Brahmos II aka Zircon Anti Ship Hypersonic cruise missile reaches eight times speed of sound
Russia’s new hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missile has reached eight times the speed of sound during the test, a source with Russia’s defense sector told TASS.
“During the tests of the missile it was confirmed that its speed on the march reaches eight Mach (number that takes into account the dependence of the speed of sound on the altitude of flight – TASS),” the source said.
He did not specify when and from which platform the missile was launched.
The source noted that Zircon missiles can be launched from universal launching platforms 3C14 which are also used for the Onyx and Caliber missiles.
Earlier other sources in Russian defense industry told TASS that Zircon missiles will be tested this year. It is expected that the new missiles will be installed at the heave nuclear-powered cruisers Peter the Great and Admiral Nakhimov.
Zircon’s firing range, according to open data, is about 400 kilometers; the maximum speed of the missile is indicated in about 4-6 Mach.
Hypersonic weapons are missiles and aircraft capable of reaching speeds of Mach 5 and more – or five times the speed of sound. They are extremely difficult to intercept due to their overwhelming speed and maneuvering capabilities. Hypersonic technologies in general, used in weapons systems and prospective aircraft, were seen by experts as a game changer in future warfare.
Russia planned to use the Zircon missile in its modern submarines, missile cruisers, and destroyers. the Zircon will replace the existing P 800 and Kalibr missile from the Russian naval ships. P 800 is known as the base model of Brahmos.
Brahmos corp involved in three bigger projects, one is the air-launched version known as Brahmos-A, 2nd is the Brahmos II hypersonic variant of Brahmos, three is the Brahmos NG who is a mini version of the Brahmos to be carried in small OPV’s and fighter jets.
Brahmos corp, a joint venture company of Indian DRDO and Russian NPO, made the Brahmos missile from the base model of Russian Oniks missile. In Brahmos family, there were many variants, used for many missions, from anti-ships to steep dive mission. Indian Armed forces are the only user who uses the Brahmos variants in Army, Navy, and Airforce. while Russia yet to employ their naval ships with Brahmos missile.
Brahmos used in the Navy ships usually to conduct the anti-ship and anti-surface mission with the range of 300 kilometers, and in lo lo mode the missile can strike targets up to 120 kilometers, during the lo lo lo mode, it’s impossible to intercept the supersonic missile flying at Mach 3 speed.
Indian army also uses the Brahmos in three variants block I, II, and III, those block versions are more advanced variants than its predecessors. The air force also operates a land-based launchers, air force operates one or two squadrons of Brahmos missiles.
Brahmos II Characteristics
Speed : Mach 8
Range : 300-400 kilometer
warhead : 300 kg, conventional, shrapnel, or armor piercing
Induction : 2019
Launch platform: Ship, as the first phase