Rocket "Zircon"
Rocket "Zircon"

Hypersonic Zircon rocket


In recent years, the United States has begun to actively develop its missile defense system. The US government sought to locate some components of its missile defense system in Eastern Europe, which caused the beginning of the great nuclear missile race between America and Russia.

Rocket "Zircon" 1

In view of the rapid expansion of American missile defense systems near the borders of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Defense decided to counter this by developing new hypersonic missiles. One of the most effective of these is the hypersonic Zircon rocket (3K-22). According to experts, Russia will be able to effectively counter any potential adversary only if it performs an urgent modernization of the army and navy.


The purpose of the modernization of the Russian Navy

According to the plan of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, work began on 2011 on the development of a unique weapon - the Zircon rocket. A distinctive feature of such a unique weapon is the highest speed. They have a super high speed, so the enemy will have difficulties not only in terms of interception, but also when detected. Military experts consider the Zircon cruise missile to be one of the most effective deterrents to a potential enemy’s aggression to date. The characteristics of the rocket make it possible to call this weapon “a modern hypersonic sword of the Russian Navy”.


The history of the creation of the rocket "Zircon"

Supersonic and hypersonic technologies have been developed for so long because new unique engineering solutions and ideas were needed to implement them.


Now anti-ship missiles, developing speed 2,5-3 M or 3-4 thousand km per hour are used everywhere. But even this seemingly perfect weapon has its drawbacks. They can get confused in the direction of the goal, do not have the ability to effectively maneuver. As a result of the fact that rockets are gaining greater altitude, this allows them to almost immediately find out and learn about the trajectory of their movement. As a result, the attacked object is more likely to leave the affected area in a timely manner. Therefore, the higher speeds that the Zircon can develop led him to understandable difficulties.

Rocket "Zircon" 12

Rocket flights even in the upper atmosphere with more than 3 speed provoked the emergence of a thermal barrier. Due to the high air resistance, some parts were substantially heated. For example, the air intakes reached a temperature of 3000C, and the remaining parts even with excellent streamlined warmed up to 2500.


During the test, it was found out that:

  • duralumin components that are quite popular in aviation can lose a lot in strength at a height already on 2300;
  • with 5200, titanium is deformed, as well as its alloys;
  • with 6500, aluminum and magnesium are melted, plus even heat-resistant steel significantly loses its rigidity.


If the flight altitude was less than 20 kilometers (this would lead to difficulties in detecting and intercepting the target), then the heating of the skin would be 10 C, which no metal can withstand. As you can see, the main problem with hypersonic speeds is temperature.


Even if you do not take into account the huge heating of the metal and the parts necessary for targeting, the fuel begins to boil and decompose, with the result that its properties are lost.


The problem could be successfully solved only with the use of hydrogen. But in liquid form it is dangerous, moreover, it is difficult to store, whereas in gaseous it has low efficiency and occupies a larger volume. Serious and long development went to the antenna, which works at a radio frequency. Classic signal receivers burned in a matter of seconds of hypersound flight. The lack of communication with the center provoked the loss of important advantages and uncontrollability of weapons.

Rocket "Zircon" 32434


The first information about the beginning of the creation of a sea-based hypersonic rocket Zirkon appeared in the media in the winter of 2011. The weapon became the last complex development of domestic designers.


It is assumed that the rocket complex "Zircon" had the designation 3K-22.


In August, 2011, the general director of the Tactical Missile Weapons Concern, B. Obnosov, announced that the corporation had begun to develop a rocket that can reach speeds up to 13 Mach, correspondingly, exceed the speed of sound 13 times (we recall that Russian Navy to 2,5 Mach).


In 2012, the deputy defense minister of Russia said that in the near future, the first test of the developed hypersonic missile is expected.


According to data from open sources, the development of the ship complex with the Zircon rocket is entrusted to NPO Mashinostroeniya. But technical information is classified. There were only estimated data: speed - 5-6 Max, range - 300-400 km.


It was rumored that the rocket is a hypersonic version of the BrahMos, a winged supersonic rocket, which was created by Russian designers together with Indian engineers based on the Onyx P-800 rocket. In February, 2016 of the Year, BrahMos Aerospace Corp. announced that a hypersonic engine for its offspring could be created within three to four years.


In the spring of 2016, the media announced the start of testing of the Zircon rocket, which took place from the ground launch complex.


In the future, “Zircon” was planned to be installed on the new Russian Husky submarines. At this time, these fifth-generation multipurpose nuclear submarines are being created by the Malachite design bureau.


Then the media released information that the flight design tests of the rocket were in full swing. Upon their completion, a decision was made on the adoption of the Zircon for the Russian Navy. In April of the 2016 year, information appeared that the test of the Zircon hypersonic rocket would be completed by the 2017 year, and in the 2018 year it was planned to launch mass production.


In 2011, Tactical Missile Weapons launched the design of the anti-ship Zircon anti-ship missile. According to experts, the characteristics of the new weapons have much in common with the complex "Bolid".

Rocket "Zircon" 3232

In 2012 and 2013 On the proving ground in Akhtubinsk a test of the new rocket was conducted. As the carrier used aircraft "TU-22М3". The result of the tests was the conclusion about the reason for the short-term flight of the warhead and the unsuccessful launch. Further testing was conducted in the 2015 year, but as a carrier of the ground launch complex. Now the Zirkon rocket was launched from an emergency launch. The 2016 characteristics of the year, while testing, showed a positive result and showed a positive result, which prompted the creators to announce in the media about the development of a new, more advanced rocket weapon at supersonic speeds.


Where are going to use the new missiles?


Upon completion of the next planned state. tests of hypersonic missiles are planned to be equipped with the cruisers "Leader", "Husky" (nuclear submarines), modernized nuclear cruisers "Peter the Great" and "Orlan". The modern anti-ship Zirkon anti-ship missile will also be installed on the heavy nuclear cruiser Admiral Nakhimov. Moreover, the characteristics of a new weapon are significantly superior to similar models, such as the Granit complex. Over time, it will replace 3K-22. The Zircon rocket will be used exclusively by upgraded and advanced submarines and naval vessels.



  • The installation speed is about 6 Max (recall that 1 Max is 331 m / s).
  • Missile flight range - 1500 km.
  • Warhead PR-22 has a weight of at least 200 kg.
  • The radius of destruction of the Zircon hypersonic missile is 500 km.


The characteristics of the weapon make it possible to judge its superiority over an adversary who does not have such weapons.


Fuel and engine

Supersonic or hypersonic is the object that has a speed of at least 4500 km per hour. When developing such weapons, the creators face many scientific and technical problems. Among them are topical questions about how to perform the acceleration of a rocket using a traditional jet engine and what kind of fuel to use? Russian engineers have decided that it is advisable to use a rocket-ramjet engine for overclocking the 3K-22, since it is characterized by supersonic combustion. These engines operate on new fuel "Deciling - M", for which a higher energy intensity is inherent (20%).


What areas of science were involved in the development?

The usual environment in which the zircon maneuvers its flight after acceleration is a high temperature. Characteristics of the homing system at hyper speed during the flight can be greatly distorted. The reason for this is the occurrence of a plasma cloud, which closes the target from the system and can damage the antenna, sensor and controls. For flight at supersonic speeds, the rocket must have more advanced onboard electronic equipment. 3K-22 entered into mass production thanks to such sciences as engine building, materials science, aerodynamics, electronics and others.


The main task of hypersonic rocket "Zircon"

Characteristics obtained after the state. tests, suggest that such supersonic objects can overcome the enemy’s anti-tank defenses. This is made possible by two features inherent in 3K-22:


  • At an altitude of 100 km, the warhead speed is 15 Max, i.e. 7 km per second.
  • Being in a dense atmospheric layer, already directly approaching its target, the warhead produces complex maneuvers, thereby confusing the work of the enemy's missile defense system.


Many military experts, both foreign and Russian, are confident that the achievement of military-strategic parity directly depends on the availability of supersonic missiles.


Development prospects

The media is actively telling how the US is lagging behind Russia in terms of creating hypersonic rockets. Moreover, in their statements, journalists refer to information from American military studies. Admission to service is even more advanced than the sound weapon rocket "Zircon" is supposed to 2020 year. According to journalists for US missile defense, considered one of the most developed systems in the world, the emergence of super-high-speed weapons in the Russian Air Force will be a real explosion.


The world is actively pursuing a race of high-tech weapons. The newest technologies include hypersonic weapons, which in the 21st century will play a key role in the outcome of the war. Not for nothing in 2000's years J. Bush Jr. signed the directive, which makes it possible to deliver a global fast strike with hypersonic high-precision cruise missiles. Everyone knew for whom it is intended. Probably for this reason, in the fall of 2016 of the year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the use of the newest X-101 cruise missiles in the Syrian war, whose range is about 4500 kilometers.

The hypersonic Zircon rocket, whose high characteristics provide an incredible advantage in armaments, is the dream of any president, minister and general. The presence of such weapons may be a deterrent in a military conflict.


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