Russia announces tests of hypersonic Zircon anti-ship missile in warning to US

Source: The Duran, by Alexander Mercouris

Russia announces test of hypersonic Zircon anti-ship missile as warning to US following US navy deployments against Syria and North Korea.

It is probably no coincidence that as international tensions have ratcheted up following on the US missile strike on Syria and the US military deployments around North Korea, that Russia has announced that its new hypersonic Zircon anti-ship missile has achieved speeds of Mach 8 in tests.

This claim appears in an article carried by the official Russian news agency TASS.

Unlike other Russian news agencies and media outlets, TASS is and always has been the official news agency of the Russian government.  Though its name refers to the USSR (Telegrafnoye agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza – “Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union”) it was actually set up by the tsarist government in 1902, when it was called the Commercial Telegraph Agency (TTA, Torgovo-Telegrafnoe Agentstvo).   Following the fall of the USSR in 1992 it called itself for a time “ITAR-TASS” (“Information Telegraph Agency of Russia – TASS”) before reverting to its old and better known name TASS in 2014.

The point is that since TASS is the official news agency of the Russian government, articles which it carries have the official stamp of approval, and are especially authoritative.

On the subject of the Zircon test, it has been known for some time that Russia has been developing this hypersonic anti-ship missile.

TASS does not say when the test took place, but it does pointedly say that Zircon’s range is 400 kilometres – more than the current reported distance between the US navy and their presumed targets in North Korea (said to be 300 kilometres) – and that Zircon can be launched from existing launch platforms used by existing anti-ship missiles like Kalibr and Onyx, some of which are shore based.

The claim about the results of the test are made in this comment from an anonymous but undoubtedly high ranking source within the Russian defence complex

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