Russia's Navy have test-launched the Zircon hypersonic missile. Russian Defense Ministry reported that on July 19.
According to DW, the projectile was fired from Admiral Gorshkov, the battle cruiser stationed in the White Sea.
#Footage #RussianNavy continues tests of the #Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles. In the White Sea, the #AdmiralGrigorovich frigate successfully strikes a land target with a #Tsirkon missile on the coast of the #SeaOfBarents https://t.co/olmWB2oCUo#MissileLaunch #RussianWeapons pic.twitter.com/dgn8kfj4SH— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) July 19, 2021
Russian leader Vladimir Putin claimed that Zircon "would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers". He added that "equipping our armed forces, the army, and the navy, with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term.''
In 2020, the Russian Air Force conducted the first test flight of the Ka-52M, an upgrade of the 9-ton, two-seat Ka-52 Alligator.
“The new Ka-52M helicopter has an upgraded optoelectronic system with an increased target detection and recognition range, a new digital drive, which will improve the aiming accuracy when firing a cannon,” the TASS news agency said in August. “The upgraded helicopter also received a new radar system with an active phased antenna array and an extended-range guided missile.”
Curiously, an earlier article in June described the Ka-52M as being armed with a “cruise missile,” designated in the usual cryptic Russian way as “Item 305,” with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles). Technically, a cruise missile is defined as a missile that continually flies through the atmosphere, as compared to a ballistic missile that ascends into space before plunging back into the atmosphere.
But the term “cruise missile” conjures an image of a weapon – often capable of carrying a nuclear warhead – with a range of hundreds or thousands of miles. The U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile has a range of about 1,500 miles, for example, while Russian President Vladimir Putin claims Russia’s 3M22 Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile has a range of 1,000 kilometers (540 miles), though Western analysts believe the actual range is considerably less.