MOSCOW --- Russia has completed flight tests of its advanced Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, with launches from a surface ship, namely the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, a source close to the Russian defense ministry has told TASS.
"The flight tests of Tsirkon, with launches from a coastal mount and Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov frigate have been successfully completed. Over 10 launches were performed, the latest of them in July," the source said.
According to the source, the next series of Tsirkon trials is to begin in November. Tests are expected to continue next year. After that, the delivery of the missiles to the Russian armed forces will begin.
The Reutov Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (NPO Mashinostroenia), which has developed and is producing Tsirkon hypersonic missiles, declined to comment on the information.
On August 24, Russia’s Defense Ministry has signed a contract with a defense contractor on the delivery of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to the Russian troops during the Army-2021 defense forum. According to NPO Mashinostroenia CEO Alexander Leonov, it has to be fulfilled by 2025.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Tsirkon hypersonic missiles capable of flying at Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound) and striking targets at over 1,000 km would go on combat alert soon.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on July 19 that the frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov had successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic missile at a ground target. The missile flew at Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound) across a distance of over 350 km.