Showing urgency to induct Tsirkon hypersonic missiles in its arsenal, Russia has successfully tested the weapon from a surface ship, Admiral Gorshkov.
The missile, which can travel at an astounding speed, nine times faster than sound, can breach any known ground based anti-missile defences.
The test from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov accurately destroyed at sea, a target that was 400 kilometres away.
The Russians are feverishly testing the Tsirkon from surface ships and submarines, to effectively deter NATO forces which are recently accumulating on Russia’s periphery in the Black Sea and Ukraine.
Simultaneously, Russia’s Military-Industrial Corporation Research and Industrial Association of Machine Building (MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia) has started a serial production of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles for the country’s Navy, a source close to the situation earlier told the TASS news agency.
"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. The Tsirkon multi-purpose hypersonic missile is designated to strike sea and ground targets.
According to an earlier Tass report, a modified Perm nuclear powered submarine has been chosen as the platform for the launch.
Ahead of its serial production, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu had reported to President Vladimir Putin on November 18 that the Tsirkon hypersonic missile had been successfully tested in the White Sea.
The tests of the Tsirkon missile began on October 4 from the surface and submerged position of Severodvinsk, a nuclear-powered submarine. Overall, five test-launches, ending in December, against sea and coastal targets are planned.
The trials are taking place when tensions between Washington and Moscow are running high over the NATO build-up along Russia’s periphery. The US assumption that Russia will be scared by NATO’s muscle flexing in Ukraine and the Black Sea are “dangerous delusions,” Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Saturday on the YouTube channel Soloviev Live.
"NATO states are taking over the Black Sea, Ukrainian territory. There are assumptions, which are voiced here, that certain daredevils or a group of combatants may turn up in Ukraine, who will try to test the strength of Russian defences, expecting that we will not respond fearing the NATO potential. I would like to say and emphasize unequivocally that it is a very dangerous delusion," the diplomat observed.