Ishchenko normally does not write about weapons but this one about the implications of Tsirkon deserves being reproduced here (sorry for the machine translation):
Christmas "Putin's aggression" and "Zircons"
Some particularly talented Ukrainian "experts" were waiting for Putin to attack Ukraine on Catholic Christmas (December 25). Why switch to Catholic, if the majority of Ukrainian Christians are Orthodox? Obviously, because the most" patriotic " Ukrainian experts, if not Catholics, then Uniates, are sure that Putin wants to spoil Christmas personally for them
The" foresight " of these experts was not exactly fulfilled, but even re-fulfilled. On the night of December 25 (closer to the morning, as reported by the President of Russia) The Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation has conducted another test of the Zircon missile.
Despite the fact that the published footage showed the launch of a single rocket, Putin said that multiple rocket launchers were fired. The naval terminology may have changed recently, but so far the salvo has assumed the launch of more than one missile, so there is every reason to believe that at the final stage of testing the Zircon, Russian sailors demonstrated the ability of one ship to launch several missiles within a short period of time (from a few seconds to a minute) (it is possible that all at once, loaded into launch containers).
Considering that the launch containers can be from four (on a small rocket ship) to several dozen (on a heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser), the Christmas gift for the United States turned out to be grandiose. It is for the USA. After all, if we say that we have nothing to negotiate with Ukraine about, because the local authorities do not decide anything, and we need to talk directly with the Americans, then the development of this idea is also true: it is pointless to fight with Ukraine, because victory over it does not solve anything, the United States must immediately win-the source of evil on the planet.
Each event must be considered in conjunction with those that precede it and those that should follow it.
Shortly before the last test of the Zircon (in 2022, the missile will be put into service), the Russian Foreign Ministry, acting in close coordination with the Ministry of Defense, issued an ultimatum to the United States. Putin, however, said that this was not an ultimatum, but the president could not say otherwise, and the tone of the document is quite ultimatum.
After the United States began to "play roly" with either a willingness to immediately and irrevocably reject the Russian proposal, or begin to partially discuss it, or put forward its own, Washington was most transparently hinted at, first at the level of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and then personally by the president, that Russia does not plan to get involved in small conflicts convenient for Americans with their vassals, but is ready to apply non-diplomatic methods of
It was against this background that the Zircon test took place.
Americans are familiar with this missile, it has been successfully tested more than once. The overseas military has already managed to assess its potential.
According to them, putting the Zircon into service will finally bury any possibility of the United States transferring troops, equipment and supplies across the Atlantic in the event of a conflict with Russia. The reason is that the hypersonic Zircon has a range of up to a thousand kilometers to hit surface targets (previously they claimed a range of up to 500, but it turned out that you can shoot twice as far). According to the Americans, now any small Russian ship (or submarine) armed with Zircons, from a range at which it cannot be detected, is easily capable of destroying an aircraft carrier under the protection of its AUG. Radars do not detect the missile, air defense systems do not shoot it down, and it can be launched from a range exceeding the range of American missiles, not only based on ships, but also delivered by carrier aircraft.
Having a line of missiles in the form of subsonic "Caliber", supersonic " Onyx "(operating at medium ranges) and long-range hypersonic "Zircon", the Russian fleet even in its current composition (experiencing an acute shortage of surface ships in the ocean zone) it is able to prevent the Americans from approaching not only the Russian coast (by the way, coastal complexes can also be equipped with all these missiles), but also, in principle, to points of the Eurasian continent that are important for us.
In this situation, any ground forces stationed in Europe are doomed to destruction within a short time.
Russia has deprived the Americans of their favorite toy-the ability to conduct a non-nuclear war with a nuclear state with strategic goals. The United States is so far behind in conventional weapons that it can expect to avoid defeat only by immediately starting a nuclear war, and with a massive launch of everything it has. At the same time, given the rapid development of Russian air defense and missile defense systems, it is not a fact that even such a suicidal move will help them.
For a long time after the collapse of the USSR, Russia was in this situation. American conventional superiority dictated the need for a massive nuclear response. Since it was clear that no one would start a nuclear war because of the bombing of Yugoslavia or because of the free behavior of the United States in the post-Soviet space (a massive nuclear strike can only be carried out once, and only when there is a non-trivial threat of destroying your own state), the Americans for decades had complete freedom of
Now the United States finds itself in this helpless role. Russia's hands are free for active politics. American generals and admirals expect to be able to maintain the balance of power in the ocean and maintain the ability of their fleet to conduct active operations by increasing monitoring of the deployment of Russian ships and submarines. This should make it possible to conduct an early deployment of US naval forces in the ocean, so that Russian ships are within the range of their weapons.
On bezrybye and cancer fish. Perhaps, for a while, such a strategy will really allow the Americans, due to the significant quantitative advantage of their fleet, to keep Russian ships on combat duty at gunpoint. This does not cancel the
However, given the technical condition of the American fleet, the repair capabilities and the speed of commissioning new ships (already obsolete at the time of laying compared to the Russian ones), this strategy can be effective for a year or two. All this time, the US Navy will experience a serious overstrain, as it will have to significantly increase the presence of its ships in the ocean, which means reducing the time for their repair, maintenance and rest of the crews. After a couple of years of such a race, ships will start to fail in batches, and it's not a fact that American sailors will survive. They've become a little too tender in recent years. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that all this time the Russian fleet will increase its power, and Washington should also take into account the growing Chinese fleet.
Given that the Americans have not yet abandoned negotiations on a new system of international security, declaring their readiness to meet at the expert level as early as late January or early February, the entire range of measures taken by Russia, from issuing an ultimatum to testing the Zircon, is designed to ensure the most constructive position of the United States during these negotiations.
If earlier Moscow only promised the United States that in the event of a conflict it would hit the decision-making points, now it is demonstrating its ability to do this and the inability of the United States to defend itself. Americans are invited to negotiate before things get worse, but the choice, of course, is up to them.