Russia has announced that submarine flight development tests of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile will resume in 2024.
The announcement comes after Russia launched the Tsirkon from a nuclear submarine for the first time in October this year. The test was the world’s first-ever successful launch of a hypersonic missile from a submarine, a report in France24 said.
Russian news agency TASS quoted sources as saying, “The flight development tests from an underwater carrier are planned to be resumed no sooner than in 2024. They will be carried out from the Project 885M submarine Perm that will differ from its predecessors by a slightly modified design. If the submarine is not ready for the Tsirkon test-launches in 2024, they will be resumed in the first half of 2025.”
However, the developments were not confirmed by any Russian official.
The modified Perm is a nuclear-powered submarine that will be the first regular carrier of Tsirkon hypersonic missiles. It is planned to be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2025.
In a December 2018 speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Tsirkon class of hypersonic missiles can hit any target at a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles). The country has been working on the Tsirkon since the early 2010s and has conducted several tests in the past five years.
Unlike traditional ballistic missiles which cannot change course mid-flight, hypersonic weapons can be guided while they fly, making them effective against targets such as warships.
Russia Adding Arms
Russia has boasted of developing several next-generation nuclear weapons amid prolonged tensions with the US.
Apart from the Tsirkon, it has also recently developed the Iskander missile; Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise-missile project; and the SSC-8 ground-launched cruise missile, to name a few.
It has also increased arms and military supplies to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan amid fighting in Afghanistan.
Russia has also delivered its S-400 air defense missile systems to India, which has put the country at risk of sanctions by the United States. India had referred to the weapon as the most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system.