As sources in Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed today, 3M22 anti-shipping missile, also known as Zircon reached the speed of Mach=8 on its trials. This is insane and this is also not-interceptable by any known or perspective air-defense systems. Moreover, more became known about its range, stated to be around 400 kilometers, what this "around" means nobody knows but it was speculated for a while that it is up to 500 kilometers. But that is not what really matters in this news. For me it was a surprise--it was confirmed that Zircon will be launched from standard 3C14 VLS system which is installed on all new Russian frigates and corvettes this adding to Kalibr and Onyx carrying capability. These are not good news for opponents surface component, in fact, these are very very bad news since this capability will be distributed across most platforms, current and perspective, Russian Navy deploys.
Strategic and operational implications, as I wrote not for once, are immense. Coming of Zircon will change naval warfare forever and will redefine the nature of Sea Denial and A2/AD and it will influence a design and tactics of surface (and submarines) combatants. Littorals and Remote Sea Zones are about to become a whole lot more dangerous, and I mean a whole lot, like on the order of magnitude. In the end, this is what Russians always were striving for with their constant focus on cost/effectiveness ratio. Currently US Naval Institute Proceedings has my article precisely on that--I don't know if they will accept, I should by the end of April. If not, I will gladly share will all (or on UNZ Review) with my thoughts on the revolutionary change in naval tactics and operations which even single salvo of two Zircons will bring about. We live in a very dangerous time, we also live inside a game-changing in warfare and this one is a real Revolution In Military Affairs (RMA) which came from very unexpected (for most US military analysts) quarters.
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