Russia to equip cruise missile submarine with hypersonic anti-ship missile
Russian state media reports (in Russian) that the 3M22 Zircon (Циркон) hypersonic anti-ship missile will be tested aboard the project 885M SEVERODVINSK Class (aka Yasen Class) K-561 Kazan in 2019. If successful, this weapon could transform the threat posed by Russian cruise missile submarines to Western navies.
Zircon is reported to have a range of 160 nautical miles at a speed of Mach 7. Some claims suggest a range of 540 nautical miles and speeds of Mach 9. In its cruise mode it uses a scramjet to achieve incredible speeds.
Kazan currently carries Kalibr (SS-N-27 SIZZLER) subsonic land-attack cruise missiles and P-800 Oniks (SS-N-26 STROBILE) dual purpose anti-ship and land attack supersonic cruise missiles. It is unclear how many Zircon could be carried, but at a minimum 8 could be accommodated in the submarine’s vertical launch tubes.
The system’s future carriage by the Pr.885 Class submarines was previously reported in December.
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