On Saturday night, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Zircon hypersonic missiles are in service. He also stated that mass production is imminent.
The 3M22 Zircon is a scramjet-powered hypersonic cruise missile. It is capable of speeds of up to Mach 9 and a reported range of 1,000 kilometers. It is designed for use onboard submarines and surface vessels, though a ground-launched variant is also in development. Though intended to be used as an anti-ship missile, it can also target ground assets and locations.
The Zircon joins the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal as the second hypersonic missile and the third hypersonic weapon in the Russian inventory (not including ICBMs). The Kinzhal is an air-launched missile with a longer range of 3,000 kilometers as well as an alleged maximum speed of Mach 12. Like the Zircon, it is capable of striking both naval and ground targets. According to Defence Minister Shoigu, the Kinzhal has already been used three times in Ukraine, hitting vital targets with relative impunity.