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3M22 Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile to be Fitted Aboard Russian Navy Corvettes & Frigates

Naval Forces News - Russia
3M22 Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile to be Fitted Aboard Russian Navy Corvettes & Frigates
The deployment of Tsirkon new anti-ship hypersonic cruise missiles on the Russian Navy’s corvettes and frigates is envisaged by Russia’s state armament plan for 2018-2027, a source in the country’s defense industry told TASS on Tuesday.
According to rumors, the Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile (pictured here at Defexpo 2014) is the export variant of the Russian 3M22 Zircon missile.
"The naval component of the new state armament plan prioritizes building Project 20385 and 20386 corvettes and Project 23350 and 23350M frigates with precision weapons that include Kalibr-NK cruise missiles and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles," the source said to the agency.

TASS has no official confirmation of the said information.

The Russian Navy operates five Project 20380 corvettes and another five are under construction. Russian shipbuilders have laid down two corvettes of the modernized Project 20385 and a corvette of Project 20386. Possibly, the order for these warships will be increased and their construction will begin at the Yantar Shipyard in the western Kaliningrad Region (currently, the corvettes are under construction at the St. Petersburg-based Northern Wharf Shipyard and the Amur Shipyard in the Far East), the source said.

Project 955A SSBN analysis 5Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov frigate
Four Project 22350 frigates under construction at the Northern Wharf Shipyard are at various stages of their readiness.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced in April that the new state armament program "sets the task of completing the development of principally new types of hypersonic weapons and delivering them to the troops." Russian senator and former commander of Russia’s Aerospace Force Viktor Bondarev said in late November that Russia possessed Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.

Russia’s new state armament plan stipulates allocating 19 trillion rubles ($324 billion) for weapons deliveries and 1 trillion rubles ($17 billion) for synchronizing these efforts. The new state armament plan prioritizes developing nuclear deterrence forces and delivering precision weapons to the troops.

According to the data available as of December 18, the program’s final version had not yet been submitted to Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing.
Project 955A SSBN analysis 7Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile scale model on display at DEFEXPO 2016
Tsirkon missiles
As another source in the Russian defense industry told TASS earlier, Tsirkon missiles can be launched with the help of a universal shipborne platform with ZS-14 launchers that are also used for Kalibr and Oniks missiles. Precisely this platform is mounted on Project 20380 corvettes and Project 22350 frigates.

According to public data, the Tsirkon has a firing range of about 400 km and its maximum speed is indicated in the range of 4-6 Mach.

As a source in the defense industry told TASS, the Tsirkon missile reached a speed of 8 Mach during flight tests in April.

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Navy Recognition comment:
Navy Recognition understands that early rumors indicate the Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile may be an export variant of the Zircon (just as the BrahMos missile share many similarities with the Russian P-800 Oniks missile).

It was recently announced that Russia's current UKSK VLS would be upgraded to the UKSK-M variant. UKSK-M can fire both operational and perspective missiles. Izvestia said the launcher is designed to transport and fire perspective hypersonic 3M22 missiles from the 3K22 complex (codename Tsirkon).

More details on 3M22 and 3K22 Tsirkon system at this link.