MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. The current cruise of the frigate The Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Tsirkon (Zircon) cruise missiles, across the Atlantic does not threaten the United States, but merely shows the flag of Russia, military analyst Vladimir Karnozov has told TASS.
On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that in the western part of the Atlantic the frigate had practiced a strike with a Tsirkon hypersonic missile on a sea target more than 900 kilometers away.
"This is an anti-ship missile. It cannot threaten any ground targets. We held such firing practice with anti-ship missiles in Syria against ground targets, but that was done just for testing, to see if such tactic works. In general, using ship-based missiles for strikes against ground targets is wasteful," he said.
Karnozov noted that the main function of the frigate's voyage was political. "It is very symbolic that the first ship carrying hypersonic missiles has already begun a combat mission. These surface ships are quite remarkable, because they perform a political function - they show the flag. This is very important, because when such a ship enters some ports, then the local media will report the news and say that the vessel paying a visit is not an ordinary one, but a ship carrying a certain type of missiles," the expert concluded.
The voyage of a group of ships consisting of the frigate The Admiral Gorshkov and medium class sea-going tanker The Kama began on January 4 under the command of Captain 1st Class Oleg Gladky, the commander the Northern Fleet’s division of missile ships. The Defense Ministry said that in February a number of joint exercises are to be held off South Africa jointly with the South African Navy and the Navy of the People's Liberation Army of China.
The Admiral Gorshkov profile
The Admiral Gorshkov is the lead multi-purpose frigate of project 22350 meant for operation in the blue water zone. Built at the Severnaya Verf shipyards (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation), it joined the Russian Navy in July 2018.
The Tsirkon (Zircon) is Russia’s new generation hypersonic missile designed and manufactured by the Military-Industrial Corporation Research and Industrial Association of Machine Building (MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia, part of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation, KTRV) in Reutov, near Moscow.