The Russian defense ministry has shared video footage of the first-ever launch of a Tsirkon hypersonic missile from a Russian Navy vessel at an at-sea target.
The lead ship of the Project 22350 frigates, ‘Admiral Gorshkov’, carried out the missile launch from the White Sea on October 6, at a target located 450 kilometers away in the Barents Sea.
According to the defense ministry, Tsirkon reached a maximum speed of Mach 8. It was further added that the missile scored a “direct hit.”
The ministry said it would continue testing the missile aboard the first-of-class frigate, before it fields it to other vessel classes and submarines. Reports say Tsirkon will also be carried by the nuclear-powered battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy.
This is the second known test-launch of the missile from a navy ship. The first one saw Admiral Gorshkov launch the Tsirkon at a ground target in the northern Urals. Tsirkon has been under development since at least 2011. Testing started in 2015.
The test ship entered service in 2018 as the first of five planned 135-meter units in its class. Project 22350 frigates are equipped with the Poliment-Redut naval air defense system and launchers for Onyx and Kalibr anti-ship missiles. The ships are also equipped with torpedoes and embark Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare helicopters.