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Russia completes flight trials of Tsirkon hypersonic missile from surface ships


Russia has completed flight tests of its advanced Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, with launches from a surface ship, namely the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, a source close to the Russian defense ministry has told TASS.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001Admiral Gorshkov frigate with Tsirkon hypersonic missile (Picture source: Russian MoD)


"The flight tests of Tsirkon, with launches from a coastal mount and <…> Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov frigate have been successfully completed. Over 10 launches were performed, the latest of them in July," the source said.

According to the source, the next series of Tsirkon trials is to begin in November. Tests are expected to continue next year. After that, the delivery of the missiles to the Russian armed forces will begin.

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

On August 24, Russia’s Defense Ministry has signed a contract with a defense contractor on the delivery of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Russian troops during the Army-2021 defense forum. According to NPO Mashinostroenia CEO Alexander Leonov, it has to be fulfilled by 2025.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Tsirkon hypersonic missiles capable of flying at Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound) and striking targets at over 1,000 km would go on combat alert soon.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on July 19 that the frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov had successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic missile at a ground target. The missile flew at Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound) across a distance of over 350 km.

 

About Tsirkon hypersonic missile

The Tsirkon is a ship-launched hypersonic cruise missile capable of traveling at speeds of between Mach 6 and Mach 8. The missile is reportedly capable of striking both ground and naval targets. According to Russian news sources, Tsirkon has a range of between approximately 400 and 965 km and can be fired from the vertical launch systems mounted on cruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Veliky, Project 20380 corvettes, Project 22350 frigates, and Project 885 Yasen-class submarines, among other platforms.


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