Russia navy close to arming itself with hypersonic missiles

The Russian navy is set to begin receiving its first hypersonic ballistic missiles, which would give its warships a significant advantage over existing American missile defense systems.

The navy may begin receiving Zirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile during the Kremlin’s state armament program (GPV) for 2018-2027.

If the weapon is ready, the Russian navy’s Project 20385 and 20386 corvettes and Project 23350 and 23350M frigates would be among the first to receive the new missiles, according to state media.

“One of the priorities is to build corvettes of the Project 20385 and 20386 classes and frigates of the Project 23350 and 23350M classes with high-precision weapons, including Caliber-NK cruise missiles and Zirkon hypersonic missiles,” a Russian defense industry source told TASS.

Other experts said they see no reason why Moscow could not begin building and testing the Zirkon in the near-term.

“I do not see any reasons to doubt that Russia can start procuring them in the next several years,” said Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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