Fast and Deep: Russia Begins Serial Production of Tsirkon for Submarines
According to TASS, Russia’s Military-Industrial Corporation Research and Industrial Association of Machine Building (MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia) has commenced serial manufacturing of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles for the country’s Navy citing an anonymous source. “A serial production of Tsirkon missiles is underway at the NPO Mashinostroyenia, although state trials of this product’s surface launches will continue,” the source stated.
On November 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile testing was nearly finished. The missiles will be given to the Russian Navy early next year. On November 18, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu briefed Putin on the successful test launch of a Tsirkon hypersonic missile in the White Sea. On August 24, 2021, at the Army 2021 international arms show, a contract was inked to deliver Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Russian military.
Tsirkon is a multi-purpose hypersonic missile that has airborne and surface-launched versions. It is used against surface threats both sea and ground targets.
According to President Putin Tsirkon, hypersonic missiles capable of flying at Mach 9 and targeting targets over 1,000 kilometres away would be activated soon.
Russian submarines and surface ships will be outfitted with Tsirkon hypersonic missile weapons.
The modified submarine Perm, the fifth nuclear-powered sub in Project 885M, will be the first regular underwater carrier of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, as previously reported by TASS. The submarine will join the Russian Navy in 2025. Six Project 885M submarines are being built at the Sevmash Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation). The Russian Navy operates the Project 885 and Project 885M lead submarines Severodvinsk and Kazan. The first serial-built sub-Novosibirsk, Project 885M, is undergoing trials and is expected to enter service with the Navy by the end of 2021.