Russia Launches Tsirkon Hypersonic Cruise Missile from Submarine for the First Time

The Russian Navy on Monday performed the first-ever test launch of a Tsirkon-class hypersonic missile from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine.

The test took place in ​​the Barents Sea. Russia's defense ministry said the test was "successful". The missile was fired from Severodvinsk submarine which hit the target, the ministry claimed.

According to the objective monitoring data, the flight course of the missile has matched the specified parameters. The conditional target has been hit, reports say.

The launch is part of President Vladimir Putin's programme of the so-called "invincible" weapons as Russia seeks an edge over the United States in a growing arms race, reports WION.

Putin had threatened to deploy the hypersonic missiles in submarines which would then travel in US waters if the US moved intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

He has boasted about the Tsirkon cruise missile, which he says can reach speeds of up to Mach 9 or 6,905 mph—well beyond the capability of a traditional missile system.

Zircon hypersonic cruise missile
Russia launches new Tsircon hypersonic cruise missile from Severodvinsk nuclear submarine Twitter

Boost to HELA Project

In July, Russia had fired Tsircon hypersonic cruise missile from an Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea in northern Russia.

The defense ministry said in a statement that the missile had travelled at around seven times the speed of sound before hitting a ground target on the coastline of the Barents Sea more than 350 km (217 miles) away. The tactical and technical characteristics of the Tsirkon missile were confirmed during the tests, the ministry said.

The development reportedly accelerated the HELA (Hypersonic Experimental Flying Vehicle) project further.

Hypersonic missile
Russia has hypersonic missile Kinzhal attached to a fighter jet Wikimedia commons

Rollout for Armed Forces

State news agency Tass reported on Thursday that "launches from a coastal mount" of the missile had now "been successfully completed."

"Over 10 launches were performed, the latest of them in July," the agency said, citing a defense ministry source.

Tass added that the next series of trials would begin in November and continue in 2022.

"After that, the delivery of the missiles to the Russian armed forces will begin," it said.

Russia's defense ministry signed a deal in August with arms contractor NPO Mashinostroyenia to deliver the hypersonic missiles to troops by 2025.