Defense

The 1st launch of the Hypersonic “Zircon” from a Sub to be performed not earlier than June

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The first test launch of the hypersonic Zircon (Tsirkon) from a submarine – the Yasen class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk – will not be completed until June, according to the Russian official news agency TASS, cited a high ranking military source.

K-560 Severodvinsk (Image: Wikipedia)

“The first test launch of Zircon from Severodvinsk can be performed at the earliest in June. There is no exact date for the start of tests yet,” the source stated.

According to another TASS source, “a decision has been made to speed up the tests of the Zircons, which will now run in parallel with the ships and submarines” “The frigate will fire twice during the year as part of flight design tests, and up to four times in the framework of joint state tests. In parallel, in the summer, flight tests of Zircon will begin from a submarine. It is planned to carry out up to four launches, the first from the surface position. The tests will begin with Severodvinsk. In case of their success, it is planned to take Zircon into service with both types of platforms in the first half of 2022 “he said.

The Reutov NPO Mashinostroeniya, where the Zircons were developed and produced, did not comment on the information of the sources.

Earlier, another TASS source said that the Zircon test launch program in 2020 was successfully and fully completed, three launches were made from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, two against sea targets, one against ground targets.

Admiral Gorshkov Zircon Hypersonic Missile - Naval Post
Admiral Gorshkov Firing Zircon (Image: Russian Mod)

According to the source, the Zircon’s flight range when working on ground targets will be about 1,500 km, on surface targets – a little less. Earlier it was supposed to take “Zircon” into service in 2023.

Severodvinsk (K-560)

K-560 Severodvinsk is a Yasen class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy and the lead vessel of the class. The submarine is named after the city of Severodvinsk. The construction of the submarine started in 1993 and was first planned to be launched in 1998. However budgetary problems delayed the construction for years, and it was only launched on 15 June 2010. Severodvinsk has begun its sea trials on 12 September 2011 and it returned from the first voyage by 6 October 2011. Severodvinsk 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.

Specifications of Yasen Class Submarines

Displacement:Surfaced: 8,600 tons
Submerged: 13,800 tons
Length:139.2 m (457 ft)
Beam:13 m (43 ft)
Propulsion:OK-650KPM pressurized water reactor 200 MWt turbines of 43,000 shp
Speed:Surfaced: 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Submerged (silent): 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Submerged (max): 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)[8]
Range:Unlimited
Endurance:Only limited by food and maintenance requirements
Test depth:Safe depth: 1,475 feet (450m)
Never exceed depth: 1,804 feet (580m)
Crush depth: 2,160 feet (658m)

3M22 Zircon

The 3M22 Zircon also spelled as 3M22 Tsirkon is a scramjet-powered maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile currently in testing by Russia.

Length8–10 m
Warhead weight300-400 kg
EngineScramjet
Operational
range
1,000 – 2,000 km (depending on the type of target)
Flight altitude28 km (17 mi)
Maximum speedMach 8–Mach 9 (6,090–6,851 mph; 9,800–11,025 km/h; 2,722.3–3,062.6 m/s)
Launch
platform
Submarine, Surface ship,
Land-based (in development)

Check out Naval Library App to find out more about the specifications of Yasen Class Submarines and Zircon Missile.

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