Russian Zircon hypersonic missile test demonstrates desire to markedly increase strike envelope

Following the announcement that Russia has successfully tested the Zircon hypersonic missile against sea targets;

Anthony Endresen, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The resurgence of great power competition between China, Russia and the US has resulted in increased investment and interest in missile and missile defense systems by all parties, and the global market was valued at $45.5bn in 2019, according to GlobalDataRussian advances in hypersonic weapons are of strategic significance, in part because of the political significance of leading the way in deploying advanced technologies, but also because these weapons provide a new range of threats to adversaries, and, in Russia’s case, offer a degree of asymmetrical threat.

“Key to understanding the significance of these weapons entering the Russian arsenal is the fact that hypersonic weapons development is not in itself a race – given the inability to use them against each other. Rather, today’s news of the test against a naval target demonstrates Russia’s desire to use these weapons to markedly increase the strike envelope of weapons that do not currently have a counter or defense – particularly in the Naval domain.

“Deploying such weapons would provide a useful means of asymmetrically, presenting a threat to tier one forces, namely NATO members and China. A demonstration of the system will also be of great interest to other states – especially ones that Russia seeks to keep in its sphere or market such as India.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s report: Hypersonic Technologies – Thematic Research

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