TASS Russian news agency
“In 2020, the frigate ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ conducted the trials of sea-launched hypersonic weapons in the White Sea and successfully launched the Tsyrkon [Zircon] hypersonic missile for the first time. In 2021, the ship will also be involved in the tests of hypersonic weapons,”
The trials of the Tsyrkon missile are planned to be finished in 2021, while the serial production of the new weapon is suggested to commence in 2022.
In October 2020, the frigate ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ launched the Tsyrkon missile against a target at a range of 450 km. The weapon covered this distance in 270 seconds, reaching a speed of some Mach 8.0 and a top altitude of 28 km.
Naval News comments:
The first-in-class frigate test fired the Tsirkon (sometimes spelled Zirkon) hypersonic missile four times last year: In December, in early October and in November 2020. The first Tsirkon test launch from a warship was scheduled in late 2019, but took place in January 2020. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate of project 22350 fired the missile from the Barents Sea.
Open sources said the hypersonic 3M-22 missile was designed by NPO-machinostroeniya in Reutov in Moscow region. It is a part of 3K-22 (Tsirkon code) complex which NATO reports as SS-N-33. The missile can develop a speed of Mach 9 and fly at an altitude of 30-40 km where the range and speed increase as air resistance is smaller. Experts estimate the payload at 300-400 kg and the missile length at 8-10 meters. Tsirkon is to be fired from universal vertical launchers 3S-14 on warships and submarines and from Bastion mobile coastal missile launchers.