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The Russian Navy has continued ZIRCON hypersonic missile testing with a launch from the nuclear submarine SEVERODVINSK to accompany previous firing from surface combatants.
The MoD’s official statement quoted by the national information agencies claimed that the missile flight had met the expected characteristics to hit a simulating target. The military assessed the firing “as successful”, in the words of the same source.
According to a video released by the MoD, the launch was carried out at night with the submarine surfaced. Prior to this, the military had reported a number of successful ZIRCON test launches from the frigate ADMIRAL GORSHKOV (Project 22350) in July this year. Other tests were carried out in December, November and October 2020.
SEVERODVINSK is a fourth-generation multi-role nuclear submarine of the YASEN 08850 class which entered service in 2014. The submarine is said to be capable of fighting against all types of surface and underwater threats. Retired Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, former Chief of the Russian Navy’s main headquarters, said of the new tests; “This is a serious event for the Russian Navy. The speed characteristics of the missile are beyond question. Nobody can protect oneself against ZIRCON.”
The start of serial deliveries of ZIRCON missiles to the Russian Armed Forces is scheduled for 2022. During the Army-2021 Forum in August, the MoD inked a respective contract with the manufacturer, the Tactical Missile Corporation. Russia claims to be far ahead with the development of hypersonic weapons, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov on 17 September. He claims Russia is also ahead of the West in “developing weapons based on new physical principles”.