Tass agency citing sources close to the Northwestern Federal Defense District that Russia will proceed a new test of the 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile, and this before the end of the year. Several statements by Russian officials made this year, including Vladimir Putin himself, the Tsirkon missile will equip soon the Gremyashchiy corvettes du 20385 project, the Udaloy destroyers after modernization (the example given is the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov undergoing modernization), as well as the Antey submarines of project 949-A. In reality, designed to be launched from same silo as that used to fire the 3M54 Kalibr long-range cruise missiles and the P800 Onyx supersonic anti-ship missiles, the Tsirkon could potentially equip a very large number of Russian naval units, ranging from the Buyan-M light corvette to the 636.3 Improved Kilo project submarine, via the frigates 22350 Admiral Gorshkov and number of vessels being modernized. Aware of the advantage that this technology provides, Moscow has also announced development of a shortened version of the missile, the "mini-tsirkon", capable of being deployed by missile launchers and aircraft such as the Su-57.
However, the 3M22 Tsirkon is not an anti-ship missile simply more efficient than its predecessor, the P800 Onyx. With a given range to reach 1000 km, and a speed of Mach 9, the missile is able to provide a significant tactical advantage to the buildings of the Russian fleet compared to their Western counterparts, like theKinzhal hypersonic air-land combat missile . Indeed, the Tsirkon is virtually immunized against all anti-missile defenses in service in the western navies, ranging from anti-missile missile to the CIWS system, thanks to its velocity far exceeding the maximum interception speeds for which the defense were provided. In addition, this very high speed reduces the reaction time of the target, or its escort, to such an extent that the procedures applied on Western vessels are currently unsuitable for responding to this threat. Finally, its range greatly exceeds the maximum range of all anti-ship missiles in service in the West.
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