MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu informed Russian senators on Wednesday about the flight development tests of the Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic missile.
"The flight development tests of the Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic missile are under way," the defense chief said at a plenary session in the upper house of Russia’s parliament.
Two sources in the domestic defense industry earlier told TASS that Russia would speed up the test launches of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile from the seaborne delivery vehicles.
As the sources specified, the test-launches of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile from Yasen-class submarines will begin already this year along with the continued series of test-firings from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov.
The first test-launches from an underwater delivery vehicle are expected to be carried out from the submarine Severodvinsk from the surface position, the sources said.
Tsirkon hypersonic missile
In his State-of-the-Nation Address to the Federal Assembly in February 2019, 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. Putin specified at the time that there were plans to deploy Tsirkon on serial-produced surface ships and submarines, including the warships built or under construction for Kalibr cruise missiles.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said in November 2019 that 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. In December 2019, Head of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov said that it would be possible to deploy Tsirkon hypersonic missiles on all Russian ships of new Projects.
The Project 22350 lead frigate Admiral Gorshkov displaces 4,500 tonnes and is 135 meters long. It carries Kalibr cruise missiles as its main armament.