Russia will condut test-launch of Tsirkon hypersonic missile from Severodvinsk Yasen-class submarine

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on July 25, 2021, in August 2021, Russia will conduct a test-launch of Tsirkon hypersonic missile from Yasen-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk (K-560).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian Navy Yasen-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk K-560. (Picture source Twitter account WarshipPorn)

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on July 19 that the frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov had successfully test-launched a Tsirkon hypersonic missile at a ground target. The missile flew at Mach 7 across a distance of over 350 km.

The Tsirkon also called 3M22 Zircon is an anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile fully designed and developed by the Russian defense industry.

The range of the Tsirkon missile is estimated to be 135 to 270 nautical miles (250 to 500 km) at low level, and up to 400 nautical miles (740 km) in a semi-ballistic trajectory. According to Russian media, the missile could reach a maximum firing range of 540 nautical miles (1,000 km) and for this purpose, a new fuel was created.

The Zircon missile can fly at a speed of Mach 8–Mach 9 (9,800–11,025 km/h). This has led to concerns that it could penetrate existing naval defense systems. Zircon exchanges information in flight and can be controlled by commands if necessary.

In the future, Russian navy submarines and surface ships will be equipped with the Tsirkon hypersonic missile systems.

The Severodvinsk (K-560) is a Yasen class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy and the lead vessel of the class. The submarine was handed over to the Russian Navy in late December 2013. The flag-raising ceremony was held on 17 June 2014, marking its introduction into the Russian Navy.

The Yasen class, Russian designations Project 885 Yasen and Project 885M Yasen-M, also referred to as Graney class, are a series of the newest nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines designed by Malakhit and being constructed by Sevmash for the Russian Navy. Based on the Akula class and Alfa class designs, the Yasen class is projected to replace the Russian Navy's current Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines.

The Yasen-class nuclear submarines can be armed with land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine missiles including the P-800 Oniks SLCM, Kalibr family SLCM or 3M51 SLCM. Kalibr-PL has several variants including the 3M54K (terminal-supersonic) and 3M54K1 (subsonic) anti-ship, 91R1 anti-submarine, and the 3M14K land-attack variant.