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    3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile

    Isos
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    Post  Isos on Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:53 am

    For a first test 500km+ is impressive. Generally during the first tests new missiles or systems in general, don't work because there is always a mistake that wasn't seen by the engineers and need correction and makes the system crash.

    However I'm disapointed it wasn't used against a ship target because they advertize it as an anti ship missile.
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    Post  Arrow on Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:25 am

    This was not the first test. The first of the 22350 frigate. The missile had already been tested before. It was reported that it was flying at 8M.
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    Post  Isos on Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:36 am

    It's the first test from a frigate on water. It's not a ground testbed where everything is setup for it to succeed.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:03 am

    You wouldn't test it to maximum range in an early test, you are more interested in getting it to launch properly and cleanly from the standard launch tubes and to check everything is right.

    Later tests you can try longer ranges to test its envelope and its various flight profiles and of course moving targets...
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    Post  Arrow on Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:08 am

    So Zircon is still in the early stages of testing? The Russians claimed that they would quickly go into service for equipment and now they would have several years of testing.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:55 am

    They are testing it on operational platforms... it is hardly early stage testing.

    We don't know what stage they are at, this recent missile launch was from an operational vessel from a launch tube that is standard on new Russian ships and Subs, and is going to be retrofitted to larger vessels... ie Kirov class and likely Slava class too.

    Once it has passed testing it should be cleared for operational use and be able to be used from existing Corvettes and Frigates and upgraded Cruisers like the Kirov class.

    That is the advantage of a unified launcher.
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    Post  Isos on Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:24 pm

    We still don't know if it was tested from UKSK or helipad.

    If it was from UKSK then they don't need UKSK-M for the zirkon. So UKSK-M is made only to unify anti air and cruise missiles in a same launcher.
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    Post  kvs on Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:48 pm

    The 500 km figure is full on rubbish. It is claimed the ship fired from the Barents Sea at a range near the northern Urals. Even if it
    fired from the south-western coast of Novaya Zemlya (the Kara Sea is on the other side of the island and the Pechora Sea separating the island
    from the mainland) it is over 600 km just to reach the closest point of the Ural mountain range. If the ship was in the middle of the
    Barents Sea then we are easily exceeding 1500 km.

    The idiots writing these articles and putting out the press releases need to stop hiding "secret" information with BS meaningless
    numbers. As you can tell we have morons thinking that these pulled-from-the-ass figures mean something.



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    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:40 am

    We still don't know if it was tested from UKSK or helipad.

    How could they launch it from a helipad?

    Why would they launch it from a helipad?

    The missile is supposed to replace the Onyx and is supposed to be carried and launched from the UKSK launcher.

    If it was from UKSK then they don't need UKSK-M for the zirkon.

    They have said Zircon will be carried by existing corvettes which have the UKSK fitted... so we knew that all along didn't we?

    So UKSK-M is made only to unify anti air and cruise missiles in a same launcher.

    AFAIK that was always the plan... though the likely requirement to load S-500 missiles in it might make it a rather deep structure that may not fit on smaller vessels like Corvettes and Frigates so they might keep their current Redut/UKSK arrangement.

    The 500 km figure is full on rubbish

    I suspect they said more than 500km because that was the range of the old model Onyx, which the Zircon will first supplant and then replace in service...
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    Post  hoom on Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:12 am

    How could they launch it from a helipad?

    Why would they launch it from a helipad?
    Its a worthy question because Gorshkov was seen with 2* Kalibr-style tubes on the helipad about the right time
    https://www.russiadefence.net/t7620p475-project-22350-admiral-sergei-gorshkov-2#269158
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    We've previously seen Makarov test the Active Shtil-1 from an angled test launcher on the foredeck & Tor from the helideck so there's precedent for testing from where test items are carried on leaving dock.

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    Post  PapaDragon on Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:52 pm

    GarryB wrote:..........I suspect they said more than 500km because that was the range of the old model Onyx, which the Zircon will first supplant and then replace in service...

    500km was distance to target not max range



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    Post  Hole on Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:46 pm

    In one of the first life firings from a ship a Kalibr missile hit a land target 250km away. A year or so later it was used from the caspian sea against terrorists in Syria = more then 1.500km away.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:01 am

    Makarov test the Active Shtil-1 from an angled test launcher

    The ground based BUK missile which the Shtil is based on uses an angled launcher... Zircon does not.

    Tor from the helideck so there's precedent for testing from where test items are carried on leaving dock.

    The TOR is a modular system intended to be fitted to empty open deck space for launch and operational use.

    Zircon is intended to be used in the UKSK and UKSK-M vertical launchers.

    Testing it from a tube on a heli deck would be like testing it from a barge... at this stage pretty pointless...

    Those photos of those tubes on the heli pad are amusing... how are they going to elevate them and direct them to launch them?

    Do you think the lids will just pop open and it will run off the end of the helipad... what about the chain link fence type arrangement on most ships that stop sailors falling overboard... what is that going to do to the missile on launch?

    500km was distance to target not max range

    As KVS pointed out the location of the launch vessel and the target area means it cannot have been a 500km range engagement, so I was speculating as to why they said 500km+ range, and I think my speculation that it shows superiority to the Onyx missile they currently use is valid.
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    Post  hoom on Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:12 am

    Those photos of those tubes on the heli pad are amusing... how are they going to elevate them and direct them to launch them?
    I have no answers dunno only the fact that Gorshkov was seen with tubes on the helideck at the right time.

    Logically they probably lifted them into the UKSK cells at a loading facility before the test but that has its own questions like why not truck/barge the tubes to the loading facility or load them in the UKSK tubes before leaving dock?
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:01 am

    I doubt they sailed very far out to sea for their tests, could it possibly be they put spare missiles on the heli deck to be lifted by helicopter into the launch tubes in case they needed more test missiles... launching them from the heli deck makes no sense at all... going out to the launch location and launching missiles and having the ships helicopter then fly out and pick these extra missiles off the heli deck and lower them into the UKSK launch tubes as a reload capacity would be interesting and something rather useful and worth testing but it is pretty early to be testing that sort of capacity.

    Personally I think they had the tubes on the deck to confuse people watching into all sorts of silly and pointless speculation... and it has worked.

    These universal launchers are supposed to be able to be loaded at sea by ship tenders... being able to use its own helicopter for the job would make it easier to load missiles from a much wider variety of ships... making the procedure much more useful... Fishing ships delivering anti sub missiles half way through a mission... makes a flexible system even more capable and flexible...
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    Post  Isos on Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:19 pm

    Official presentation by MBDA about missiles. They give a range of 500km for Tsirkon. Interesting is in the bottom they say kalibr is hypersonic at terminal phase and not supersonic...

    https://mobile.twitter.com/xaviervav/status/1131851056110067718


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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:00 pm

    Isos wrote:Official presentation by MBDA about missiles. They give a range of 500km for Tsirkon. Interesting is in the bottom they say kalibr is hypersonic at terminal phase and not supersonic...

    https://mobile.twitter.com/xaviervav/status/1131851056110067718


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    This is the definition of being inaccurate! Kalibr hypersonic? There's the version with sprint supersonic terminal phase, and it's not hypersonic. There's no point and saying Zircon has only 500km range, when the president of the Federation publicly stated the new max range was 1000km, and recently tested beyond 500km. 

    Also Avantegard's max range is stated as 6000km, but that is the warhead alone, but it doesn't exist in a bubble and that doesn't factor the model of ICBM it's riding on. Samaritan will have a range of 18,000km, so if it's warhead is Avantegard it could fly additional 6000km, for a total range 24,000km. But even that doesn't tell the whole story, that doesn't really tell max range, but max range while doing intense evasive maneuvers, not simply ballistic throw weight momentum in a simple ballistic flight path max range. Even Topol-M's/Yars-M's warheads did evasive maneuvers while not being powered (throw weight only), meanwhile Avantgarde's is powered so it could technically fly in to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and have unlimited range.
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    Post  Isos on Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:55 pm

    Lot of inaccurate things in the presentation. It was probably done by an intern student that looked in some shitty internet websites as suggested on original post on twitter.
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    Post  Big_Gazza on Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:34 am

    It doesn't add credability when the "Zircon" photo is a Tarantul-class misisle boat firing an old SS-N-2 Styx variant!!! Laughing
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:59 am

    It doesn't add credability when the "Zircon" photo is a Tarantul-class misisle boat firing an old SS-N-2 Styx variant!!!

    Hahahaha... you noticed that too...

    But it raises an interesting point about the version of the Club family with the subsonic long range missile with the supersonic terminal phase... AFAIK the flight range of the domestic version is about 1,500km at high subsonic speeds with a small turbojet engine, while the terminal portion uses a solid rocket motor to accelerate the low flying weapon to mach 2.9... so if you add some copper to the solid propellent mix with a 500% boost in thrust would that enable the warhead to reach mach 5 plus speeds at low altitude?

    Possible I suppose, and if they are adding new more powerful fuel types to Onyx to improve its performance then it would make sense to do the same across the board with the other weapons used... perhaps replace the small turbojet motor with a scramjet motor attached to the final stage with the first stage burning kerosene and flying with wings as it accelerates while it is losing weight burning fuel and when it gets to horizon range it could jettison most of its (empty) structure and change to high energy fuel with full AB in scramjet mode and accelerate all the way to the target...
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    Post  Isos on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:45 am

    The supersonic part is just a rocket, not a missile. So it is very likely that it can go above mach 3 when it starts burning.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:16 am

    It is a rocket propelled stage but it has a seeker and is guided so it is a missile...

    The original design was intended to be launched from a cruise missile platform and its peak speed at rocket motor burn out was mach 2.9... the speed at which it would have been moving when the rocket motor was just burning out which would be when it was as light as it was going to get with the solid rocket fuel burned out, but of course by that time it would be very close to impact with the target anyway.

    I don't know that it would actually manouver in the final phase but a rapid acceleration would make it a difficult target to shoot down on its own as the predicted intercept point would move further and further ahead of the incoming threat.
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    Post  Arrow on Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:04 pm

    https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/7913441
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:35 am

    That article confirms it is used from the UKSK launchers fitted to subs and ships of the Russian Navy and that older ships will be retrofitted with the UKSK launchers.

    It also mentions the next few launches will involve working on tactics to defend enemy air defences... presumably at sea and on land... with it being fully anti ship and land attack capable...
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    Post  Big_Gazza on Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:46 am

    Arrow wrote:https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/7913441

    The article claims that UKSK are carried by "corvettes of project 20380" but this is inaccurate as its only the 20385s. Sloppy journalism...

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