Russia successfully tests a hypersonic Zircon missile from a submarine: a new type of weapon considered invincible and which worries the USA
Sylvie Claire / October 4, 2021
The Russian fleet has tested a Zircon hypersonic missile for the first time from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, noting that the firing was a success.
According to the statement, which was published on the Telegram messenger, the missile landed as planned on a practice target in the Barents Sea in northern Russia.
A video, released by the ministry, shows the craft taking off in a burst of light in the middle of the night.
The first official launch of a Zircon missile dates back to October 2020, with Russian President Vladimir Putin hailing it a great event at the time. Other tests have taken place since, notably from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov.
These tests worry the West, in particular the United States.
The shooting comes as negotiations between Moscow and Washington on strategic stability have quietly resumed after the June meeting between Presidents Putin and Joe Biden.
The issue of arms control is a major point of these negotiations, which aim to calm down very deteriorated bilateral relations and to curb a new arms race.
Against a backdrop of tensions with Western countries, Russia has in recent years multiplied its announcements of new weapons presented as invincible by Mr Putin.
The Zircon is one of these. With a maximum range of around 1,000 kilometers, it is to be used on surface ships and submarines in the Russian fleet.
Several other weapons, such as the hypersonic Kinjal missile for the air force and the nuclear-powered Bourevestnik missile, are under development.
For their part, the first Avangard next-generation hypersonic missiles, capable of reaching a speed of Mach 27 and changing course and altitude, were put into service in the Russian military in December 2019.