Northern Fleet frigate test fires Tsirkon hypersonic missile in Arctic waters

It's the fourth such test from the Admiral Gorshkov.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - July 20, 2021
The launch of the Tsirkon missile took place from Admiral Gorshkov while sailing the White Sea. (Russian Defense Ministry via The Independent Barents Observer)

Russia’s Defense Ministry says it successfully launched its new hypersonic Tsirkon cruise missile from the White Sea and hit a target on the coast of the Barents Sea.

The missile, said to be able to penetrate NATO’s existing naval defense systems, reached a speed of Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound), according to a July 19 release from the ministry.

The test is the fourth in a row taking place from the Northern Fleet frigate Admiral Gorshkov.

The three previous tests from the same warship in the White Sea occurred from October to December last year.

[Russia’s hypersonic missiles could be why Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland]

This test’s target on the Barents Sea coast was about 350 kilometers away from the launch location in the White Sea.

This week, state-affiliated news agency TASS reported that several more tests with the naval Tsirkon cruise missile are scheduled for August, including a first test launch from the Yasen class nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk.

The 3M22 Tsirkon cruise missile (NATO name SS-N-33) is a maneuvering winged scramjet-powered anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile to be onboard both submarines and surface warships of the Russian navy.

In 2019, President Vladimir Putin named the Tsirkon missile invincible, saying it could hit targets at both sea and on land at a range of up to 1,000 kilometers with a speed of Mach 9.