AFP
Putin Announces Russian Navy to Deploy Zircon Missiles by Year’s End

Putin Announces Russian Navy to Deploy Zircon Missiles by Year’s End November 4, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Russian Navy is set to deploy the world’s first-class of the hypersonic cruise missile, the Zircon, by the end of 2019. Putin declared the development during an inspection of the new corvette Gremyashchiy at a shipyard in the Kaliningrad region. The warship is expected to enter service in December 2019. President Putin stated regarding the launch of the new ship: “the Zircons will certainly be there.” The missile is expected to have a speed exceeding Mach 8 and a range of over 1000 km.

The Zircon is set to equip much of Russia’s fleet including attack submarines such as the Kilo Class and newly refurbished Kirov Class battlecruisers - the latter fielding these alongside hypersonic air defences and having the potential to deploy over 100 of these missiles should they be outfitted as dedicated ship hunters. Warships fielded by the United States and its allies currently rely on the Harpoon missile for ship hunting duties - the most capable variant of which is expected to enter service in the early 2020s with a range of approximately 300km.

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