Russia test-fires Hypersonic missile from submarine

Russia has successfully test-fired Hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine for the first time on October 4, 2021.

Key Facts

  • The missile, named Zircon missile, was launched from the Severodvinsk.  submarine. Zircon hit a designated target in the Barents Sea.
  • It was Zircon’s first launch from a submarine.
  • Missile has been repeatedly test-fired from a navy frigate in the past.
  • Missile would be commissioned in to Russian Navy in 2022.

Significance of the missile

Zircon missile has been developed to arm Russian cruisers, frigates and submarines. It is one among several hypersonic missiles being developed in Russia.

About Zircon Missile

The 3M22 Zircon or 3M22 Tsirkon missile is a scramjet powered, anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile. The missile is being testing by Russia, currently. It represents a further development of HELA (Hypersonic Experimental Flying Vehicle) which was developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya. Prototypes of the Zircon missiles were test-launched in 2012-2013 from a Tu-22M3 bomber in. By April 2017, Zircon had reached a speed of Mach 8 during a flight test.  Zircon was again test-fired on 3 June 2017. In November 2017, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev announced that missile was already in service.

Specifications of Zircon Missile

Zircon Missile have the capability to fly at nine times the speed of sound. It has a range of 1000 kilometres. Missile is believed to be a maneuvering, winged hypersonic cruise missile. The booster stage along with the solid-fuel engines accelerates it to supersonic speeds.  After this stage, a scramjet motor comprising of liquid-fuel accelerates it to hypersonic speeds. It can travel at a speed up to Mach 8 – Mach 9.

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