Russia announced on July 19 that it had successfully tested its new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from the White Sea. The craft, which flew at Mach 7, “successfully reached the target 350 kilometers away,” Moscow said.
“The frigate Admiral Gorchkov fired from the White Sea a hypersonic Zircon missile at a land target located on the coast of the Barents Sea, ”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement dated 19 July. From the same source, the missile, which flew at Mach 7, “successfully reached the target located 350 kilometers away”.
The text further specifies: “Flight tests of the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile are continuing. […] During the tests, the tactical and technical characteristics of the Zircon rocket were confirmed. It is planned to equip Russian Navy submarines and surface ships of the Zircon complex. “
The first official launch of a Zircon missile dates back to October 2020, with Russian President Vladimir Putin hailing a “big event” for “the whole country”. At least two more tests have since taken place, each time from Admiral Gorchkov.
With a maximum range of around 1,000 kilometers, it is intended to equip surface ships and submarines of the Russian fleet. Russia has several other advanced weapons, such as the Kinjal hypersonic missile for the Air Force or the nuclear-powered Bourevestnik missile. The first new generation Avangard hypersonic missiles, capable of reaching a speed of Mach 27 and changing course and altitude, were put into service with the Russian army in December 2019.