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    3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:49 am

    Both Onyx and Zircon use ramjet engines so both will have fairings over the front of them that cover and protect their air intakes before and during launch.

    The engine thrust of the missiles is fixed but obviously fully variable, just like any jet powered airplane.

    The first 450km of its flight it will be operating at max weight with full fuel tanks... hitting a target 450km away means likely hitting the target with half full fuel tanks.

    Targets that are further away will use up more of that fuel and will allow the missile to accelerate.

    A jet engine limits the speed of an aircraft so a high bypass turbofan like on an airliner or transport plane will never become supersonic no matter what flight weight or fuel status it gets to in its flight, but a supersonic combustion ramjet has no practical upper speed limit so as it burns fuel it gets lighter and lighter so it should get faster and faster too... of course as it gets lighter it can reduce its throttle a bit to maintain speed and then as it gets to the radar horizon of the target ramp up to full thrust and accelerate to max speed as it approaches the target.

    28km is not a very high operational altitude which would also effect top speed as well.


    It looks identical to the Onyx launch.

    It should... gas capsule blows it out of the tube and into the air where a nose mounted rocket thruster turns the missile towards the targets direction and then counter thrusters stop it from rolling too far and flying into the ground while the main solid rocket engine lights up a charge and rocket thruster jettisons the nose cap covering the main ramjet engine intake, while the main solid rocket motor lights up and accelerates the missile on its way towards its target....

    The difference is that Onyx (and Yakhont and Brahmos) have a round air intake with a pointy nose with a radar in it sticking out the centre with a ramjet engine... once the solid rocket engine burns out the guts is ejected and the ramjet starts up to accelerate the missile as it climbs and accelerates towards the target.

    The Zircon has a more sophisticated likely square or rectangular air intake with a pointy nose with a radar and a scramjet motor... once the solid rocket motor burns out the Scramjet motor powers up and accelerates the missile to much higher altitudes and higher flight speeds.


    As the ramjet gets faster and faster it has to constrict the airflow going into the engine so when fuel is added it burns subsonically... in the scramjet the airflow is carefully controlled to allow the air to flow through the hot section at supersonic speeds and to burn fuel there generating much faster exhaust air and much more thrust at high speeds... meaning it can accelerate much faster and to much greater speeds.
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    Arrow

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    Post  Arrow on Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:40 am


    In the first shot it's a different missile, different weather. You can see that in the view when the missile leaves the launchers there is less exhaust gas than in the shot from a distance. I wonder why he was flying at such a low level?
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    Post  Big_Gazza on Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:46 am

    Zircon will differ from Oniks in one key respect.  The Oniks is perfectly capable to run at low altitude (and its launch profile results in the missile flying near horizontal after its kick-over and main SRB ignition) and this launch method means the missile is able to immediately engage a target at short range once the SRB burn is complete.  Zircon however wants to get up high and fast to get the scram-jet started, and this launch video show the missile heading up at a steep angle thru the cloud bank.

    It makes sense to utilise the by-now well established launch profile of the Onyx.  Low power solid burn to get out of the VLS, pop the intake covers, kick the missile over onto its side, then engage high power solid burn to get up and away and build max speed before booster burn-out.

    I haven't seen footage of Oniks launch from Russian ships (only from Bastion land launchers), but the Indians use Brahmos and its a development of export-grade Yakhont.  The difference between a Brahmos launch (& Bastion) and this latest test is very obvious. See from 0:38 on the following:



    I'm satisfied this is not footage of an Onyx launch but an altogether different beast Very Happy
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    Post  kvs on Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:51 pm

    Trying to have a truthful discussion with another NATzO maggot on this forum?

    It's all Putin's CGI fakery you know. Russians are vastly inferior in terms of intelligence compared to NATzO supermen.

    That is what these maggots are trolling.

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    Post  PapaDragon on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:43 am


    People forget that there's a lot of protective "packaging" that leaves the tube with the missile and gets discarded once main engine kicks in

    Onyx and Zircon use same tube and share that same protective package hence the visual similarities

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:02 am

    Both are also rocket ramjet powered missiles.

    The only difference is that one is a ramjet and the other is a scramjet.

    Think of the difference as being one is a turboprop engine... a jet engine driving an external propeller... which limits the aircraft it is fitted to to subsonic speed only, while the scramjet is a turbojet which can operate at much higher flight speeds.

    Ramjets are not new and are very simple designs... they tested ramjets on Polikarpov biplanes to see what performance boost it gave...

    3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile - Page 19 I-15_r10

    It increased flight speed by 45km/h which is not bad considering the extra weight and drag they added... the point is that neither ramjet nor scramjet need to operate very high or very fast.

    In this case they do because it is useful to sink ships being very high and very fast, but they are a jet engine which can be throttled to any speed they want.

    With a solid rocket motor whose thrust is fixed the fuel is burned at the same rate no matter what and if running at low altitude will be very inefficient.

    In comparison a scramjet motor would accelerate the missile up to as fast as it will go at low altitude but then the guidance system will realise full thrust is not very efficient so it would reduce thrust until it starts to slow down a bit... burning less fuel but still flying fast... this capacity to manage fuel burn makes it rather more efficient than any rocket motor.

    Most of the time however a steep climb to altitude where it can move much faster makes rather more sense.
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    Post  Arrow on Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:23 am

    Next test will by in the end october Very Happy
    https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/9671187/amp?__twitter_impression=true
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    Post  LMFS on Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:37 pm

    They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

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    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:02 am

    It also means their air defence units can now practise and develop tactics and systems to deal with new weapons the west does not even have yet... so by the time they get them the Russians might already be ready for them...

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    Post  Arrow on Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:15 pm

    LMFS wrote:They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

    Not only for 5-10 years. The US will not develop a hypersonic weapon even in 10 years. Especially as compact as the Cirkon. They still use Harpon and don't even have a supersonic Onix counterpart. In 10 years, when Russia will have many frigates 22350 and smaller 22800.20385 Yasen-M and others, all of them will be able to move Cirkon. The firepower of the VMF will be impressive with this missile. They'll have hundreds of floating Zircon launchers. This is a complete game change. Russia will probably focus on smaller units. Mindstorm wrote that they were introducing a diffuse mortality tactic. With Cirkon missiles, the WMF will be one of the most effective navy? The ships with a displacement of 800 tons will carry missiles with a range of over 1000 km and a speed of 9M.

    From the available photos, Cirkon does not look like in this configuration.

    3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile - Page 19 Indias-BrahMos-II-Hypersonic-Cruise-Missile

    The cover is at the very top and there is probably an air inlet there, similar to Onyx / Brahmos.There are no air intakes or the characteristic lattice shown in the case of hypersonic missiles to be seen from the side of the missile.

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    Post  calripson on Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:13 pm

    Arrow wrote:
    LMFS wrote:They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

    Not only for 5-10 years. The US will not develop a hypersonic weapon even in 10 years. Especially as compact as the Cirkon. They still use Harpon and don't even have a supersonic Onix counterpart. In 10 years, when Russia will have many frigates 22350 and smaller 22800.20385 Yasen-M and others, all of them will be able to move Cirkon. The firepower of the VMF will be impressive with this missile. They'll have hundreds of floating Zircon launchers. This is a complete game change. Russia will probably focus on smaller units. Mindstorm wrote that they were introducing a diffuse mortality tactic. With Cirkon missiles, the WMF will be one of the most effective navy? The ships with a displacement of 800 tons will carry missiles with a range of over 1000 km and a speed of 9M.

    From the available photos, Cirkon does not look like in this configuration.

    3M22 Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile - Page 19 Indias-BrahMos-II-Hypersonic-Cruise-Missile

    The cover is at the very top and there is probably an air inlet there, similar to Onyx / Brahmos.There are no air intakes or the characteristic lattice shown in the case of hypersonic missiles to be seen from the side of the missile.



    The U.S. surface navy structured around carrier battle groups is a white elephant - a WWII construct in the 21st century kept alive by shipyards, bureaucrats, and corrupt politicians. I think they will eventually move away from this as it creates a tremendous liability at this point - not an asset. Wat happens to the projection of US military omnipotence if a carrier is sunk in an exchange with Iran for example? There is already no appetite for casualties in the US populace outside the neocon crust. The future "navy" is in space and they have already started down that path.

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    Post  LMFS on Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:25 pm

    Arrow wrote:Not only for 5-10 years. The US will not develop a hypersonic weapon even in 10 years. Especially as compact as the Cirkon. They still use Harpon and don't even have a supersonic Onix counterpart. In 10 years, when Russia will have many frigates 22350 and smaller 22800.20385 Yasen-M and others, all of them will be able to move Cirkon. The firepower of the VMF will be impressive with this missile. They'll have hundreds of floating Zircon launchers. This is a complete game change. Russia will probably focus on smaller units. Mindstorm wrote that they were introducing a diffuse mortality tactic. With Cirkon missiles, the WMF will be one of the most effective navy? The ships with a displacement of 800 tons will carry missiles with a range of over 1000 km and a speed of 9M.

    The reason why I talk about 5-10 years is because that is the time they will probably need maybe not to match Tsirkon, but to counter it in terms of AD. SM-6 is already a capable missile, their targeting at fleet's level is very advanced and counts on long range detection, and defence from the point which is under attack partially neglects the advantages of a manoeuvring missile. From this moment (they necessarily need to count on the possibility of VMF vessels already being being loaded with Tsirkons) to the moment they develop a viable defence against them, the huge advantage in numbers, tactics and assets that the USN has over the VMF is essentially reduced to zero... that has huge implications. A SSGN can pop up in the middle of the ocean, 1000 km away of a CSG and send it to the bottom, that is the current military reality and it necessarily raises so many alarms within the Us military that they will direct as many resources as they have to close that vulnerability. So it is inevitable that in some years they will find a technology or tactic, or combination of them, that works or at least mitigates their current, critical weakness. You don't spend what, 1 trillion? in your fleet to make it vulnerable to a corvette or a sub armed with just one digit amount of anti-ship missiles.

    The cover is at the very top and there is probably an air inlet there, similar to Onyx / Brahmos.There are no air intakes or the characteristic lattice shown in the case of hypersonic missiles to be seen from the side of the missile.

    The scramjet vehicle tested in the Kholod program had indeed an annular combustion chamber and a nose similar to that of the Oniks, so who know how the missile really is? It is useless and pure speculation by now, IMHO.

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/kholod.html

    PS1: I had to post the history of Kholod and the subsequent tests by NASA, to make clear the cheek, lack of decency and institutionalized lying of the US administration, which, after stealing the hypersonic technologies from Russia in the 90's, claims now it is the Russians that stole them. Mind blowing lack of dignity displayed by these clowns:

    NASA involvement

    In November 1994, NASA finally joined the Kholod program. During the same year, Department 101 at the KB Khimavtomatiki propulsion bureau, KBKhA, in the city of Voronezh took over the development of the scramjet engine, which was now designated 58L. (331) The engine was re-designed to withstand higher temperatures, which would result from sustained operation of the engine in a supersonic combustion mode.

    A NASA-sponsored test mission, which featured an upgraded engine supplied by KBKhA lifted off on February 12, 1998. With the goal of reaching a speed of Mach 6.5, the Kholod vehicle accelerated from Mach 3 to around Mach 6.41-6.47, after successfully firing for record-breaking 77 seconds at a maximum altitude of 27.1 kilometers. (688, 331, 689) Ironically, despite its terrible economic woes in the 1990s, Russia became the first to fly a scramjet vehicle.


    Chronology of the Kholod and X-43A projects:

    1991 Nov. 27: The Kholod vehicle lifts off for the first time, firing its scramjet for 27.5 seconds and reaching a speed of Mach 3.6 at a maximum altitude of 35 kilometers.

    1992 Nov. 17: The Kholod vehicle develops a speed of Mach 5.35, while climbing to an altitude of 22.4 kilometers, with its scramjet engine firing for 41.5 seconds.

    1995 March 1: The Kholod vehicle reaches an altitude of 30 kilometers and a speed of Mach 5.8, however its scramjet engine fails to fire.

    1997 Sept. 1: The Kholod vehicle reaches an altitude of 33 kilometers and a speed of Mach 6.2, however its scramjet engine fails to fire.

    1998 Feb. 12: The fifth Kholod vehicle reaches an altitude of 27.1 kilometers and a speed from 6.41 to 6.47 Mach, with its scramjet engine firing for 77 seconds. (688)

    2001 June 2: NASA makes an attempt to test-fly its X-43 experimental vehicle powered by a scramjet engine. It fails due to a failure of the Pegasus rocket, which was designed to accelerate X-43 after a mid-air launch from a B-52 aircraft.

    2004 March 27: NASA's second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft flies successfully after being dropped in mid-air by NASA's B-52 and accelerated by a Pegasus rocket. For the first time, an air-breathing scramjet accelerated a free-flying vehicle. The unmanned vehicle's supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet, ignited as planned and operated for the duration of its hydrogen fuel supply, which lasted about 10 seconds. The X-43A reached its test speed of Mach 7.

    2004 Nov. 16: NASA's X-43A scramjet-powered research vehicle reaches speed of around Mach 9.8, or 7,000 miles per hour, as it flies at an altitude of about 33 kilometers, following a mid-air launch from a B-52B aircraft onboard the Pegasus rocket booster. The mission concluded the program, discontinuing the development of scramjet technology at NASA.


    PS2: I have to copy too this great invention by Andrei Martianov, the new unit to measure Russian-armament related US grief based on the amount of denigrating pieces in their media: the BH or "Butt-Hurt" lol1 lol1

    I do not envy US negotiators since even if existing nuclear arsenal are capped, the end result--US wants into facilities which manufacture latest weapons which are not under the definition of "strategic" per se. In fact, US is desperate. In fact, I propose introduction of the new metric--BH (Butt-Hurts), which would stand for measuring of actual combat effectiveness of Russian weapons by means of a number of times those weapons are degraded in the US "expert" communities and media. E.G. some Russian weapon which measures in 5-6 Butt-Hurts is probably nothing special, but once the metric reaches 1-2 KILO Butt-Hurts, such as Zircon or Kinzhal, that means that the weapon system is really dangerous and advanced. So, I'd put 3M22 at around 1.3-1.5 kBH, but these are very approximate measurements, so there are chances that the range could be within 1.5-1.6 kilo Butt-Hurts. A lot will depend on how many real scientists and generals will express their BH (or BS) opinions in coming days.


    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/10/about-zircon-again.html

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:41 am


    The U.S. surface navy structured around carrier battle groups is a white elephant - a WWII construct in the 21st century kept alive by shipyards, bureaucrats, and corrupt politicians. I think they will eventually move away from this as it creates a tremendous liability at this point - not an asset. Wat happens to the projection of US military omnipotence if a carrier is sunk in an exchange with Iran for example? There is already no appetite for casualties in the US populace outside the neocon crust. The future "navy" is in space and they have already started down that path.

    Lets not blow this out of proportion, Zircon is for sinking big US ships... most big Russian and Soviet Anti Ship missiles were intended for that role.

    That is like saying a 500kg laser guided bomb can destroy any tank anywhere... and for decades laser guided bombs would be unstoppable, but TOR is designed to defeat such targets and they stopped being unstoppable... but remain a rather expensive way of doing it...

    The best way to protect a ship from a missile attack is make it bigger and fit it with better sensors and better weapons and have it operate with aircraft support... the best way to stop a Zircon is to have a decent air defence network and a decent air defence network includes ground and air based radar providing early warning and the ability to go towards an attack axis rapidly and start to blunt the attack early.

    There will not be one solution to defeat hypersonic missiles... making things smaller and cheaper and in enormous numbers is bloody stupid... there is a reason large businesses have mainframe computers rather than everyone being given a phone and all sharing data and providing communications because thousands of network connections adds vulnerability, and distributed processing is not actually all that it is cracked up to be...

    If you think naval forces will be better protected by not having a carrier and not having big ships then you should also agree that having armies and divisions is too big and unwieldy and too much of an easy target so the future Russian army should be platoon based and the the Russian Air Force should be disbanded...

    I have to copy too this great invention by Andrei Martianov, the new unit to measure Russian-armament related US grief based on the amount of denigrating pieces in their media: the BH or "Butt-Hurt"

    There is a saying in the west.... don't throw the baby out with the bath water... in other words... the US built a tank gun launched anti tank missile called Shillelagh and mounted it in two vehicles... the Sheridan light tank and the M60A2 ... they designed the missile first and created a gun to fire it, which in hindsight was a mistake. It made the gun useless for anything except firing the missile as the HE round was more like a demolition charge and the missile were the only two rounds it could fire. The point is that they eventually ended the programme and tied it off and hopeless.

    The Soviets took a different tack and developed a missile firing T-62 like tank called the IT-1, which was a failure, and a missile designed to be fired in existing tank gun types already in service. Instead of trying to create a missile armed super tank they ended up improving the performance of all the tanks they had in service with an extra type of ammo that can shoot targets at long range that are moving like tank or helicopters. The first missiles were not great, the newer ones are rather good and their latest ones are lock on after launch fire and forget...

    Before there were anti stealth radar stealthy aircraft were an advantage... it would have been rather short sighted to say that stealth renders all other aircraft obsolete and then replace your F-15s with F-22s and everything else with F-35s only to find that the level of stealthy needed to make a real difference is not attainable and other solutions can render your super weapon vulnerable.

    Aircraft carriers are force multipliers and temporarily being vulnerable to hypersonic manouvering missiles is no reason to throw all that technology away.
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    Post  LMFS on Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:56 am

    GarryB wrote:
    The best way to protect a ship from a missile attack is make it bigger and fit it with better sensors and better weapons and have it operate with aircraft support... the best way to stop a Zircon is to have a decent air defence network and a decent air defence network includes ground and air based radar providing early warning and the ability to go towards an attack axis rapidly and start to blunt the attack early.

    Agree here. Russians themselves are ready to counter hypersonic missiles and will be even better prepared when they have more modern missiles, among them them those of the S-500 system. A faster target demands better kinematics and that normally means a bigger missile that will need a bigger ship to be carried and a more powerful radar and fire control systems, plus more support from AWACS/AEW. Add to that the fact that it should be the carrier that defends itself and not rely so much in the escort, this would make the task of the SAM interceptors easier. So they will develop DEW in the future and in the meantime improve the AD and make the carriers better defended in the way the Kuznetsov is, instead of giving it a very weak own AD as current USN CVNs. Nothing of that goes in the direction of eliminating carriers. In any case it will make more obvious that naval forces are not to be used against land ones except in certain conditions. That could restrain USN in their already known, flawed doctrinal dead-end street, but it does not mean carriers and hence air power have lost a bit of their relevance in naval warfare.

    Aircraft carriers are force multipliers and temporarily being vulnerable to hypersonic manouvering missiles is no reason to throw all that technology away.

    Sure, I just found it funny the way the author finds the effectiveness of a Russian weapon by the butt-hurt in the US media... they have turned themselves into a joke.

    He himself agrees Russia is ready or almost ready to counter hypersonics (well, Putin has pretty much said the same) so it is obvious this is just one step more in the sword vs shield battle. For Russia it is specially critical because in he state of their shipbuilding industry they needed an ace up their sleeve like Tsirkon to recover deterrence even in remote oceanic scenarios, until US develops the antidote. Hopefully this will give them the best part of this decade until their oceanic fleet is developed again and allows to face USN even without some critical and highly unstable technological advantage as Tsirkon represents. After that, the next ace (in the sense of advantage that USN allowed to form due to bad planing) would be the Su-57K. Those two may allow Russia to close the gap in naval capabilities by end of the 2030's to the point where USN is not overwhelmingly superior.

    Also the capacities in strategic deterrence it represents will have an important role, the Russian ambassador to US has already said Tsirkon gives them a good dose of confidence when negotiating arms control.

    calripson wrote:The U.S. surface navy structured around carrier battle groups is a white elephant - a WWII construct in the 21st century kept alive by shipyards, bureaucrats, and corrupt politicians.

    Precisely the current way US uses carriers has little to do with how they were used in the WWII, according to proper, classical naval warfare doctrine against other naval forces for sea control. Today, an overwhelming superiority has completely spoiled USN and they insist in ignoring a known axiom of naval warfare for centuries, that is, that naval forces are at disadvantage against land based ones.
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    Post  william.boutros on Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:09 pm

    LMFS wrote:They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

    How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile? It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:56 pm

    william.boutros wrote:
    LMFS wrote:They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

    How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile? It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.

    You are correct, surface vessels will be targeted by submarines and aircraft

    Russian ships will be carrying Zircons in order to do what they have been tasked with doing since the invention of SSBNs: to run interference for submarines

    By having ability to launch Zircons on large enemy surface combatants they become a threat that can't​ be ignored and that has to have a portion of enemy ships, submarines and aircraft dedicated to keeping tabs on them at all times

    This means that those ships, submarines and aircraft will​ be unavailable to threaten Russian submarines or mainland



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    Post  LMFS on Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:32 pm

    william.boutros wrote:How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile?

    It depends on the circumstances, of course.

    Close to Russia there are plenty of opportunities how small vessels can be hidden / distributed, even in inland water masses, and still threaten a potential surface fleet approaching Russian territory.

    The same would happen if a VMF group would deploy somewhere far from Russian shores to defend ally territory where they could have basing and support, those 1000 km radius would need to be considered by a potential enemy fleet as a safety distance to be observed at all times. The effectiveness of any potential attacks vs land infrastructure by the attacking fleet would be substantially degraded, even when considering only the distance and not the AD cover of the VMF group.

    In the middle of the ocean, maintain control 1000 km away of the CSG is theoretically possible even today but very uncomfortable and essentially outside of the normal operational ranges, both for AWACS and strike fighters, and also way beyond the own AShMs, at least until the new anti-ship Tomahawk version is deployed (and even then, its usefulness is quite questionable). One of the main development vectors of the USN is, consequently, to increase their operational ranges and the size of their defensive perimeter by using U(C)AVs, dedicated tankers, unmanned naval vehicles and extended range naval fighters. So today that situation would be far from being 100% under control for the US.

    It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.

    Sure, in today's situation a SSGN is the ideal carrier when facing a force like the USN, because covering more than 3 million km2 with the ASW means of the CSG is not realistic. Besides, a CSG (and accompanying SSNs) moving 20 to 30 kts is going to be detected by a slow moving SSGN at very big distances in the orders of hundreds of km and way before it being detected itself, therefore an attack could be executed even with relatively little external support and telling signs. This will effectively work as a very strong deterrent, since the fleet's command would be very fool or very desperate to risk being sent to the bottom by behaving aggressively when under potential threat of a sub armed with Tsirkon.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:58 am


    How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile? It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.

    So how can carriers be useless if even modern well armed surface ships can't approach them to within 1,000km radius?

    Ten ships could approach the carrier group from 10 different directions... if they don't emit radar signals how would the carrier group detect them?

    Carrier based AWACS are useful but can't detect ships 1,000km away and even if they could where is that AWACS aircraft in relation to the actual carrier?

    The AWACS wont be flying directly over the aircraft carrier... in the middle of an ocean the AWACs aircraft might be orbiting the carrier in a 100 to 200km circle so it can detect low flying threats approaching the ships it is protecting... lets say its range is 500km against surface targets... that means at best it will detect targets that are 700km from the carrier. Zircon has a range of over 1,000km, so ten small corvette sized ships get to 800km from the carrier... they know a carrier is there because they detect the AWACS, and probably communications between the ships... it could launch a Zircon based on the location of the AWACS aircraft alone.

    If the ships themselves are using their own radars to detect ships then that makes it much easier because it essentially locates where the ships are and 10 networked corvettes with an AEGIS like system using passive radar and satellite communications could easily and fairly precisely triangulate the location of every ship in the group and of course their satellite based naval recon system can tell them where the ships are anyway...

    Of course sending just one or ten corvettes does not really make sense because as you point out it is fragile... if the enemy arrives in large numbers it can easily be overwhelmed... but what if that was the plan... the real attack force then opens up from the other direction much much much closer... you might lose one corvette but the enemy loses its entire carrier group...

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    Post  william.boutros on Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:59 am

    LMFS wrote:
    william.boutros wrote:How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile?

    It depends on the circumstances, of course.

    Close to Russia there are plenty of opportunities how small vessels can be hidden / distributed, even in inland water masses, and still threaten a potential surface fleet approaching Russian territory.

    The same would happen if a VMF group would deploy somewhere far from Russian shores to defend ally territory where they could have basing and support, those 1000 km radius would need to be considered by a potential enemy fleet as a safety distance to be observed at all times. The effectiveness of any potential attacks vs land infrastructure by the attacking fleet would be substantially degraded, even when considering only the distance and not the AD cover of the VMF group.

    In the middle of the ocean, maintain control 1000 km away of the CSG is theoretically possible even today but very uncomfortable and essentially outside of the normal operational ranges, both for AWACS and strike fighters, and also way beyond the own AShMs, at least until the new anti-ship Tomahawk version is deployed (and even then, its usefulness is quite questionable). One of the main development vectors of the USN is, consequently, to increase their operational ranges and the size of their defensive perimeter by using U(C)AVs, dedicated tankers, unmanned naval vehicles and extended range naval fighters. So today that situation would be far from being 100% under control for the US.

    It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.

    Sure, in today's situation a SSGN is the ideal carrier when facing a force like the USN, because covering more than 3 million km2 with the ASW means of the CSG is not realistic. Besides, a CSG (and accompanying SSNs) moving 20 to 30 kts is going to be detected by a slow moving SSGN at very big distances in the orders of hundreds of km and way before it being detected itself, therefore an attack could be executed even with relatively little external support and telling signs. This will effectively work as a very strong deterrent, since the fleet's command would be very fool or very desperate to risk being sent to the bottom by behaving aggressively when under potential threat of a sub armed with Tsirkon.

    I agree, and of course Steregushchiy and Gorshkov classes are not meant to defeat aircraft carriers.

    With the cancelation of the treaties, land based Zirkon missiles can be deployed and this by itself will offer shore defense. I suspect that smaller and stealthier submarines instead of small littoral ships will offer a greater threat to opposing attacking navies considering the proliferation of intelligence and recon assets that can reveal small ships presence in confined waters but at the same reveal the attacking force.
    Look at the effectiveness of Azerbaijan in targeting Armenian forces.
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    Post  Arrow on Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:47 am

    LMFS wrote:

    The reason why I talk about 5-10 years is because that is the time they will probably need maybe not to match Tsirkon, but to counter it in terms of AD. SM-6 is already a capable missile, their targeting at fleet's level is very advanced and counts on long range detection, and defence from the point which is under attack partially neglects the advantages of a manoeuvring missile.


    The SM-6 missile is too weak to fight Zircon. It is a missile with a velocity of only 3.5M and a ceiling of about 30km. Zircon is likely to fly at altitudes over 30 km, so it will be elusive all the way. Only in the terminal phase there are minimal chances. The US currently has no missiles that can intercept 3M22.



    The frigate 22350 or smaller ships will sink everything within a radius of over 1000km if armed with 3M22. even an aircraft carrier. The era of aircraft carriers is almost over. They can only be used against poorly advanced opponents. Currently, no aircraft carrier will come close to the shores of Russia in the event of war.In distant oceans, Yasenas can hunt aircraft carriers.


    Interesting why they shoot Zircon all the time at about 500km? Rolling Eyes
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    Post  LMFS on Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:25 pm

    william.boutros wrote:
    With the cancelation of the treaties, land based Zirkon missiles can be deployed and this by itself will offer shore defense. I suspect that smaller  and stealthier submarines instead of small littoral ships will offer a greater threat to opposing attacking navies considering the proliferation of intelligence and recon assets that can reveal small ships presence in confined waters but at the same reveal the attacking force.
    Look at the effectiveness of Azerbaijan in targeting Armenian forces.

    Izvestia was assuming the Tsirkon can be launched by the Bastion, I don't know if it is true but in terms of sizes it should be almost identical to Oniks. Targeting get more complicated at 1000 km of course, but in general the protection of the Russian shores is not the biggest problem VMF faces, they have long range aviation, coastal defences, OTH radars and all kinds of aircraft, subs, supporting assets etc. USN would be very bad in their heads to use CSG to attack Russia mainland. Expected life of an enemy UAV doing surveillance and targetting close to Russian shores would average minutes at best.

    Arrow wrote:
    The SM-6 missile is too weak to fight Zircon. It is a missile with a velocity of only 3.5M and a ceiling of about 30km. Zircon is likely to fly at altitudes over 30 km, so it will be elusive all the way. Only in the terminal phase there are minimal chances. The US currently has no missiles that can intercept 3M22.

    Of course they don't have any interceptor yet, but they are already improving SM-6 and keeping developing it is probably their best bet against hypersonic AShMs.


    The frigate 22350 or smaller ships will sink everything within a radius of over 1000km if armed with 3M22. even an aircraft carrier. The era of aircraft carriers is almost over. They can only be used against poorly advanced opponents. Currently, no aircraft carrier will come close to the shores of Russia in the event of war.In distant oceans, Yasenas can hunt aircraft carriers.

    This selective logic is something interesting: following your reasoning, if the Tsirkon can sink everything around the VMF ships carrying it, that should mean the age of surface fleets is over isn't it? Why only carriers are threatened?

    In fact, the only surface group capable of fighting an enemy at 1000 km and beyond, based in their own means, is a carrier battle group. Any other surface vessel is not even potentially capable of detecting a potential aggressor before it gets in range to launch and keep it away.

    GarryB wrote:
    Ten ships could approach the carrier group from 10 different directions... if they don't emit radar signals how would the carrier group detect them?

    How do they get, unnoticed, to the positions from where to attack from 10 different directions, by teleporting?

    How would they safely operate in radar silence? This is not possible for surface fleets without airborne radars as discussed, and active radar allows for significant OTH detection of their signatures by opponents.

    Carrier based AWACS are useful but can't detect ships 1,000km away and even if they could where is that AWACS aircraft in relation to the actual carrier?

    AWACS of course can fly 500 km away from the carrier in the direction of the expected threat (Tsirkon surface carriers do not pop up in the middle of the sea but come from somewhere and go somewhere) and add their ca. 500 km radar horizon to that. It is a stretch for the AWACS group onboard, limits the time on station a bit and reduces the amount of directions around itself the CBG can keep under control, but it is doable in principle.


    If the ships themselves are using their own radars to detect ships then that makes it much easier because it essentially locates where the ships are and 10 networked corvettes with an AEGIS like system using passive radar and satellite communications could easily and fairly precisely triangulate the location of every ship in the group and of course their satellite based naval recon system can tell them where the ships are anyway...

    No, as said above the only fleet group with the luxury of operating in radio silence is the one with AWACS. In radar silence a surface ship is dead, they can be attacked and sunk trivially because their defences are down.

    Of course sending just one or ten corvettes does not really make sense because as you point out it is fragile... if the enemy arrives in large numbers it can easily be overwhelmed... but what if that was the plan... the real attack force then opens up from the other direction much much much closer... you might lose one corvette but the enemy loses its entire carrier group...

    Against an eventual battle group approaching Russian shores Kinzhal is the best, safest and fastest solution. Hence nobody will try their luck, it is just too stupid to come in range of such weapon. Tsirkon just reinforces those defences, but its main contribution is deterrence for ocean deployed VMF groups.
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    Post  Isos on Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:05 pm

    Tsirkon surface carriers do not pop up in the middle of the sea but come from somewhere and go somewhere

    Actually they do. All Yasen will carry it. Akula upgraded with kalibr will probably carry it just like new SSK.

    Yasen can carry 32 of them in VLS and they will have 10 or so ship. They can send 2 of them with 1 or 2 upgraded Oscars that could also carry the Tsiron with an upgrade and 1 akula agaibst each cartier group.
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    Post  LMFS on Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:25 pm

    @Isos: I said Tsirkon surface carriers
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    Post  Isos on Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:38 pm

    LMFS wrote:@Isos: I said Tsirkon surface carriers

    Subs will attack first. Surface ships will attack what's left. I doubt the carrier will survive the first attack of the subs. Then they won't have the AWACS to help them and the ships can come closer.
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    Post  KoTeMoRe on Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:25 pm

    william.boutros wrote:
    LMFS wrote:They say the tests will represent critical enemy assets like aircraft carriers. This move has been remarkably smart, Tsirkon nullifies the otherwise crushing advantage of USN vs VMF for 5-10 years, allowing Russia to keep deterrence while they rebuild the navy thumbsup

    How could a Russian ship approach an aircraft carrier to launch a Zirkon missile? It could only be effective against a carrier if launched by a submarine or a stealth aircraft.
    It would definitely be a threat against surface combatants without air cover.

    ... Very simple. It doesn't need to.

    Carrier groups need to be close enough to their targets because of their primary assets being planes.
    For instance the F-18 has a range of about 780 km. There's work done to extend that to 1080 km.

    This means that in order for the US to be able to strike anything in theatre they need to be within range.

    It is so stupid that even outlets like Popular mechanics have covered this.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a18211702/fa-18-super-hornet-longer-legs-fuel-tanks-range/#:~:text=The%20problem%3A%20the%20U.S.%20Navy's,in%20range%20of%20Chinese%20missiles.

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