PC : Russian MoD

TASS Russian news agency

“The flight tests of the Tsirkon missile from a coastal bench and the Project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov have been successfully completed. Over 10 launches were performed, the latest of them in July,”

According to the source, the next Tsirkon trials are planned to begin in November and they are expected to continue in 2022. After that, the delivery of the missiles to the Russian Armed Forces will begin.

The Reutov Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (NPO Mashinostroeniya, part of the Tactical Missiles Corporation), which has developed and is producing Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, declined to comment on the information.

During the Army 2021 forum on August 24, a contract was signed with the Defense Ministry on the delivery of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Russian Armed Forces. According to NPO Mashinostroeniya CEO Alexander Leonov, the contract will be fulfilled by 2025.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Tsirkon missiles capable of flying at a speed of about 9 Mach and hitting targets at a distance of more than 1,000 km (621 mi) would go on combat duty in Russia soon.

It was reported on July 19 that the Admiral Gorshkov frigate had successfully test-launched a Tsirkon hypersonic missile against a ground target. The missile flew at a speed of 7 Mach and covered a distance of more than 350 km (217 mi). According to the Defense Ministry’s press office, the Project 22350 lead frigate launched the missile from the White Sea. The ground target was located on the coast of the Barents Sea.

About Tsirkon Hypersonic Anti-ship Missile

Artist impression of 3M22 Tsirkon / Zircon hypersonic missile
Artist impression of 3M22 Tsirkon / Zircon hypersonic missile

The first-in-class frigate test fired the Tsirkon (sometimes spelled Zirkon) hypersonic missile four times last year: In December, in early October and in November 2020. The first Tsirkon test launch from a warship was scheduled in late 2019, but took place in January 2020.

Open sources said the hypersonic 3M-22 missile was designed by NPO-machinostroeniya in Reutov in Moscow region. It is a part of 3K-22 (Tsirkon code) complex which NATO reports as SS-N-33.The missile can develop a speed of Mach 9 and fly at an altitude of 30-40 km where the range and speed increase as air resistance is smaller. Experts estimate the payload at 300-400 kg and the missile length at 8-10 meters. Tsirkon is to be fired from universal vertical launchers 3S-14 on warships and submarines and from Bastion mobile coastal missile launchers.