SOCHI, December 2. /TASS/. The Russian Navy should build up its combat potential in coming years, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
"In the coming years, it is necessary to actively build up the Navy’s combat capabilities. This largely depends on the planned delivery of frigates and submarines upgraded for employing Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Navy’s combat structure," the Russian leader said while opening the 14th series of meetings on defense.
This task requires achieving coordinated work of the government, the military command, the defense industry and research organizations, the president stressed.
The hypersonic weapons in the Fleet are becoming extremely important to maintain strategic stability, Putin noted.
The Russian leader also stressed the need to continue the deliveries of destroyers and universal amphibious assault ships to the Navy.
"I request you to report in detail today about how the work on ships of new projects and their armament is proceeding," Putin said, addressing the meeting’s participants.
Tsirkon hypersonic missile
In his State-of-the-Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on February 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the work on the Tsirkon hypersonic missile was proceeding as scheduled. As the Russian leader said, the Tsirkon is capable of developing a speed of Mach 9 and its striking range capability can exceed 1,000 km. The Russian leader also said that the Tsirkon could strike both naval and ground targets. Experts say the Tsirkon hypersonic missile cannot be intercepted by any existing air defense capabilities.
A source in the defense industry told TASS in late 2018 that more than ten Tsirkon launches had been carried out against naval targets to ranges of several hundred kilometers since the start of the missile’s trials. According to media reports, the missile firings from a sea platform were conducted in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Russian warships and submarines currently armed with Kalibr or Oniks cruise missiles are expected to carry Tsirkon hypersonic weapons. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said on November 8 there were plans to deploy Tsirkon missiles on the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov currently undergoing modernization and on the Project 949A multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarine Irkutsk. Before that, Russian President Putin said that the corvette Gremyashchiy might be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.