Russia builds ballistic missile, called ‘an aircraft carrier killer’

MOSCOW ($1=57.22 Russian Rubles) — Russia has announced that it has been developing a new ballistic missile carrying hypersonic equipment for “a long time” designed to destroy large sea or surface targets, including enemy aircraft carriers. The information about the Russian missile comes from two unnamed sources of the state news agency TASS.

Russia upgrades the 3M-54 Kalibr missile for better combat use
Photo: Russian MoD

The missile is called Zmeevik, and the chosen nickname is “carrier killer”. The missile is being developed by the NPO Mashinstroenie company, which is part of another Russian enterprise – Tactical Missiles Plant. These are the enterprises that developed and produced the Zircon hypersonic missiles, as well as the Avantgarde hypersonic missile system.

According to the TASS sources, the new Zmeevik ballistic missile will enter service with the Russian Navy, but they do not specify when this is expected to happen, nor whether the missile has passed any test – ground or sea. Russian experts claim that Zmeevik is a missile analog of the Chinese missiles of a similar class – DF-21D and DF-26, which have a range of 4,000 kilometers. It is not reported what the Russian Zmeevik missile operational range is.

However, NPO Mashinostroene is experiencing problems at the moment. Whether because of the war in Ukraine, lack of sufficient funding, or lack of production parts, the Russian plant cannot keep up with the plan to produce the aviation version of the Zircon missile. Anatoly Svintsov, who is the deputy general director of NPO Mashinostroenie, says that “the client [most likely Russia – ed.] decided at the first stage to intensify work on the creation of a marine version of the missile.”

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