Russian Navy’s first test of the Russian Navy’s “Zircon” hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine was successful, according to Russian Sputnik news agency, citing a statement released today by the Russian Defense Ministry. .
“The Russian Navy first tested a hypersonic Zircon missile aboard the nuclear submarine” Severodvinsk “, and the launch was carried out on a maritime target in the waters of the Barents Sea,” said the Russian Defense. in its press release.
An undeniable advantage
In mid-August, US Strategic Command Commander Charles Richard, speaking at the annual Space Defense Symposium, acknowledged that Russian hypersonic technology posed a serious challenge for NATO.
According to him, the “Zircon” missile system will provide the Russian Navy with an undeniable advantage in any possible armed naval conflict.
Richard added: “Our current detection system on the ground and in space might not be able to cope with the detection and tracking of these missiles. Therefore, it must be recognized that Russia is the world leader in hypersonic technology If our (Western) defense factories cannot, at a time when unless they can resist it, the ships of the fleets of NATO countries will be exposed to danger.
Great concern at NATO
According to what was published by the “Sputnik” agency, some Western military and specialist analysts have repeatedly referred to the advantages of the “Zircon” missile, and how the news of its successful tests is a source of great concern to the United States. NATO.
American non-nuclear copies
For example, earlier Pentagon spokesman John Kirby described Russian hypersonic systems with possible nuclear equipment as a “destabilizing factor and a marked threat.” He added that these weapons are developed in the United States only through non-nuclear versions.
Unmissable until now
Zircon has a record speed of over 10,000 kilometers per hour, or about Mach nine. And reach a range of up to a thousand kilometers, by land. As for the sea, it reaches 30-40 km, where the air resistance is low. The warhead weighs about 450 kilograms.
Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of the International Arms Trade, explains that “the fleets of Western countries do not yet have air defense systems capable of intercepting Zircon”.
He adds: “The great firing range of our (Russian) ships will allow us to destroy surface and ground targets with almost no response. The missile’s range is far beyond the enemy’s defense range. . “
An imminent threat to aircraft carriers
The Zircon missile is capable of being launched from the same launchers as the B-800 Onyx and Calbir anti-ship missiles. In theory, the small missile ships of the “Buyan-M” and “Karakurt” projects could also carry this missile system. So even small ships will become a threat to the enemy aircraft carrier, as a single warhead strike below the waterline is enough to sink the floating airfield.