Russia Navy wants to equip all its frigates & corvettes with Zircon missiles

According to information published by RIA on June 22, 2023, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, shared significant insights into the future of Russia's naval warfare capabilities.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the Russian Zircon missile. (Picture source: solenka)

Admiral Evmenov confirmed that all frigates and corvettes currently under construction, as well as those planned for the future, will be equipped with the advanced Zircon hypersonic missiles.

However, Admiral Evmenov also highlighted that the Navy would continue to rely on the Oniks and Kalibr cruise missiles. These missiles have demonstrated their robustness and reliability in various operational settings, and hence, will remain integral to the Navy's arsenal.

Further emphasizing the importance of the Zircon missiles in Russia's defense strategy, President Vladimir Putin announced in February that mass deliveries of the sea-launched Zircon hypersonic missiles to the nation's armed forces are set to commence in 2023.


Initiated by a solid-fuel booster, the missile reaches supersonic speeds before its scramjet motor, fueled by liquid Decilin, propels it into the hypersonic range.

Its operational capabilities are expansive, with an average range of 400-450 km. However, advancements in fuel technology, as highlighted by Russian sources in 2017, suggest a potential for distances up to 1,000 km. There are speculations online about even further ranges, contingent on the target type.

One of Zircon's defining traits is its stealth. As it cruises at hypersonic velocities, it forms a plasma cloud, effectively shielding it from most radar detections, a phenomenon known as the plasma stealth effect. This stealth, however, has a double edge, as it can obscure the missile's onboard radar or IR seeker.

Its agility is complemented by its ability to exchange information mid-flight, permitting on-the-go adjustments. Measuring 9 meters in length and 60 cm in diameter, the Zircon offers versatile warhead options, from high-explosive to nuclear, weighing between 300-400 kg.

The missile's adaptability is further showcased by its varied launch platforms, which include submarines, surface ships, and emerging land-based systems.