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Trial launches of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles from surface vessel to begin next month

In all, five missile launches are planned and they will be aimed at sea and ground targets

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Russia's state trials of Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile launches from the Northern Fleet’s frigate Admiral Gorshkov are scheduled to begin next month, a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS on Saturday.

"State trials of Tsirkon will begin in November and will last until December 2021," the source said. "In all, five missile launches are planned and they will be aimed at sea and ground targets."

On Thursday, the Northern Fleet’s press office reported that the Admiral Gorshkov struck air and sea targets with missiles during drills in the Barents Sea.

The Tsirkon multi-purpose hypersonic missile is designated to strike sea and ground targets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Tsirkon hypersonic missiles capable of flying at Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound) and striking targets at over 1,000 km would go on combat alert soon.

Russia intends to outfit its submarines and surface ships with Tsirkon hypersonic missile systems.

Admiral Gorshkov vessel

The frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov is among the Northern Fleet’s most advanced warships. It was built at the Severnaya Verf Shipyard in St. Petersburg in Russia’s northwest and made operational in the Fleet in July 2018.

Earlier in the year, the frigate Admiral Gorshkov participated in the trials of Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles. During the trials, the warship performed several successful missile firings.

The Admiral Gorshkov is the Project 22350 lead frigate. Warships of this class displace 4,500 tonnes and can develop a speed of up to 29 knots. They are armed with Oniks and Kalibr missile launchers, and also with Poliment-Redut surface-to-air missile systems.

Project 22350 frigates are multi-purpose combat ships capable of effectively fighting enemy surface ships, aircraft and submarines and delivering strikes against ground and coastal installations to a range of over 1,500 km.