From January 2023, Zircon hypersonic missiles will be used in combat patrols with the stealth corvette Admiral Gorshkov. The Zircon hypersonic missile system will be used for the first time on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov in early January of next year.
At a meeting with military officials on December 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “The Zircon missile is a weapon system that has no equal in the world, and Russia will keep making hypersonic missiles with unique features.”
Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, said that the company is sending a number of Zircon missiles to the Russian navy, which is putting them on the Admiral Gorshkov ship so it can “carry out missions in the oceans around the world.”
3M22 Zircon is one of several hypersonic weapons developed by Russia, boasted by President Putin as an “invincible weapon.” The Kremlin boss first revealed the Zircon missile in a speech in February 2019, saying that the weapon can hit sea and ground targets within a range of 1,000 km at a speed of more than 11,000 km. /h, nine times the sound.
In October 2020, Russia fired a Zircon missile for the first time. In 2021, it did 12 test runs from ships and submarines, and all of them hit the target.
In November, unnamed sources said that the Russian Defense Ministry signed the first contract to buy Zircon missiles in the middle of 2021. The second contract, for dozens of missiles, was signed in the fall of this year and is expected to be finished in 2023.
NPO developer Mashinostroyeniya is also working on an option to increase the range of Zircon.
Moscow plans to put Zircon hypersonic missiles on a number of ships and submarines because they can be fired from the same vertical launchers as Kalibr cruise missiles and Oniks anti-ship missiles.
A hypersonic missile is a weapon with a minimum speed of Mach 5 or more than 6,200 kilometers per hour. Hypersonic weapons are more devastating and practically difficult to intercept with modern protective shields due to their trajectory and speed.