Research, Technology

Hypersonic missile "Zircon" - what it is capable of and why it is unique

New Russian sea-launched missile"Zircon", aka 3M22, refers to hypersonic weapons. What is it and what is its peculiarity, we have already told earlier. According to experts, missiles of this type are invulnerable to modern means of detection and interception due to their high flight speed and modern stealth technologies. In addition, they are highly accurate, which the 3M22 demonstrated once again the other day, successfully hitting a target in the White Sea. There is very little information about this missile, since the Zircon has long remained the most closed project of the Russian military-industrial complex. However, some details about this weapon are already known, and we are in a hurry to share them.

Russian hypersonic missile "Zirkon"

"Zircon" rocket - weapon features

The Zircon missile was developed and created by the NPOmechanical engineering”. As planned, it should replace the existing P-700 Granit heavy anti-ship missile. It must be said that for the first time the veil of secrecy was lifted by President Vladimir Putin himself in 2019. He said that the missile is capable of destroying sea and ground targets. Later it became known that it is capable of hitting both stationary and moving targets.

Also, from the words of the president, it became known that 3M22will be based on ships and submarines. It was about the ships of projects 1155, 22350, 23560, 1144.2, as well as submarines 885, 885M and 949AM. In addition, the launch is possible from submarines and ships that are being built for Caliber missiles.

"Zircon" became the first hypersonic missile in the history of mankind, which was launched from a surface ship and a submarine.

Tests of the Zircon rocket

The missile should go into service already incurrent year. The supply contract was signed by the Ministry of Defense with NGOs back in 2021. Obviously, its last tests are currently being carried out. In particular, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced another successful test on May 28. The missile was launched from the Baltic Sea from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and hit a target in the White Sea, covering a distance of 1,000 km.

The Zircon hypersonic missile was repeatedly launched from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate.

I must say, from the frigate’s side, more than oncerockets were launched. So in March of this year, the missile successfully hit targets in the Barents Sea. It is also known that the final tests should pass in the near future. According to available information, during all the tests, the missile hit ground and sea targets. Moreover, it completely coped with the task when launched from a submerged position, as well as from surface ships. In total, the Russian military has already made at least 12-13 successful launches.

"Zircon" - characteristics

As has been said many times, the mainThe difference between hypersonic missiles and conventional missiles lies in their high speed, as well as controllability. As President Vladimir Putin said in his message to the Federal Assembly, the Zircon flies at a speed of about Mach 9 (this is over 11,000 km / h), and the flight range is over 1,000 km. According to some reports, the missile is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 1500 km. It must be said that Zircon does not belong to short-range and medium-range missiles, despite the fact that it corresponds to this category in terms of flight range. As we said earlier, this term refers only to ground-based missiles.

According to Georgy Roslyakov, commandermissile and artillery warhead of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the enemy will not be able to detect the missile on radars thanks to modern Stealth technologies. True, it is known that the American company Raytheon is working on the creation of a radar that can detect hypersonic missiles. However, at present this is only a conceptual development, that is, a prototype does not yet exist.

One can only guess how the zircon rocket actually looks, since this information is kept secret.

But, even if we assume that the rocket willdetected, it is impossible to bring it down with current air defense systems. During the time until it is detected and the anti-aircraft missile system tries to take it on escort, the missile will already hit the target.

3M22, according to Georgy Roslyakov, can hitany target that is indicated to it, including individual objects from a group of targets. And if necessary, Zircon missiles can hit several ships at the same time, since the missile system supports salvo firing. Thus, the number of targets that can be hit at the same time depends on the number of missiles launched.

Other features and capabilities of thisweapons are still a closely guarded secret. Moreover, even the appearance of the rocket is secret. For testing, they are loaded onto a ship in closed containers. As soon as new information about the Zircon missiles appears, we will immediately report it. In order not to miss it, don't forget to subscribe to our Yandex.Zen channel.