TASS News Agency
The combat readiness of the Russian Naval Forces will increase after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, German Navy Chief Vice Admiral Jan Christian Kaack said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
“When I look at the new Russian naval doctrine, this service of the armed forces has a higher priority than before,” Kaack said. He supposed that the Russian Navy would come out of the conflict in Ukraine substantially stronger.
“We currently see a continuous construction of highly effectively equipped modern units. Units will be equipped with supersonic weapons or Iskander ballistic missiles. We have to be prepared for that”
Jan Christian Kaack, German Navy Chief Vice Admiral
He also said that he took it very seriously that a new type of hypersonic antiship missile called Tsirkon would soon enter service with the Russian Navy.
“At the bottom of the Baltic Sea, but also in the Atlantic, there is some critical infrastructure for IT, such as pipelines or underwater cables. Countries like Estonia can quickly turn off the lights and there are threats to global communications structures that require special attention,” Kaack added.
At the Navy parade in St. Petersburg on July 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the delivery of advanced Tsirkon hypersonic missile systems to the Russian Armed Forces would start in the coming months. The Northern Fleet’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be the first surface carrier of these missiles. According to Putin, military hardware operational with the Russian Navy is constantly improved.
Earlier, a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS that the Tsirkon missile designed for Russian surface ships might be made operational in September 2022.
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Tsirkon: Future Hypersonic Missile of the Russian Navy
Open sources said the hypersonic 3M-22 missile was designed by NPO-machinostroeniya in Reutov in the Moscow region. It is a part of the 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. The missile is to be fired from universal vertical launchers 3S-14 on warships and submarines and from Bastion mobile coastal missile launchers.
The first-in-class frigate Admiral Gorshkov test-fired the Tsirkon (sometimes spelled Zirkon) hypersonic missile in January 2020. After the first shipborne test-fire, the Russian carried out a bunch of live trials of the missile in 2020 and 2021. One of the most important milestones was launching Tsirkon from Yasen-class submarine K-560 Severodvinsk, which took place on 04 October 2021.
Russian Navy deployed (or announced to deploy) the missiles to Admiral Gorshkov-class and Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, Gremyashchiy class corvettes, as well as Yasen-class submarines.