Military Wiki
3M22 Tsirkon Zircon
Type Hypersonic missile
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service In production
Used by Russia
Production history
Designer NPO Mashinostroyeniya
Produced 2012–present

Engine Scramjet
Fuel capacity 600 miles (970 km)
400 kilometres (250 mi)
Speed 5,328 miles per hour (8,575 km/h){mach 7}
Aircraft, submarines, ships, and ground based SAM systems

Zircon or 3M22 Tsirkon (Циркон, NATO reporting name: SS-N-33)[1] is a maneuvering hypersonic missile being developed by the Russian military.[2][3] Its last successful launch was on June 3, 2017, almost a year earlier than had been announced by Russian officials.[4]


The Zircon or 3M22 Tsirkon is a maneuvering[3][5] hypersonic missile that represents a further development of the HELA (Russian: "Hypersonic Experimental Flying Vehicle") that was on display at the MAKS airshow in 1995. Developer NPO Mashinostroyeniya.[6]


Prototypes were test-launched first from a Tu-22M3 bomber in 2012-13. Launches from a ground platform followed in 2015, with first success achieved in 2016. Completion of state trials on the whole family is targeted for 2020. The Zircon is believed to be a winged cruise missile with a lift-generating center body. A booster stage with solid-fuel engines accelerates it to supersonic speeds, after which a scramjet motor in the second stage accelerates it to hypersonic speeds. Range is estimated to be 135 to 270 nautical miles (155 to 311 mi; 250 to 500 km) at low level, and up to 400 nmi (460 mi; 740 km) in a semi-ballistic trajectory;[7] average range is around 400 km (250 mi; 220 nmi)/450.[8] The missile can travel at speeds of Mach 5–Mach 6 (3,806–4,567 mph; 6,125–7,350 km/h; 1,701.5–2,041.7 m/s). Such high speeds have led to concerns that it could penetrate existing naval defense systems; the Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile is only capable of intercepting targets flying up to Mach 3.[9][10][11] In April 2017, it was revealed that the Zircon had reached a speed of Mach 8 (6,090 mph; 9,800 km/h; 2,722.3 m/s) during a test.[12]

According to the state-owned media, the longest range is 540 nmi (620 mi; 1,000 km) for this purpose a new fuel was created.[13][14][15] The Zircon will be incorporated into the Kirov-class battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov in 2018, and the Pyotr Velikiy in 2022. The ships will have their Mach 2.5, 630 kilometres (390 mi; 340 nmi)-range P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles replaced with 3S-14 vertical launch systems capable of holding P-800 Oniks and Kalibr missiles as well as the Zircon; each battlecruiser will be equipped with 72[16] (Frigate 8-16)[17][18] of the missiles. Depending on the choice of types of missiles will amount to 40 - 80.[19] It will also be used by undersea and aerial platforms, including the Lider-class destroyer, Husky-class submarine, Yasen-class submarine[17] and Tu-160M2 Blackjack and PAK-DA bomber. In flight, the missile is completely covered by the stealth shell, the shell completely absorbs any rays of the radio frequencies.[16][18] Missiles exchange information in flight, can be controlled by commands if necessary.[20]

A version for export will have range limited to under 300 km in compliance with the MTCR,[7] 400.[13]


In active service already.[21][22]

See also


  2. "Russia develops hypersonic 4,600 mph Zircon missile". Fox News. 1 April 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Эксперт рассказал о суперспособности ракеты "Циркон" преодолеть системы ПРО". РЕН ТВ. 15 April 2017. 
  4. Marsden, Harriet (3 June 2017). "New Russian missile 'makes Western defences obselete'". The Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  5. "Российские ракеты "Циркон" делают американский "Джеральд Форд" "авианедоносцем".  | Блог Малюта | КОНТ". 
  6. Ivanov, Yuri (17 April 2017). "Гиперзвуковая ракета "Циркон" ослабит позиции США" (in Russian). Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Russia and India Test Hypersonic and Supersonic Missiles -, 25 April 2017
  8. Dave Majumdar (2016-04-22). "Russia’s Lethal Hypersonic Zircon Cruise Missile to Enter Production". The National Interest Blog. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  9. Mizokami, Kyle (2016-04-26). "Russia's Putting Hypersonic Missiles on Its Battlecruisers". Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  10. Caroline Mortimer. "Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers cannot stop Russia's new hypersonic Zircon missiles". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  11. Britain Admits that Russian Missiles Can Blow Its New Aircraft Carriers Out of the Water -, 30 April 2017
  12. Russia’s hypersonic Zircon anti-ship missile reaches eight times speed of sound -, 15 April 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Для гиперзвуковых крылатых ракет в России создано принципиально новое топливо". Вести. 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  14. "Российские ракеты "Циркон" делают американский "Джеральд Форд" "авианедоносцем". | Блог Малюта | КОНТ". Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  15. "Ракеты "Циркон" окончательно определили технологическое превосходство России над США". Русская политика. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Виктория Фоменко (2016-05-17). "Опаснее "Калибра": Россия начала испытание гиперзвуковой ракеты "Циркон" - Газета Труд". Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Российская ракета "Циркон" достигла восьми скоростей звука". 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 п÷п╣я─п╡я▀п╧ п╨п╟п╫п╟п╩ (2017-05-21). "В России успешно провели испытания новой гиперзвуковой ракеты "Циркон", не имеющей аналогов в мире". Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  19. "Начались испытания гиперзвуковой ракеты "Циркон"". 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  20. ""Циркон" выходит на рабочую скорость". 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  22. 22.0 22.1

Further reading

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