Russia Fires Zircon “Plasma Stealth” Hypersonic Cruise Missile In Test-Launch

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

May 28, 2022

OSLO – Russia test-fired a hypersonic Zircon nuclear capable cruise missile that traveled over 625 miles.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile was launched from the Barents Sea and hit a target in the White Sea. Video of the test fire showed the missile being fired from a ship.

The Zircon has been described as part of a new generation of anti-ship hypersonic cruise missiles that can travel at nine times the speed of sound. Russia has conducted previous test-launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines over the past year.

The Zircon can travel at speeds of Mach 8 to Mach 9 (6,100–6,900 mph).  Western military leaders believe the missile could penetrate existing naval defense systems.  Since the Zircon travels at hypersonic speeds within the atmosphere causing “Plasma Stealth” in which the air pressure in front of it forms a plasma cloud as it travels making it nearly invisible to active radar systems.  As a result, targets will not have time to carry out defensive maneuvers or retaliatory strikes.

According to the Pentagon, last month Russia test-launched a new nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental missile, capable of carrying 10 or more warheads.  The Sarmat is capable of striking the United States.