Russia developing hypersonic missile system to up the ante in Ukraine war


A system designed to launch one of Russia’s most vaunted hypersonic missiles should be ready for use by the end of the year, state media reported.

Tass news agency said a launch system for the Tsirkon missile was being developed at the famous NPO Mashinostroyenia rocket design bureau in Reutov, near Moscow, which Newsweek contacted for comment.

A military source told the agency that the coastal missile system is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy “by the end of 2022”.

Another source said the new system will have the capability to strike land and sea targets. This would give it the same capability as its predecessor, the Bastion, which deploys Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.

Anatoly Svintsov, deputy general director of NPO Mashinostroeniya, told the military TV channel Zvezda that while there were aviation and maritime versions of the Tsirkon, his factory had been ordered “to intensify work on the creation of a marine version of the rocket”. .”

The report on the development of the missile system comes as the Russian Navy plays an increasingly critical role in the war in Ukraine.

Russia reportedly loaded Kalibr cruise missiles on two Varshavyanka submarines in the Black Sea this week, just days after it was reported that the United States would target the Russian fleet to release grain stuck in ports Ukrainians.

Prior to his invasion of Ukraine, Putin repeatedly bragged about the capabilities of his country’s hypersonic missiles, which are faster and more agile than standard missiles and harder for defense systems to intercept.

Over the past two and a half years, Russia said it had tested the Tsirkon missile several times from its Northern Fleet ship. Admiral Gorshkov. Moscow says it can hit targets up to 660 miles away.

At Mach 9, the Tsirkon missile is at the low end of the hypersonic spectrum. As Newsweek previously reported, unlike pure hypersonic missiles which rely on scramjets, it is believed to be a hybrid cruise missile and ballistic missile. Experts have warned it could overwhelm America’s Aegis combat system.

In March, Russia said it used hypersonic missiles for the first time in the Ukraine war, targeting a military warehouse in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region with its brand new Kinzhal weapon.

Moscow is stepping up talks about its missile capabilities. Last month, Russia tested the Sarmat nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile, also known as the Satan II, which President Vladimir Putin said would make adversaries “think twice”.

Meanwhile, Kremlin-backed television stations have repeatedly threatened missile strikes at Western countries that support Kyiv forces.

Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate tests the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile from the White Sea towards a land target on the Barents Sea coast more than 200 miles away in this photo released in July 2021. Russia’s Tass agency reported that a missile system for the Tsirkon is under development.
Russian Ministry of Defense

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