3 January 2022
“These trials proved the possibility of launching this hypersonic missile both from a surface ship and a nuclear-powered submarine from the submerged position." Also known as Zircon and SS-N-33 (NATO Nomenclature), the 3M22 Tsirkon is a winged, hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile. [...] The missile had already completed at least eight tests firing aboard the Northern Fleet’s Admiral Gorshkov, the lead ship of the Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov- class frigates, from the beginning of 2020. [...] According to a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry, The missile was launched from the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine from a depth of 131 feet and hit a test target in the Barents Sea. [...] The missile is expected to make its way to a wide swathe of Russia’s latest and most advanced vessels, including the Admiral Grigorovich-class and Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates, Gremyashchiy- class and Buyan-class corvettes, the battlecruisers Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Velikiy and Project 885M nuclear-powered submarine. [...] In its threat assessment, the annual defence white paper has underscored China’s unilateral attempts to alter the status quo in the East and South China Seas and North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programme posing imminent security challenges for Japan.