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Zirkon missile: characteristics of Russia’s hypersonic missile, range and speed of Zirkon

Date: December 10, 2023 Time: 23:35:18

The frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” with missiles “Zircon” entered the waters of the Atlantic. Photo: Press Service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / TASS


The Zircon surface-based hypersonic cruise missile will be adopted by the Russian Navy this year. This was announced to journalists by the general director and general designer of Reutov NPO Mashinostroeniya Alexander Leonov. This problem is already at the stage of purely organizational work – missiles are already being mass-produced. For example, the Admiral Gorshkov frigate has already received its ammunition.

This post may surprise some. After all, the frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” with the “Zircons” on board immediately after the New Year went into combat duty. She had already passed the English Channel and even conducted exercises to hit targets in the Atlantic. In the West, our “Zircons” are already completely scared, and for some reason we only announce their adoption.

The fact is that the first ship for which the Zircons will become a regular weapon will not be the Admiral Gorshkov, but another frigate of the same project, the Admiral Golovko, which is still undergoing factory tests. And in Gorshkov, hypersonic missiles were installed on converted mines under Caliber. But the frigate has already carried out several tests, fired from the Barents Sea to the White Sea, sank conditional enemy ships that were 1000 or even more kilometers away… In general, our latest hypersonic weapons have already shown themselves from the most favorable way. light in the sea

So, the current long-distance voyage of Admiral Gorshkov can be considered a presentation. The ship will traverse the entire Atlantic Ocean, cross the Indian Ocean and enter the Mediterranean Sea. The maneuvers are planned throughout the entire route, even with the use of Zirconia. It is curious that maneuvers are also planned with the participation of warships from other friendly countries.

Rocket “Zircon” and its features

When the “Admiral Gorshkov” went to sea and approached the shores of the former Western partners, they almost had a tantrum.

“Arming Russian Navy ships with hypersonic zircons may lead to breakthrough in North Atlantic Alliance naval defense!” wrote the British Express.

What is it that scares the West so much? Yes, at least the fact that “Zircon” is a real storm of the seas, its range and speed is amazing. Today, the West cannot defend itself against it in any way.

Do you remember the giparsonic aerial missile “Dagger”? One of them in the Ukraine went through a Soviet underground bunker, designed to be hit by an atomic bomb. So, “Zircon” is its marine counterpart. The rocket rushes at a speed of Mach 9, that is, 9 times faster than the speed of sound, and at the same time continues to maneuver. Not a single air defense or anti-missile system, whether existing or promising, is capable of tracking such a target, let alone reaching and intercepting it.

The “zircons” carry 400 kilograms of explosives, enough to inflict damage incompatible with life on any aircraft carrier. At the same time, 1000 kilometers of range is not the limit, some sources speak of 1.5 thousand kilometers as the maximum range of destruction. The march section of the missile passes at an altitude of 30-40 kilometers, where the air becomes thin and has practically no resistance. This allows for a significant increase in missile range and velocity and facilitates anti-missile maneuvers.

Such characteristics allow our ships, even the smallest ones, to feel superior when meeting a whole group of enemy aircraft carriers. It’s the same as with “Kalashnikov” to get to ten “jocks” who have only fists. So who will run first?

In the West, this is well understood. This is what the American edition of Military Watch Magazine writes about the characteristics of the Zircon rocket:

– Among the most valuable characteristics of the Zircon is its extreme speed, which, combined with high maneuverability and a small radar cross section, makes it virtually impossible for existing air defense systems to reliably protect against this missile. The Zircon will help make up for the Russian Navy’s lack of a large surface fleet and allow relatively small ships like the Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates and even smaller corvette-sized ships to threaten destroyer fleets very seriously. much larger cruise ships and aircraft carriers. Russian ships will be able to take advantage of the missile’s range, its exceptionally high survivability against air defenses, and the massive damage that the sheer kinetic energy of their attacks can cause.

So with the Zircons, everything is just beginning for us. The most interesting is ahead.


The general director of the plant in Reutov spoke about a surface missile. However, the approach is the same for submarines. Submarine “Zircons” also successfully passed the tests. Submerged and surface launches were carried out by the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine. And the first regular carrier of the new missiles will be the Perm multipurpose submarine.


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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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