First ship armed with Russian hypersonic missiles enters combat duty
The Russian navy frigate ‘Admiral Gorshkov,’ has become the first warship carrying Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles to begin routine combat service.
Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw the ceremony on Wednesday via video link, declaring that the Zircon missile was a “unique weapon” and that “no other country has anything comparable.”
“I am sure that such a powerful armament will allow us to steadfastly defend Russia from potential foreign threats. It will help to maintain the national interests of our country,” Putin stated.
According to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, the frigate will conduct “a voyage in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.”
“A ship fitted with Zircons is capable of carrying out high-precision and powerful strikes on the enemy at sea and on land,” Shoigu said. “The unique feature of Zircon hypersonic missiles is their guaranteed ability to bypass any existing or prospective air defense systems.”
Shoigu added that the missiles have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
The frigate first joined Russia’s Northern Fleet in 2018. Onboard trials of the Zircon began in 2020 and were concluded last year.