MICHIGAN, (BM) – The Russian Zircon strikes in seven minutes and remained invisible to radar under certain conditions. The American freelance writer Peter Suciu expressed such an opinion, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Peter Suciu is a well-known name in the industry. He has published several military books, and his articles are still posting in dozens of magazines, newspapers, and online publications. In her latest article Russia’s Zircon Hypersonic Missile: How Much of a Threat? Peter Suciu writes about the capabilities of the Russian hypersonic rocket Zircon.
According to the author, the Russian hypersonic missile can hit a target at a distance of 1000 km. for no more than seven minutes. Peter makes this conclusion based on a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019. Putin then told reporters that the missile was developing a speed of Mach 9. The other conclusion the author made was that this missile would not be visible to radar. The reason is in the plasma cloud after launch, which completely covers the rocket. According to the author, this cloud can absorb all radio frequencies, making the missile “invisible”. That way, no one but the Russians will know the ultimate goal of the Zircon hypersonic rocket.
However, the author also pays serious attention to the nuclear warhead topic that the hypersonic Zircon missile would carry. Disputes over the size of the warhead continue to this day to this day by various military experts. Some experts say that due to the range of 1000 km, the warhead would not weigh more than 300 kilograms with reduced other characteristics, such as trajectory and the highest flight point of the rocket. Analysts from the Jamestown Foundation claim that to increase the warhead’s size to reduce the flight altitude of the missile, the maximum range of destruction would be about 700 km.
However, Peter Suciu argues that the warhead’s size in this particular case is not so important. He defended his claim with the kinetic impact of the rocket. I.e., at hypersonic speeds, the missile can inflict severe damage without even needing a warhead.
The Zircon hypersonic rocket is the latest Russian development in this field. According to official data, its story began 20 years ago. Only in recent years has Moscow made progress, and last year, in 2020, Russia conducted three tests. The Russians justified the restrictions in the difficulties with the prevailing epidemic of coronavirus. The previous test of the missile was in December 2020, and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation described them as successful.
The Zircon hypersonic missile is the culmination of Russia’s future line of defense. It has its deterrent character, as there is currently no anti-missile system in the world that can intercept and destroy it. Its targets can be ground targets and ships. As we have already understood, the missile characterizes by exceptional speed and maneuverability. The missile’s ability to fly at different altitudes and plasma clouds make the missile impossible to track.
In the last five years, Russia has been conducting various missile tests, firing them from frigates or corvettes. Finally, in December, the Russian frigate Admiral of the Soviet Navy Gorshkov conducted tests with the Zircon hypersonic missile, which we also wrote about it. The tests were born in the Barents Sea.
According to unconfirmed information, the Russian navy can expect full armament with the hypersonic missile Zircon around 2023. This information comes from Moscow’s official announcement, which states that serial production and deliveries will begin in 2022.
Russian frigates will be able to carry more Zircon, Kalibr and Onyx missiles
According to the data presented, the advanced frigates of Project 22350 will carry up to 24 strike missiles, including promising Zircons, as we reported in the middle of 2020. A source in the military-industrial complex spokes about the armament of promising frigates for the Russian fleet.
As you know, the Admiral Gorshkov project 22350 lead ship, which has already been put into operation, has 16 launchers, which, in particular, allow the use of new Zircon missiles. The same weaponry will be on the Admiral Kasatonov, which is currently undergoing testing.
However, according to the source, on the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth ships of Project 22350, the number of launchers will be brought up to 24, which will significantly increase the strike potential of one of the main hopes of the Russian fleet.
Note that, in addition to the Zircons, the new frigates will be able to carry Kalibr cruise missiles and Onyx anti-ship missiles. According to another source, strengthening the armament of the ship should not lead to a significant increase in displacement – which, recall, the frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” is (full) 5400 tons. Earlier, a source in the defense industry called the dates of testing and taking Zircon into service.
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