Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate conducts newt test launch of Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile

According to a video published by the Russian MoD (Ministry of Defense) on December 11, 2020, Russian Project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov (454) from the Russian Navy has conducted a new test launch of Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile that took place in the White Sea, located on the northwest coast of Russia.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Russian Navy Project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov (454) test launch Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The Zircon hypersonic cruise missile flew at a speed of Mach 8 and successfully hit its coastal target. Another firing test was already conducted by the Admiral Gorshkov frigate of the Russian Navy in early October and November 2020.

The Admiral Gorshkov, Russian designation Project 22350 is the lead ship of his class that was laid down on 1 February 2006 in Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg. She was launched in October 2010 and commissioned in July 2018. The ship was built by Severnaya Verf OJSC for the Russian Navy as a multirole, long-range frigate and used to conduct anti-submarine warfare and escort operations. The Russian Navy has requested 15 such frigates in basic and upgraded versions. As of August 2020, ten vessels have been contracted by the Russian Navy for delivery by 2027.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate has a length of 13 0m, a beam of 16, a draught of 4.5 m, and a displacement of 4,500t. She has an operational range of 4,850 nmi (8,980 km; 5,580 mi) at a speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The maximum speed of the vessel is 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph). The ship as endurance of 30 days and can accommodate about 210 crew members. She has a helipad and hangar able to accommodate one Ka-27 naval helicopter.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate is powered by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) including two 10D49 cruise diesel engines of 5,200 shp (3,900 kW) and combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion systems including two M90FR boost gas turbines of 27,500 shp (20,500 kW).

Frigates of project 22350 have two universal vertical launchers 3S-54 to fire 3M-43 anti-ship missiles (SS-N-27 Sizzler by NATO classification), cruise missiles 3M-14 at stationary ground targets, and antisubmarine 91RT2 missiles of Kalibr complex and 3M-55 Onix anti-ship missiles (SS-N-26 Strobile). Tsirkon is fired by the 3S-14 universal vertical launcher which is also able to fire 3M-54 anti-ship missile (SS-N-27 Sizzler by NATO classification), shipborne cruise missile 3M-14 against ground targets and antisubmarine 91RT2 guided Kalibr missile, as well as 3M-55 (SS-N-26 Strobile) Onix anti-ship missile.

The 3M22 Zircon also spelled as 3M22 Tsirkon is a scramjet-powered maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile currently in testing by Russia. The missile can be fired by warships and submarines of projects 885 and 885M. Bastion coastal launchers can also carry new hypersonic missiles. It has a maximum operational range of 2,000 km and can fly at a maximum altitude of 28 km.

A cruise missile is a guided missile used against terrestrial targets that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at an approximately constant speed of 800 km/h. A hypersonic speed cruise missile would travel at least five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).