In March 2016, the Russian Defense Industry began tests of the new Tsirkon 3M22 hypersonic missile, which is designed to be carried by advanced and modernized warships and submarines. Production of the missile is expected to be launched in 2017. The Admiral Nakhimov and the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruisers will be the first to receive the new weapons.
On October 25, Russia successfully tested a hypersonic warhead for advanced intercontinental missiles. The hypersonic vehicle (known under the development codename Izdelie 4202) was launched from a range in the Orenburg Region and reached to the Kura range in Kamchatka.
It is worth to note that the electronic systems, onboard electronic equipment and control system of Izdelie 4202 were developed and manufactured in Russia, as part of a large-scale import substitution industrial plan.
Earlier, Boris Obnosov, director of Tactical Missiles Corporation, said that Russia is developing hypersonic flying vehicles. At the same time, Commander of the Russian Missile and Artillery Forces Lt. Gen. Mikhail Matveevsky said Russia is developing a new advanced type of warheads. On October 6, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia used newest Kh-101 hypersonic missiles with a range of up to 4,500 km during its military operation in Syria.
A vehicle can be described hypersonic if it can reach speeds of over 4,500 kmh. A hypersonic vehicle cannot be propelled with a regular jet engine. It requires the use of a ramjet engine with supersonic combustion. Russia developed a brand-new type of fuel, the Detsilin-M, with a 20 percent increase in energy capacity.
fter a hypersonic vehicle accelerates to the designated speed it begins maneuverable flight in the atmosphere in high-temperature conditions. At hypersonic speeds, a vehicle is enveloped in a plasma cloud which can burn down the antennas, sensors and control devices. In such conditions, the most advanced materials and technologies are required to enable operation of the control and target-acquiring systems of the vehicle.
Some hypersonic warhead might reach speeds of nearly Mach 15 (seven km per second) at an altitude of 100 km. Before entering the dense atmosphere it performs a complicated maneuver to penetrate the enemy missile defense. Hypersonic weapons can overcome any of the existing types of missile defense, which can intercept an ICBM in a more predictable ballistic trajectory.