20 Feb 2019 16:05

Putin speaks of work on new hypersonic missile Tsirkon to hit sea, ground targets

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) - Successful work is now being done on the creation of the Tsirkon missile, which is capable of hitting ground and sea targets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Today I believe it is also possible to inform you about another promising newly-designed thing. I said last time that I had something more to say, but it was a little premature. We will say gradually what we have in our stocks," Putin said in his address to the Russian Federal Assembly on Wednesday.

"There is another promising new thing, upon which work is going successfully, which will undoubtedly be completed on time. I'm talking about the hypersonic missile Tsirkon, which has a flight speed of some Mach 9 and a range of over 1,000 kilometers, and is capable of hitting both sea and ground targets," the president said.

The use of the Tsirkon missile is envisaged "for sea carriers, serial submarines, including those already built and those under construction for the high-precision weapons systems Kalibr," Putin said.

"All these things will not be costly to us," the president said.

"Seven new multi-purpose submarines will be provided to the Russian Navy 2-3 years before the dates established by the state program Armaments to protect Russia's national interests, whilst the keels of five surface ships of the far-range sea zone will be laid down, with another 16 ships of such class to be included in the Russian Navy by 2027," he said.

According to the information available, the hypersonic missile Tsirkon was developed by the Reutov NPO Mashinostroyeniya (a structure of the Tactical Missiles Corporation). It is intended for the multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines Yasen-M and Husky, as well as surface ships.

A U.S. television reported on December 21, 2018, citing sources acquainted with information from the U.S. intelligences services, that Russia had conducted another successful test of the marine-based hypersonic missile Tsirkon.

According to those sources, Russia has conducted five fully-fledged tests of this marine-based hypersonic missile since 2015.

The most recent successful test of the missile Tsirkon was conducted on December 10, 2018. During that test, it had a maximal speed of Mach 8, or some two miles a second.