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, Udaloy destroyers after modernization (the given example is the Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer being modernized), as well as Antey submarines of project 949-A. In fact, designed to be able to be launched from the same silo as that used to fire the 3M54 Kalibr long-range cruise missiles and 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 upgraded. Aware of the advantage provided by this technology, Moscow has also announced the development of a shortened version of the missile, the "mini-tsirkon", capable of being implemented by missile patrol boats as well as aircraft such as the Su-57.
However, the 3M22 Tsirkon is not an anti-ship missile simply more powerful than its predecessor, the P800 Onyx. With a range given to reach 1000 km, and a speed of Mach 9, the missile is able to provide a significant tactical advantage to the ships of the Russian fleet against their Western counterparts, like the Kinzhal hypersonic air-land combat missile. Indeed, the Tsirkon is virtually immune to all anti-missile defenses in service in Western navies, ranging from anti-missile missile to CIWS system, thanks to its velocity greatly exceeding the maximum interception speeds for which the systems of defense have been planned. In addition, this very high speed reduces the reaction time of the target, or of its escort, to such an extent that the engagement procedures in service on Western ships are for the time being inadequate to respond 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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