Military Review

Hypersonic shock. Zircons for surface ships


Not in service? ..

If we discard some conventions, then Zircon can be called the most mysterious and mysterious example of Russian weapons. Judge for yourself: they showed us “Armata” a long time ago and already presented the first production Su-57. They saw "mere mortals" and other new military-industrial complex products in Russia: X-47М2 "Dagger", "Poseidon" (most likely, just a mock-up, but okay) and even the Peresvet combat laser system. As for the Zircon, then история with this missile most of all resembles a joke about a gopher known to all.

Recall that in the case of Zircon we are talking about a hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile, which, according to data from open sources, is already capable of speeds 8 Mach and has a range of about 400-600 kilometers. However, there is even more impressive data. “Namely, I want to say about the Zircon hypersonic missile with a flight speed of about nine flies, and a range of more than a thousand kilometers, capable of hitting both sea and land targets,” the Russian president himself said in February of this year.

The public is even more interested in the status of rockets. That is, does such a rocket exist at all. And there are a lot of interesting things. Back in 2017, TASS, citing ex-commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Viktor Bondarev, reported that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation already had the Zircon missile in their arsenal. Vladimir Putin gave a more modest assessment of the state of the program in October 2019. “Zircon will definitely be,” said the head of the Russian state. According to calculations, the flight of the rocket to its maximum range will take about five minutes. It is likely that no modern fleet of the world will have an effective counteraction to such a threat.

It is not surprising that information regarding hypersonic missile carriers has to be collected bit by bit. If you believe the media, then “Zircon” want to arm almost all modern large Russian ships. Let's look at the situation in more detail.

First went

On November 19, TASS published an interesting article titled “Zircon Matters: Ships Retrofit to Hypersound”. It said that the first surface ship of the Russian fleet, which will receive a new missile, will be "Marshal Shaposhnikov" - a large anti-submarine ship of project 1155, which is part of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It can be recognized by its characteristic silhouette and tail number 543. This is not a new ship: it was commissioned in 1986. However, this is the first of the representatives of the 1155 project, which will undergo an appropriate modernization, after which it will become a frigate.

It is known that during the modernization of the ship will receive a universal launcher 3С14, with which it will be possible to use cruise missiles "Caliber", "Onyx" and "Zircon". In total, according to data from open sources, the Russian fleet has six large anti-submarine ships of the 1155 project in operation, not counting Shaposhnikov. Another - “Admiral Kharlamov” - is in reserve.

To the big ship - hypersonic rocket

Among the most likely other rocket carriers are Russian "1144st century battleships" - Project 2016 Orlan heavy nuclear missile cruisers. Russia has two of them: Peter the Great and Admiral Nakhimov. Interesting information about the first of them appeared back in XNUMX. "In the course of this work (modernization, -" Military Review "), the cruiser will be armed with Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles," TASS wrote then. This is a logical step that will make the world's largest non-carrier strike attack ships effective combat units. Which, however, does not guarantee their “invulnerability” from air attacks. Recall that the deck aviation The Russian Navy is significantly deprived - the only Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” under repair, which can drag on forever.

Repair of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov began on the floating dock PD-50, however, an accident occurred on the night of 29 on 30 on October 2018, as a result of which the dock sank. Russia has no other such dock, so the ship can be written off altogether. But even if this does not happen, they are unlikely to be re-equipped with the Zircons: taking into account the age and the “problem” history of the ship, this is expensive and inexpedient. Earlier, we recall that TASS wrote that the aircraft carrier could receive the 3X14 installation, which includes the Zircon cruise missile. Now this is most likely a story.

As, probably, the adoption in the foreseeable future of the arsenal of promising nuclear destroyers "Leader", which were also previously seen as one of the main carriers of Zircon missiles. “Russia will build two Leader destroyers by the end of the 2020's,” Izvestia wrote in February 2019. A lot can change by then. Now they are very strongly criticizing the choice of a nuclear power plant for the ship, and also talk about the lack of funds for the construction of such destroyers. Perhaps, even the chances of building a new Russian aircraft carrier are greater than the production of nuclear destroyers. Which, we note again, without air cover will be just very convenient (and very expensive) targets for enemy carrier-based aircraft.

Versions and conjectures

In 2018, the Russian Navy commissioned the head frigate of the 22350 Admiral Gorshkov project. In total, eight want to build such ships: in the foreseeable future, they should become one of the foundations of the surface forces of the Russian Navy. In March of the 2019 of the year, it became known that at the end of the 2019 of the year, the Zircon rocket would be launched for the first time from Admiral Gorshkov.

“Admiral Gorshkov” is a modern warship equipped with 3С14 launchers, which suggests that a promising hypersonic missile can “register” with all representatives of the 22350 project. This, without a doubt, would significantly increase the capabilities of the Russian fleet.

We also note that as of 2017, the carriers of 3С14, besides the then still not fully adopted by Admiral Gorshkov, were frigates of the 11356 project, corvettes project 20385, missile ships of the project 11661, small missile ships of the project 21631 and small missile ships of the project 22800. All these ships are significantly smaller than the head frigate of the 22350 project. Earlier, by the way, information appeared that the boats of the 22800 Karakurt project and the 21631 Buyan-M project could be equipped with a light version of the Zircon. Whether they will spend money on all this or will cost only the rearmament of large ships is another matter.

But in general, the fear of a number of Western observers of the Russian "mosquito fleet" is not without foundation. At the same time, it is worth saying bluntly that the full appearance of a new hypersonic missile could only be the appearance of its aviation version. However, in order to talk confidently about this, you need to know at least the mass and dimensions of the product. As well as the future of the Tu-22М3М long-range bomber and the prospects of the new “invisible” strategic bomber being developed as part of the PAK DA program.

In a deep theory, in the role of a carrier of such weapons Su-34 front-line bombers could act, but, apparently, the chances of this are even less. In the future, we will definitely talk about which Russian submarines can receive the Zircon hypersonic missile.
51 comment

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 24 November 2019 05: 13
    It is known that "Zircon" is placed in the same "Caliber" launch silo. Well, or they have the same TPK. Why, then, the submarines that successfully launch the Caliber will not be able to launch the Zircon?
    If all of these carriers - both surface ones up to the RTOs, and underwater (almost everything that has torpedo tubes) will have aviation - satellite target designation, then the domination of the AUG can be very controversial. Given the possibility of having special warheads
    1. WILL
      WILL 24 November 2019 05: 35
      The article unfortunately posed more questions - than it answered! recourse We look forward to - the promise of the end of the year, Start Zircon!
      1. Rostovchanin
        Rostovchanin 24 November 2019 06: 25
        The author of the infographic knows what Zircon looks like, but does not know that Admiral Nakhimov is 1144 Orlan, but not 1164 Atlant. And the displacement painted more belay
        1. Nemchinov Vl
          Nemchinov Vl 24 November 2019 10: 46
          Quote: Rostovchanin
          The author of the infographic knows what Zircon looks like, but does not know that Admiral Nakhimov is 1144 Orlan, but not 1164 Atlant. And the displacement painted more
          I am also amused by the "blooper" from the picture.
        2. Octopus
          Octopus 24 November 2019 14: 15
          Quote: Rostovchanin
          The author of the infographic knows what Zircon looks like, but does not know that Admiral Nakhimov is 1144 Orlan, but not 1164 Atlant.

          Infographics "RG" / Anton Perepletchikov

          Everything is so with them. Which is especially funny
          Quote: Rostovchanin
          knows what zircon looks like

          The second picture of zircon strongly resembles the first, and the first is a rocket from DAPRA.
        3. asr55
          asr55 18 November 2020 21: 22
          Actually, the author did not write that he knows what zircon looks like. But what he had in mind in the slip of the tongue, everyone understood, except for you, unfortunately. deprives you of reality Your stupid sarcasm about Zircon is completely dispelled even today. hypersonic missile Zircon u in November 2020 is already in service.
          1. Rostovchanin
            Rostovchanin 19 November 2020 01: 18
            And why this vyser? It was about projects of ships on infographics, not Zircon. Those images that are in the picture are not true. And everyone understood this except you.
    2. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 24 November 2019 06: 00
      How is this known? From oral statements? Well, why not "run from the shoulder"?
      Remember the Soviet parades. For starters, a new technique appeared on them. Without TTX. Foreign experts looked, analyzed and tried to draw conclusions. Sometimes right, sometimes not. And only after a year did we learn about it.
      And sometimes legends were born from secret stories that returned from service. Here, somewhere underground ... Huge, like a skyscraper, and five meters in diameter ...
      TTX was learned about such a technique, sometimes already at the time of its removal from service.
      What do we have now? The Supreme Commander stood up, showed filmstrips and told some of the performance characteristics, and such that the specialists were skeptical. But "prove it" too! You won't shout. So it turns out that maybe there is "zircon", or maybe a bluff, like in amerovskoy poker ....
      1. Octopus
        Octopus 24 November 2019 14: 32
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        So it turns out that maybe there is "zircon", or maybe a bluff, like in amerovskoy poker

        In general, balanced people are more or less clear. Speed ​​and air resistance are connected quadratically, this is without taking into account supersonic effects. So either it is atmospheric, or it is a maximum of a finite section. Or a lie, all of a sudden. The amount of energy in the fuel of a certain mass is finite, and the USSR has never been a leader in solid rocket fuel. The Americans are trying to get extra megajoules through liquid fuel and an oxidizing agent from the atmosphere, and this is combined with TPK in any way. Therefore, the Americans have air-launched missiles.
      2. Vadmir
        Vadmir 24 November 2019 15: 15
        TTX was learned about such a technique, sometimes already at the time of its removal from service.
        We found out.
        And Jane described them in detail, almost immediately after appearing in service, even if they were not shown at all at the parade or long before they were shown.
        Yes there were inaccuracies but not critical.
      3. asr55
        asr55 18 November 2020 21: 28
        Well, as the Leader of the Redskins, check out the results of how Russia plays poker today, in November 2020, if you even understand something about it. Dagger, Zircon, Vanguard, Poseidon, Peresvet are already on alert! What kind of poker do you want so far-sighted ?! In poker, you need to count well. Play wooden dominoes for now, pear to pear.
    3. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 24 November 2019 07: 12
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      Why, then, the submarines that successfully launch the Caliber will not be able to launch the Zircon?

      stop May:
      Zircon can be launched from the same launchers as the latest Russian anti-ship missiles P-800 Onyx and Caliber (3M54) [5]. Possible media:
      TARKR “Admiral Nakhimov”;
      TARKR "Peter the Great" (during the modernization of 2019-2022);
      nuclear destroyers of the project 23560 "Leader";
      Nuclear submarine of project 885M Yasen-M;
      Fifth-generation submarine "Husky" in the modification for the destruction of aircraft carrier strike groups;
      Nuclear submarine 949A Antey;

      After upgrading the heavy cruiser Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov, it will receive 3C14 universal launchers, the arsenal of which includes the Zircon cruise missile.

      Most likely, the matter here is limited production capabilities ...
      1. 2 Level Advisor
        2 Level Advisor 24 November 2019 07: 39
        Yuri Vasilyevich, be patient, the same Caliber (by the way the Yankees called it "Inferno") first flew on land, and then the Navy .. like Zircon, first it will fly on the surface, then we will get under the water .. all the same, the underwater start is a little harder ..
    4. Flooding
      Flooding 24 November 2019 09: 36
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      It is known that "Zircon" is placed in the same "Caliber" launch silo. Well, or they have the same TPK. Why, then, the submarines that successfully launch the Caliber will not be able to launch the Zircon?

      Maybe because 636.3 launch them through the TA?
      And, therefore, are certain modifications of both the launcher and missiles required to launch the Zircon through torpedo tubes?
      In this light, it becomes obvious that such a task is relegated to the background.
    5. VSrostagro
      VSrostagro 24 November 2019 13: 33
      It is known that "Zircon" is placed in the same "Caliber" launch silo. Well, or they have the same TPK. Why, then, the submarines that successfully launch the Caliber will not be able to launch the Zircon?

      Look at TTX Caliber and TTX Onyx (on Wikipedia for example) and compare TPK DIAMETER.
      The caliber is compatible with the 533 mm torpedo tubes, while Onyx with a diameter of 720 mm TPK will not fit into the torpedo tubes.
      Zircon is "inscribed" in the UVP 3S14 (like Onyx), and not in the 533 mm torpedo tube.
    6. The comment was deleted.
    7. 3danimal
      3danimal 26 November 2019 17: 57
      An old dream is to find a cheap "golden bullet". In reality, it’s always more difficult.
    8. Charik
      Charik 17 January 2020 11: 56
      but where it is said that the submarines cannot start Zircon, if there is a UVP, then at least something (zircon-onyx-caliber) and some of the plur
  2. Tommy
    Tommy 24 November 2019 05: 13
    Wait and see. Everything else is in the realm of fantasies, assumptions and speculation! The privacy mode has not been canceled!
  3. Fevralsk. Morev
    Fevralsk. Morev 24 November 2019 05: 14
    It's unclear. So is there life on Mars or not?
    1. Mestny
      Mestny 24 November 2019 11: 26
      It’s like someone.
      Fighters for the happiness of Mars against rogues and thieves it seems that there is no life.
      Other normal people - on the contrary.
  4. jonht
    jonht 24 November 2019 05: 47
    Knowing the mass and dimensions of Onyx, only Tu-22m3m or Swans can drag it. The Tu-22s began to be modernized and it seems like they plan at least 30 pieces, and if we take into account that the daggers are most likely to be added to the modernized ones, then why not add Zircon to it in the future?
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 24 November 2019 07: 39
      Or Su30 -1 pcs
      1. jonht
        jonht 24 November 2019 11: 04
        On the Indian Su-30, a specially facilitated version is developed. Read more about it on the net and realize that the weight and size are well reduced.
        1. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 24 November 2019 11: 53
          Reduced due to what? Acceleration block .... and here you can do the same.
          1. jonht
            jonht 24 November 2019 12: 22
            Dear, read, there not only the overclocking unit was removed, but the dimensions were reduced. Yes, there were articles on VO, and they revived it for at least 4 years, the same Su remade them. And you want to take it and just hang it, they don’t.
      2. 3danimal
        3danimal 26 November 2019 17: 59
        Only in the version of Bramos-2 (and its dimensions).
        In case of dimension a'la Waverider, only on a bomber.
  5. tlauicol
    tlauicol 24 November 2019 06: 20
    Most likely, we are not talking about any hypersound in 8-9mah. I suppose that zircon is another onyx or caliber modernization, with much more modest performance characteristics than we are told
    1. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 24 November 2019 07: 19
      Quote: Tlauicol
      I suppose that zircon is another onyx or caliber modernization, with much more modest performance characteristics than we are told

      Man assumes God OKB has ... yes
      The fundamental difference between this missile is a significantly higher (up to M = 8) flight speed both in comparison with other Russian anti-ship missiles, and with anti-ship missiles that are in service with other countries ...

      But in reality it may turn out (as in the story with the "Calibers") that the flight speed will be higher than the announced ...
  6. Amateur
    Amateur 24 November 2019 07: 18
    Remember the warrior forever!
    A talker for the enemy!

    Here's the trouble. One-piece "Zircon" was invented, but Mr. Legate was not reported.
  7. Cympak
    Cympak 24 November 2019 08: 08
    "Versions and speculations" ....
  8. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 24 November 2019 08: 19
    The name Zircon is probably not accidental, there is such a metal zirconium davolno high-melting, even higher temperatures and some of its compounds possess they can make heat-resistant ceramics. This is important because at a speed of 8 Mach the rocket heats up very much.
    1. Nick Russ
      Nick Russ 24 November 2019 13: 15
      I wonder if it is possible to create a vacuum in front of the rocket by burning oxygen (such as cavitation under water)? Then the resistance would be minimal and, accordingly, speed gain would be easier, and the missile body would not heat up.
      1. Sancho_SP
        Sancho_SP 24 November 2019 14: 56
        There were theories associated with the formation of rarefied plasma around the product.

        The problem is different, a cruise missile, not a ballistic one. She definitely needs to create lift. And this is just about the air.
        1. Nick Russ
          Nick Russ 24 November 2019 15: 20
          It is hardly possible to create a full vacuum in such conditions, and at a hypersonic speed a very small amount of air may be sufficient to steer, etc.
  9. Thrifty
    Thrifty 24 November 2019 08: 24
    Ilya, we have 4 nuclear missile cruisers, just 2 are in service, and one of these two is being modernized. Now, about the birds, you can't sleep without photos and precise characteristics of "Zircon"? Putin should have talked less about promising types of weapons, the people would have been less excited now "in anticipation of promising miracles," let's say. They do not show the king of stones (zircon is the king of kun, or the king of stones, from Persian), and they do it right! The country should have in its hands a whole deck of trump cards, from which the "sworn friends" can snatch such a surprise that it will not seem like little, but more will not be required.
    1. Sancho_SP
      Sancho_SP 24 November 2019 14: 58
      Now the war is precisely what is informational, not real.

      The scenarios for the use of zircons are nuclear war.
  10. K-50
    K-50 24 November 2019 08: 51
    The picture titled "Admiral Nakhimov" shows the cruiser of the project 1164 Atlant code ("Moscow", "Varyag", etc.).
  11. Igorpl
    Igorpl 24 November 2019 09: 32
    The article is well written. More to such.
    1. Nemchinov Vl
      Nemchinov Vl 24 November 2019 10: 55
      Quote: Igorpl
      The article is well written. More to such.
      alas, the article was written without specifics. As I remember in one of the Soviet films, at the lecture "dreams and dreams", the lecturer utters a catch phrase, - "in this way we understand that sleep is neither - nor sleep, but neither sleep, nor is - sleep ..." !!
  12. Sansculotte
    Sansculotte 24 November 2019 09: 49
    At the same time, it’s worth saying bluntly that only the appearance of its aviation version could become a full-fledged birth of a new hypersonic missile.

    That's so said bluntly, it's good, bold, tough. The truth is pointless and incoherent
  13. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 24 November 2019 11: 16
    The aviation version of the RCC is much easier to do than the ship.
    Hanged under the plane, released - flew.
    Launch is easier, no need to design a container (or launchers).
    Therefore, the fact that for some reason Zircon begins with the ship version is surprising.
    1. jonht
      jonht 24 November 2019 12: 28
      Not much, the problem in our Navy is its quantitative and qualitative composition, of the options: 1 to build a lot of new ones, 2 to arm with the fact that it is guaranteed to destroy the enemy.
      From the carobel version it’s easier to make it to the earth (the benefit of the INF Treaty is dead), it’s possible to carry out relief work on a plane.
    2. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 24 November 2019 13: 15
      Maybe because the Granites need something to replace.
    VLADIMIR VLADIVOSTOK 24 November 2019 11: 41
    What are two battleships? What are you burying Lazarev! That's when they write off, then we'll talk. Expert from the couch. Knows write off no.
  15. ss-n-22
    ss-n-22 24 November 2019 18: 08
    With a picture, yes, epic file. Author, little things - this is important. The curator will not praise you for the fact that the whole article, which is completely disastrous in essence, is disastrous even in propaganda material. Although, thanks for not depicting Ticonderoga. Nothing, still learn.
  16. Romeo
    Romeo 24 November 2019 20: 11
    A day ago, there was news about the arrival of "Admiral Gorshkov" to test new missile weapons. So I don't think long to wait. Maybe show start.
  17. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 24 November 2019 21: 21
    the main weapon is submarines, surface ships can also carry zircons ..... but battleships are definitely not needed, and so there are a couple of 1144 ....... and there are not many new ones to build, no minesweepers, so that the fleet is generally useless
  18. Deathmaker
    Deathmaker 25 November 2019 08: 06
    Most likely I'm wrong, but so far it seems to me that "Zircon" is such an analogue of "Star Wars" from the USA during the Cold War. Those. a scary rattle that makes the enemy fuss and waste money. Judging by the last screams from behind the puddle, the rattle worked. Let's see the results.
  19. 3danimal
    3danimal 26 November 2019 17: 56
    And again, as an image of Zircon they give out an American Waverider with the distinction marks deleted in Photoshop ...
    IMHO, with the declared characteristics, it will not be possible to place the rocket in the UKKS cell.
    There was a version that in fact Zircon is just a program for the modernization of Bramos, which is more realistic and can accommodate on the Gorshkov.
  20. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 27 November 2019 08: 52
    There is such a zirconium metal, the melting point is 1855 ° C, some compounds, for example, zirconium carbide, are also distinguished by a high melting point, these compounds are quite suitable for creating high-temperature ceramics. Refractory substances are necessary to protect against the destruction of hypersonic aircraft.
  21. asr55
    asr55 18 November 2020 21: 15
    Today is the end of 2020. Zircon, Dagger, Vanguard, Poseidon are clear realities and are in service with Russia. Well, as the author of the anecdote about the gopher, can you tell it now?