Russia claims its own “miracle weapon” – the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missile will be a “game changer” on the Ukrainian battlefield, but that opinion is being questioned.
Russia’s “miracle weapon” is the 3M22 Zircon supersonic missile, although the price is very expensive, it will not have much effect on the Ukrainian battlefield.
Within the framework of the Army 2022 Forum, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation – General Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow will begin mass production of the 3M22 Zircon supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.
In his speech, Mr. Shoigu said that this hypersonic weapon will change the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine. At Mach 9, Zircon is said to be capable of flying to London in just 5 minutes.
If Russia uses Zircon missiles for another role, ground attack, this will only erode the resources needed to conduct the conflict in Ukraine, because the cost of each Zircon is estimated to be up to 10 percent. to over 10 million USD.
The current Zircon missile does not have a full ground attack capability, so if the Russian Navy were to launch an expensive projectile at such a high speed at a target inland, their prediction accuracy would be very high.
The Russian Navy in the Black Sea does not currently have a ship that can act as a carrier for Zircon missiles, such as the Project 885M nuclear submarine or the advanced Project 22350 frigate. Although Russia has two Project 1164 missile cruisers and one Project 22350 frigate currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea, they will not be able to pass through the Bosphorus Strait due to a ban imposed by Turkey.
After all, the more money the Russians spend on the production of the next generation of hypersonic missiles for ground attack, the less likely it is to restore the arsenal that has been emptied over Ukraine.
For example, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation signed a contract with the enterprise “Nauchno-proizvodstvennoe obsinienie mashinostroeniya” for a period of one year, according to which several dozen (about 30) P-800 Onyx missiles of the Bastion-P complex will be is produced.
Currently, Russian missile launchers have fired at least 40 Onyx shells into Ukraine, so it will take them at least 1.5 years to replenish their stockpile of the aforementioned supersonic anti-ship cruise munitions. The more feasible solution for Russia today is to continue to produce Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles, when this is the true weapon to carry out attacks on land, because this is essentially a version launched from Iskander-M aerial.
However, the aforementioned weapons lack the necessary components due to the effect of sanctions imposed by the West, typically electronic circuit boards and high-speed processing chips.