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Russia to test-launch Zircon missile from a frigate at the end of 2019

Russian hypersonic missile, the Zircon, will for the first time be launched from a military vessel at the end of 2019, a source in the Russian military-industrial complex told TASS.

Russia to test launch Zircon missile from a frigate at the end of 2019 Zircon missile launching trials from a naval vessel may start at the end of 2019 (Picture source : Russia's Defense Ministry press service)

"Trials of launching a missile from a naval vessel are planned to start at the end of the year. The Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate, also known as Project 22350, from the Northern Fleet will be used," the source said, adding that earlier trials included launching Zircon missiles from land. TASS does not have an official confirmation of this information.

As a reminder, the Zircon missile is an hypersonic weapon that differs from previous generations by a bigger ability to destroy aircraft carriers, thanks to low vulnerability, bigger payload and flight speed. The blast is scheduled to even sink big displacement ships.

Hypersonic speed makes the Zirkon less vulnerable than the previous missile generations. All R&D is classified, but open sources said the missile can accelerate to Mach 5-10 speed and destroy targets at distances of 300-500 km. The antiship missiles can be engaged in a group as a single self-coordinated swarm. It makes it impossible to repel the strike.

The antiship missiles can also hit ground targets with known coordinates. Such a possibility is specifically important in coastal areas where corvettes and submarines have to both fight the adversary and back the ground forces.

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