Russia deploys hypersonic missiles on nuclear submarines

According to Russia’s largest shipbuilder, Russia’s new nuclear submarines will be equipped with Zircon hypersonic missiles.

“The multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the Yasen-M project will be … equipped with the Zircon missile system as standard,” Alexei Rakhmanov, the chairman of the board of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), said in an interview with the state-run RIA news agency, according to the German news platform “Progress in that direction is already underway.”

The Zircon-type sea-launched hypersonic missiles have a range of 900 kilometers and can travel at several times the speed of sound. Political scientist Frank Sauer from the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich explains, according to the German news platform that the “Zirkon” project is based on the technology of a so-called “ramjet engine”. The rocket initially uses a special “solid rocket engine” to accelerate. This engine is disconnected during flight once a certain speed is reached. The unique design of the rocket allows high pressure air to flow into the rocket, mix with propellant, and ignite, causing the exceptionally high speed. The exact details of this weapon system are not publicly known.

Image:, Putin at military exercises (2022) 02., CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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