Russia to test its 4,600 mph hypersonic Zircon missile

Missile tests to be conducted in spring off of sea-based platform; Russia and India developing more advanced BrahMos-II

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Russia is reportedly finishing its development of a hypersonic missile capable of traveling 4, 600 miles per hour, and will begin producing it in the near future.

The missile has been described as “unstoppable”, with military experts globally warning that the weapon will change modern warfare.

The missile, known as the “3M22 Zircon” has been in development for years and was expected to enter final testing phases in 2018, however, reports claim the missile could be operational mid-year.

Russia will reportedly begin testing the missile in the spring from sea-based platforms.

Russian media reported that the “State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 in accordance with the contract, and the missile’s serial production is planned to be launched next year.”

The Zircon missile weighs around 5 tons and can reach distances as far as 500 kilometers. It can travel at five times the speed of sound. It uses scramjet technology and when completed, it will be the world’s most advanced missile, raising great concern, particularly for the West, as the missile is capable of destroying advanced warships, aircraft carriers and most significantly, be used with nuclear warheads.

Russia is the only country that has defense systems capable of stopping the Zircon missile. Its S-500 missile defense technology, also in development, will reportedly be able to detect ballistic missiles at a range of 2,000 kilometers.

Russia is also developing the BrahMos-II missile in collaboration with India. The missile would have a range of 600 kilometers and will enter testing in 2020.

Both the United States and China are developing missiles with similar capabilities. The Zircon missile could reportedly enter mass production next year, Russia leading in developing the world’s most advanced missile.