Pentagon spokes John Kirby calls Russian test of a nuclear-capable Zircon hypersonic missile "destabilizing."
"You'd have to ask Vladimir Putin why he's chosen to go that route."
Yeah yeah the template for US State Department announcements is well known and understood.
Todays <exercise, military weapon sale, new weapon,> is a serious threat to security and peace in the region... unless it is a US exercise, military weapon sale, or new weapon, in which case it would be:
Todays <exercise, military weapon sale, new weapon,> is a wonderful development which will help improve security and peace in the region...
The nuclear capable Zircon missile is to counter the 10 Fixed wing nuclear power US carrier groups America currently operates, which ignores the carriers groups and landing forces of the US Marines which is another threat to stability and peace around the world.
Zircon has rendered the US ABM system based on AEGIS class ships and land based versions which carry tomahawk cruise missiles that were very destabilising and in direct violation of the INF treaty no longer a threat to Russia.
Together with the removal of the INF treaty by the US, this gives them a formidable capability against all of Europe... thanks for that by the way.
As far as I'm aware while its been copiously rumored to be a scramjet its never been officially stated as such.
To fit into a UKSK launch tube the Zircon can be at most about 10m long and at most about 750mm wide, and probably at most about 3 tons.
For a surface launched missile to reach 1,200km range targets at mach 9+ it cannot be a solid rocket fuelled missile.
A lot of people assumed that Kinzhal would be a scramjet too but it turned out to be 'just' an airlaunched Iskander so I've been working on the assumption that its not necessarily what everyone else assumed.
The reason the only aircraft that is actually carrying the Kinzhal is the MiG-31K is because the higher and faster you can launch it from the better its flight range and flight speed. Its range is quadrupled because it does not have to start from a standing start, and it does not have to climb through the thickest part of the atmosphere... so all the solid fuel it did not need to use to get moving and climbing to a useful altitude it could use to climb even higher to thinner air and accelerate to higher speeds of mach 9 instead of mach 7 for the ground launched model.
Iskander is about 4.8 tons and would never fit into a UKSK launch tube.
Being a solid rocket fuelled weapon it benefits enormously with launch at altitude and at speed... a scramjet not so much... it could actually use its throttle to fly fast but efficiently and keep climbing early in the flight when it is heavy and full of fuel and accelerate in full AB when it gets lighter to boost its speed and flight range.