Zircon Anti-Ship Hypersonic Missile: can’t be beaten by the U.S.?. Russia and the United States rush to equip their attack submarines with better missiles.
Zircon Anti-Ship Hypersonic Missile: can’t be beaten by the U.S.?
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – The Russian navy is in full swing building up the capabilities of its attack submarines as part of a weapons modernization program aimed at equipping each of them with 48 new submarine-launched cruise missiles.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, this step is aimed at doubling the strike capabilities of the Russian nuclear submarine Irkutsk as part of a modernization program called Project 949AM.
“Now the nuclear submarine“ Irkutsk ”is undergoing repairs and modernization at the Far East plant“ Zvezda ”. Earlier, a TASS source said that the strike capabilities of this submarine after modernization will at least double – it will be able to carry 48 new Caliber-PL, Onyx and Zircon missiles, ”the agency reports.
Zircon hypersonic missile facts
The fact that the submarines will be equipped with these missiles is significant. The Russian submarine and ship-based cruise missile Caliber-PL was first spotted by the United States in 2015, when Russia fired twenty-six cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea at eleven targets in Syria and the missiles flew 1,500 kilometers, according to a report published on the website deagle.com. The report also said that these missiles use both GPS technology and inertial measurement module targeting technologies, making them similar to the American Tomahawks, which are capable of covering distances of 900 nautical miles. Also, do not forget about the latest hypersonic underwater missile “Zircon”.
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It should be noted that these Russian efforts to build up the capabilities of its attack submarines are being implemented in parallel with the US Navy’s initiative to equip Virginia-class attack submarines with additional payload modules. These modules are 25 meters long bays that increase the number of Tomahawk cruise missiles on board from 12 to 40. This significant increase in firepower is part of the Block V Virginia class submarine program. The program is already in full swing, and new submarines will have to replace the enormous firepower of the Tomahawks that are installed on four Ohio-class nuclear submarines equipped with guided missiles.
Tomahawk missiles, which are the weapon of choice, are capable of detecting targets on land from distances of up to 900 nautical miles, use a two-way data link to correct coordinates for guidance, and “patrol” overstriking areas if necessary. The new modification of the Tomahawk missiles, developed for the Navy, is equipped with technologies that allow it to destroy moving enemy ships. It will be quite interesting to find out if the Russian submarine-launched cruise missiles that are currently being equipped with submarines will have similar technical characteristics. Perhaps Moscow does not have the means to destroy targets like the American Tomahawks. However, in terms of the number of cruise missiles installed on submarines, the Russians appear to be trying to outflank US Block V Virginia-class submarines armed with 40 Tomahawks by building submarines armed with 48 cruise missiles.
Russia’s attempt to match or surpass the new firepower of the US Navy’s Virginia-class submarines will certainly not surprise anyone at the Pentagon.
Chris Osborne is the editor of the National Interest. He previously worked at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army. In addition, he was a leading and military expert on national television channels.