Russian navy deploying hypersonic missile to Pacific

The Russian navy is deploying warships to the Pacific Ocean that carry the new Zircon hypersonic missile deemed to be too fast for U.S. defenses.

The Gremyashchiy, Russia’s newest warship, will carry the Zircon, an anti-ship missile believed to be capable of traveling at Mach 7.

The warship will be launched later this year and join the Pacific fleet, Forbes reported.

The missile is seen as a counter to the U.S. Navy’s Aegis air defense system.

Currently, Russian warships carry a subsonic anti-ship missile similar to the U.S. Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile.

The 3M22 Zircon missile can travel at around 7 times the speed of sound (~5,600 mph) to hit targets approximately 250 miles away.

Russian sources say the missile has a top range of about 650 miles and can travel at various trajectories, including sea-skimming low altitudes.

Other countries including China and the U.S. have been experimenting with hypersonic missiles. However, Russia is leading that development and appears on track to be the first country that will field them.

At least two Gremyashchiy Class corvettes will enter service, the first in 2019. Both will operate in the Pacific, Forbes reported.

Russia’s newest submarine, K-561 Kazan, is also expected to carry Zircon missiles.

The sub is expected to enter service with the Russian navy next year.

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