Can one missile really destroy an aircraft carrier? According to speculation about the Russian Zircon hyper-sonic missile that may be true.
Reports are that Russia is expected to soon begin producing their 3M22 Zircon, a hyper-sonic missile that can travel at a rate of over five times the speed of sound. With a range of 250 miles, the missile could theoretically reach a target at maximum range in only about three minutes after being fired.
“State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 … and the missile’s serial production is planned to be launched next year,” the Russian news agency TASS reported last year, quoting sources. And last month, Russia’s Interfax news agency cited a source familiar with the Zircon project who said the 5-ton missile is likely to be tested for the first time this spring — earlier than the projected date of 2018 — “from a sea-based platform.”
“It uses no fans, rotating turbines or moving parts – just an inlet where air is compressed and a combustor where the air is mixed with fuel. Fewer moving parts also means less chance of mechanical failure.
“The Zircon … would be capable of destroying the world’s most advanced warships and aircraft carriers in one strike and could be put into action by 2020.” – Fox News
The Zircon could be fitted with a nuclear warhead and the US Navy is concerned the missile could be deployed on Russian warships or submarines.
How spooky is this development? One missile taking out an entire aircraft carrier could dramatically change the balance of power in a quick way. Hopefully, the Navy is working on technology to defeat such a missile.
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