Wednesday, January 12, 2022

3M22 Zircon Is Officially Accepted For Service.

 For surface ships as standard weapon system. TASS reports:

Translation:  MOSCOW, January 13. / TASS /. Based on the results of state tests, the State Commission recommended that the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile be deployed on surface ships of the Russian Navy. This was reported to TASS by a source close to the military department. "Based on the results of state tests of the Zircon hypersonic missile from a surface carrier, the State Commission recommended that it be adopted by surface ships of the Russian Navy," he said. According to the interlocutor of the agency, tests of Zircon from an underwater carrier after two successful launches performed in the fall of 2021 should continue in 2024.

At this stage the carriers of Zirkon are FFGs pr. 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov-class), pr. 20385 Corvettes and modernized pr. 1155 FFGs, Udaloy-class (see Marshal Shaposhnikov). All in all we can see already at least 5 Zircon carriers afloat in Russia's surface fleet with the number growing to 11 by mid 2020s, which, by that time submarine carriers of Zircon also adding to the number of carriers. Welcome to the new era of the naval warfare. I assume that some of the Karakurts (pr. 22800) and pr. 21631 Buyan class will also be able to carry Zircon or its "smaller" 500 kilometer range version Zircon Llite. And, of course, once completed, Admiral Nakhimov nuclear battlecruiser will carry a shitload of Zircons. We can only guess how many, since among 174 VLS on Nakhimov, 80 will be loaded with anti-surface missiles. Now, we expect new Vladimir Putin's address to Federal Assembly fairly soon (it was expected, quoting Peskov, "early in 2022"), so will see what other things Putin will be talking about. That gives a new meaning to Russia demanding the US to either accept or decline officially the terms of Russia's security arrangement. Introduction of Zircon into service also means, most likely, that land-based version is either ready or is nearing a completion. Not that Russia doesn't have other means to make NATO feel very nervous. New M=12+ and 1500 kilometer range 3M22M for surface combatants is most likely not far away either.

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