalibr and Zircon anti-ship cruise missiles; each vessel is to be equipped with 72 such missiles. Other platforms are likely to include Russian Navy’s Admiral Grigorovich class and Admiral Gorshkov class frigates, as well as Gremyashchiy class, Buyan class and Karakurt class corvettes.

The missile’s range is estimated to be 135 to 270 nautical miles (155 to 311 mi; 250 to 500 km) at low level, and up to 400 nmi (460 mi; 740 km) in a semi-ballistic trajectory; average range is around 400–450 km (250–280 mi; 220–240 nmi). The longest possible range is 540 nmi (620 mi; 1,000 km) and for this purpose a new fuel was created. Zircon can travel at a speed of Mach 8–Mach 9 (6,090–6,851 mph; 9,800–11,025 km/h; 2,722.3–3,062.6 m/s). In the 2020 test, the missile’s range is estimated to 1,000 – 2,000 km (depend on the type of target).

Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov Frigate Plans Test Launch of Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile