NewsUkraine under fire: Alleged use of Russian 'superweapon' - the hypersonic Zircon missile

Ukraine under fire: Alleged use of Russian 'superweapon' - the hypersonic Zircon missile

Zircon launched by Russia? Putin called it a "superweapon"
Zircon launched by Russia? Putin called it a "superweapon"
Images source: © MoD Russia, RBC
7:54 AM EST, February 8, 2024

During the offensive on Kyiv yesterday, the Russians may have employed what's being referred to as a "superweapon". This is likely the hypersonic missile 3M22 Zircon, which was designed to replace the heavy anti-ship missile P-700. The Zircon can reach speeds of up to 6214 mph and has a range of approximately 621 miles.

Zircon – A Versatile Hypersonic Missile

The hypersonic Zircon is a maneuverable anti-ship missile equipped with a rocket-air engine. It is designed to destroy both ships and ground targets.

According to a report by the public broadcaster Suspilne, investigators have found remnants of one of the downed missiles, which had not previously been used in combat conditions, within the country.

Responding to these reports, the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ignat, suggested that Russia may have deployed a different type of missile during the attack. However, he has called for expert opinions on the matter.

The Defense Express website notes that the tiny fragments of the missile create challenges for identification. The RBK-Ukraine portal mentions that even in Russia, the status of the missile is unclear. While it was earlier reported that the rocket was integrated into the military, no formal decree affirms this.

Putin Declared Zircon a "Superweapon"

According to strategic plans of the Russian Federation, the Zircon missile is set to replace the heavy anti-ship Harpoon missile.

Earlier in 2022, Russia revealed the development of an experimental model of a mobile ground launcher capable of deploying Onyx and Zircon missiles. The exact location and designation of this complex remain unknown. However, it's believed to bear similarities to the Bastion system, which is equipped with two missiles.

In 2019, the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin introduced Zircon missiles to the world, alleging them to be "superweapons."

The recent Russian attack resulted in the death of five people, and 48 others were injured.

Related content