Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Coming Of Zircon.

As Interfax reports (In Russian), the first launch of a brand new hyper-sonic missile Zircon (3M22) from the sea platform will happen in the Spring of 2017. The missile, upon completion of trials, will be deployed on both surface ships and subs. Initially those will be both Russian Navy's Nuclear Missile Cruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Peter The Great, and all Yasen-class (project.885) SSGNs, and their follow up Husky-class SSGNs. 

I am not going to lie, I am impressed with the speed with which Zirkon is coming but then again, it is a revolutionary weapon which will change the naval paradigm and most people with even rudimentary understanding of missile weapons can appreciate the fact that even a single missile capable of M=6 and the range of somewhere between 400 and 1000 kilometers is, basically, not interceptable by any existing naval air-defense system. Russia invested a lot in it. A salvo of such weapons will, with a very high probability, ensure a defeat of an opponent. Zircon is an ultimate Sea Denial weapon, albeit, depending on the naval views it can be construed as a Sea Control one. But, considering the philosophy behind Soviet/Russian anti-shipping missile development, Zircon is a Sea Denial weapon which fits perfectly into the Russian view of A2/AD. Russia's A2/AD starts in what is known as DMZ (Remote Sea Zone) and it is this edge (aka Kromka) where platforms carrying this weapon will have to counter any effort to undermine Russia's security. Zircon also, undeniably, is the part of Russia's conventional strategic containment  and ocean deployment of the latest Russia Navy's SSGNs armed with this missile will serve this purpose. It will be fascinating to observe the change in naval thinking in the coming years.

No comments:

Post a Comment