A report from the Militarnyi news agency said that during a recent mass missile attack on Ukraine, Russian forces used the newest 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missile.
The missile, reportedly launched from the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula towards Kyiv, followed a trajectory distinct from previous missile launches, such as the “Oniks” and “Kinzhal.” Debris found at the crash site is believed to belong to the 3M22 “Zircon” missile, with markings identifying it as “3M22 №23066.”
This development suggests that Russia is employing cutting-edge missile technology for testing and potentially refining its capabilities on Ukrainian soil.
Despite limited public information about Zircon, including its precise capabilities and appearance, Russian President Vladimir Putin previously stated in February 2019 that the weapon boasts a top speed of around Mach 9 and a range of approximately 620 miles.
The hypersonic missile 3M22 “Zircon” is developed by the Scientific Production Association of Machine Building (NPO Mashinostroyeniya) for use with the ship-based Universal Vertical Launching System 3S14.
Officially accepted into service with the Russian Navy on January 4, 2023, the missile was integrated into the arsenal of the Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class ship assigned to the Northern Fleet.
The deployment of Zircon underscores Russia’s aggressive posture and its willingness to leverage advanced weaponry in war with Ukrainian civilians.