Russian TV Showcases New Zircon Hypersonic Missile; "It is Like a Knife through Butter"
On February 22, 2019 Russian state-owned TV channel showcased the new Zircon hypersonic missile, which Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about during his address to the National Assembly. Russia-24 reported: "It's like a knife through butter… It'll outperform any anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system of a potential adversary… Its hypersonic speed of Mach 9 is also impressive." Russia-24 explained the rationale behind the weapon: "This type of weapon plays a special role, given the situation with the INF Treaty, which Washington decided to ruin. If the treaty is terminated, the American partners will be able to deploy shock troops onto the European continent… The experts stress that the Zircon can destroy the Pentagon's illusion that in case of an escalation, American servicemen will be safe. Anti-missile defense systems won't help the opponent."
Anchor: Now let's discuss the military part of the address. Experts are commenting on the most advanced weapons which the President spoke about yesterday, such as the Zircon hypersonic missile. Elizaveta Khramtsova has the details of its combat specifications.
Elizaveta Khramtsova: It's like a knife through butter. That's how experts describe the capacities o the new Russia hypersonic system Zircon. It will outperform any anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system of a potential adversary. The high-precision cruise missile Zircon will have a range of over 60 0 miles. Its hypersonic speed of Mach 9 is also impressive. The Zircon will pose a threat not only to the intermediate-range missiles deployed in Europe; it'll help destroy the key elements of the control system of their decision-making units which are located outside of the European continent.
Rear Admiral (Ret.) Vsevolod Khmyrov: Given the fact that the missile system belong to the Americans, it's clear that they'll be controlled from the decision-making units located in the territory of the American continent.
Elizaveta Khramtsova: This type of weapon plays a special role given the situation with the INF Treaty, which Washington decided to ruin. If the treaty is terminated, the American partners will be able to deploy shock troops onto the European continent. In the framework of the American anti-missile defense system, Aegis Ashore systems with MK 41 systems have already been deployed in Romania. The same systems will be in Poland soon. Not only defense missiles, but also strike Tomahawks with a range of 1500 miles, can be launched from them. The experts stress that the Zircon can destroy the Pentagon's illusion that in the case of an escalation, American servicemen will be safe. Anti-missile defense systems won't help the opponent.
Real Admiral (Ret.) Vsevolod Khmyrov: If a vehicle carrying Zircon missiles is 300 miles away from the coastline, it'll take the missiles five minutes to reach the targets in the coastal zone at a distance under 300 miles. What can be done during this period of time? At best, one can detect the missiles flying to the target, but not intercept them. A hypersonic system such as the Zircon practically pierces any anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense system. There's no defense against it.
Elizaveta Khramtsova: The number of Zircons which can be put in service leaves no doubt that decision-making units will be destroyed. According to experts, there can be 2-3 surface ships and submarines carrying Zircons which are on combat duty in the Western Atlantic Ocean or the Eastern Pacific Ocean on each direction. Each vessel can carry about 40 missiles. Vladimir Putin mentioned the projects to create a promising novelty in his previous address to the Federal Assembly. The President stressed that today, the work on the hypersonic missile Zircon is successfully progressing according to schedule. The new missile is supposed to be launched from sea-based carriers, follow-on surface ships, and submarines. Some of them either have already been made or being made to carry the high-precision missile system Kalibr. This means that the development of the new type of weapons won't affect the budget. The sea-based system Poseidon also undermines all of the Pentagon's efforts to create a naval anti-missile defense system. The President also mentioned this system in his address. The system is automated and compact. The unmanned underwater apparatuses of Poseidon are extremely hard to detect and harder to intercept. Vladimir noted that the first nuclear submarine carrying the Poseidon unmanned vehicle will be launched this spring. Elizaveta Khramtsova for Vesti.