(From the National Interest)
By Dave Majumdar
Russia has apparently started testing a new hypersonic cruise missile called the 3M22 Zircon. The new weapon will equip Moscow’s modernized Project 11442 Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruisers and its next-generation nuclear submarines.
“The tests of the hypersonic Zircon missiles have begun using a ground-based launching site,” a Russian defense industry source told state-owned RIA Novosti media outlet.
The new missiles Mach 5.0-Mach 6.0 would replace the Pyotr Velikyi’s and its sister ship Admiral Nakhimov’s existing 390-mile range P-700 Granit supersonic anti-ship missile armament. While the Zircon range will likely be shorter—about 250 miles—its sheer speed will make it extremely difficult to intercept with current missile defense technology. Read more
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