State-run Russian media stated on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent one of his country’s most cutting-edge warships, equipped with cutting-edge hypersonic missiles, on a long cruise through the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
A source from the TASS news agency states that on Wednesday after Putin spoke with the ship’s commander and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu via video link, the frigate Admiral Gorshkov departed from an unspecified northern Russian port.
Putin claimed the ship was armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles, a type of long-range weapon capable of traveling at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound and so being more difficult to detect and intercept.
Putin reportedly added, “It has no analogs in any country in the world.” TASS translates this to mean that there is nothing like it anywhere else.
His final comment was, “I am sure that such powerful weapons will reliably safeguard Russia from potential foreign threats and will help ensure the national interests of our country.” By all accounts, Russia successfully tested the Zircon system in late 2021, shooting from Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea and successfully striking a naval target more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) distant.
This deployment could be the first time used in a potentially violent circumstance. During the campaign, “the main efforts will be concentrated on opposing Russia’s threats and ensuring regional peace and stability jointly with friendly countries,” Shoigu said by TASS.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has lasted for ten months, yet the TASS story does not refer to it. It’s also unclear if the Zircon missile would be effective in that conflict.
If it’s as effective as the Russians claim, it may be a very dangerous weapon.