MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Tsirkon hypersonic missiles and Skif missiles hiding at the ocean bottom are part of the arsenal of the Russian Armed Forces, ex-Chief of the Aerospace Force and Head of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev said on Tuesday.
"As of today, we have in our arsenal unique strategic bombers (Tu-160 aircraft), tactical missile systems with powerful ballistic and cruise missiles (the Iskander family of missile systems), Sarmat heavy missile complexes, air defense missile systems (S-400s), intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered missile cruisers with powerful anti-ship missiles (the Tsirkon hypersonic missile) and Skif bottom missiles," he said.
Out of the three basic military branches, the Aerospace Force "bears special brunt" at the new stage of the scientific and technological revolution, the ex-commander said.
"The Syria campaign shows that subsequent wars will also embrace the space sphere. It is impossible to counter modern means with a rifle in one’s hand, a submachine-gun and even a machine-gun. That is why, the development and production of the PAK DP (the Perspective Airborne Complex of Long-Range Intercept), new missiles and strike unmanned aerial vehicles [drones] is coming to the fore," he said.
Precision weapons and the development of the strategic nuclear forces "designated as priorities of the new stage of the Russian armament system make it possible to fulfil the tasks assigned by the head of state," the senator stressed.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov earlier told journalists that the first pop-up tests of the most advanced Sarmat missile were scheduled for late 2017.
As a source in the defense industry told TASS, Russia’s latest Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile had reached eight times the speed of sound during the tests. As other sources in the Russian defense sector earlier told TASS, the Tsirkon is undergoing state trials this year. After the missile is accepted for service, it is designed, in particular, to replenish the ammunition load of the heavy missile cruisers Pyotr Veliky and Admiral Nakhimov.
According to public data, the Skif experimental design work envisages developing a transport and launching container for ballistic missiles, which will make it possible to launch them from a big depth.