Screenshot from video by TV Zvezda

Northern Fleet frigate test-launched hypersonic cruise missile across the Kola Peninsula

The Tsirkon missile was launched from the White Sea, hit a naval target in the Barents Sea, and reached a speed of Mach 8.
October 07, 2020


Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, reported about the missile test directly to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

This is not the first time a zircon missile is launched from the Northern Fleet frigate Admiral Gorshkov, but according to Gerasimov it is the first time such missile is launched from a warship and hits a target located at sea, Kremlin affiliated news-agency TASS reports.

It was a direct hit at the sea target, military TV channel Zvezda reports.

The Defense Ministry has posted a video of the missile launch showing Admiral Gorshkov sailing speedily at the time of launch.




The Tsirkon missile (3M22) was flying at a maximum altitude of 28 km over the Kola Peninsula before the target hit, located at a range of 450 km from the launch position. Mach 8 is eight times the speed of sound. 

A blogsite monitoring maritime warnings issued by Murmansk- and Arkhangelsk port authorities has identified the closed-off zones in the Barents- and White Seas for the period of the Tsirkon test.

The target was located outside the coast of the Kola Peninsula, somewhere between Dalniye Zelentsy and Lumbovka. Admiral Gorshkov was sailing south of the Kola Peninsula in the waters somewhere between Sosnovka and Varzuga.


White Sea launch area. Map by @MatchlessMan410
Barents Sea target area. Map by @MatchlessMan410


The 3M22 Tsirkon cruise missile (NATO name SS-N-33) is a scramjet-powered anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile to be onboard both submarines and surface warships of the Russian navy.

Admiral Gorshkov first time test-launched the missile in January this year, from a position in the Barents Sea to a target inland in the Komi Republic.




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