April 23, 2016

New Russian mach 6 hypersonic missile will enter production 2018 and then be used on ships, submarines, bombers

Russia's 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is expected to enter into production in 2018. The new weapon-which is capable of speeds of around Mach 5.0-Mach 6.0 is currently in testing

The hypersonic missile-which is a component of the 3K22 Zircon system-will be incorporated into the nuclear-powered Project 11442 Orlan -class battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky When it completes its overhaul in late 2022. Sister ship Admiral Nakhimov -which is currently being modernized-will likely be the first Russian warship equipped with the new missile When it returns to service in 2018.

The new missiles would replace the two battle cruisers' 390-mile range P-700 Granit supersonic anti-ship missile armament. Zircon while the range will likely be shorter-about 250 miles-its sheer speed will make it extremely kettle to intercept with current missile defense technology.

Moscow plans to refit the two giant warships with at 3S-14 vertical launch systems-each-which carries or eight rounds. The Addition of the 3S-14 would enable each ship to carry eighty cruise missiles onboard. The ships would carry a mix of Zircon and long-range cruise missiles Cal.

Zircon will be built in air and submarine-launched versions. It will be used onboard Russia's next-generation Husky -class nuclear attack submarines. But there's no reason the same weapons could not be used onboard Russia's existing fleet of conventional and nuclear submarines like the Project 855m Yasen- class or older Project 971 Shchuka-B -class submarines.

The Russians are expected to use hypersonic missiles onboard the both the new production Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack and the developmental Tupolev PAK DA stealth bomber. The combination of a long-range bomber and hypersonic cruise missiles would be a dangerous threat to the US and its allies

SOURCE - National Interest

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