Russia’s new hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missile has reached eight times the speed of sound during the test, a source with Russia’s defense sector told.
“During the tests of the missile it was confirmed that its speed on the march reaches eight Mach [number that takes into account the dependence of the speed of sound on the altitude of flight],” the source said.
He did not specify when and from which platform the missile was launched.
The source noted that Zircon missiles can be launched from universal launching platforms 3C14 which are also used for the Onyx and Caliber missiles.
Earlier other sources in Russian defense industry told TASS that Zircon missiles will be tested this year. It is expected that the new missiles will be installed at the heave nuclear-powered cruisers Peter the Great and Admiral Nakhimov.
Zircon’s firing range, according to open data, is about 400 kilometers; the maximum speed of the missile is indicated in about 4-6 Mach.
Hypersonic weapons are missiles and aircraft capable of reaching speeds of Mach 5 and more – or five times the speed of sound. They are extremely difficult to intercept due to their overwhelming speed and maneuvering capabilities. Hypersonic technologies in general, used in weapons systems and prospective aircraft, were seen by experts as a game changer in future warfare.