Russia conducts final stage of new Zircon ICBM

Russia is conducting the last stage of the trials of the state-of-the-art Zircon hypersonic missile. The missile will be subsequently used both on submarines and ships, Vladimir Pospelov, a member of the Marine Board at the Russian Government said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"The trials are going on as planned and are currently at their final stage," he said.

The industry is to reach the level of readiness for serial production of the new missile in the near future.

"The missile will be unified. It will be possible to use it both on submarines and surface ships, as universal launchers are used," the official said.

The Zircon is the world's first hypersonic cruise missile capable of carrying out long-term aerodynamic flight while maneuvering in dense layers of the atmosphere owing to its own engine thrust throughout the route.

  • The missile develops the maximum speed of about nine speeds of sound (about 2.65 kilometers per second at an altitude of 20 kilometers, or more than 10,000 kilometers per hour).
  • The maximum range of the missile is 1,000 kilometers.
  • The Zircon is expected to strike both surface and ground targets just as effectively.

In 2020, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Zircon was tested on Project 22350 Frigate Admiral Gorshkov. The ship performed three missile launches targeting two sea targets and one ground target.

The first launch of Zircon in 2021 is to take place in summer months, and the trails are to be completed the same year. 

It is believed that Zircon missiles  will be used on board the Admiral Nakhimov nuclear cruiser, which is now undergoing modernization, the Irkutsk submarine, frigates of Project 22350 and state-of-the art project 885M multipurpose submarines Yasen-M.

In addition to the sea-based version of the Zircon missile, President Vladimir Putin mentioned the development of the ground-based Zircon.

Zircon test launch