Russian 3M22 Zircon (also spelled Tsirkon) 6670-MPH Scramjet Hypersonic Glide Vehicle/Missile Goes into Mass Production: Can the US Defend Against It?

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

Image(s) Credit(s): TASS (Russian News Agency)

November 29, 2021

As if the latest Chicom hypersonic glide-vehicle/missile threat isn’t enough of a problem for us, the Russians have been busy little beavers as well, and have just started mass producing their 6670-mph 3M22 Zircon (also spelled Tsirkon) scramjet hypersonic thermonuclear missile/glide vehicle, and it’s not just its tremendous speed capability that’s impressive. Oh, no. It turns out that it can be fired from ships or submarines, and has a 620-mile engagement envelope.

And, as can be expected, the Russkies are bragging about it. Russia’s loudmouth deputy premier Yury Borisov recently had the following to say about their hypersonics program:

“We have broken forward, specifically, in the sphere of hypersonic weapons and (those) based on new physical principles.”


“We now have serious advantages in this regard over the leading Western countries – and will try to maintain this position.”

By “western countries”, Borisov means US, the United States, primarily, and our western European allies, secondarily.

It gets worse. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally and chairman of the Russian Foreign Affairs Council Fyodor Lukyanov is already warning of a “new conflict” the United States and our NATO allies if we push any further east. “This recent round of escalation in Eastern Europe showed that the old principles of security on the continent are no longer working,” he wrote. He then added: “Russia will have to change the system and draw new ‘red lines’.” Not sure what he’s talking about there, but whatever, Fyodor (pronounced like “Theodore”, maybe?)

Oh, and it gets even worse than that, since Russia’s been teaming up with China recently, while China’s conducting military exercises near Taiwan like the giant totalitarian bully they are. Henry Jackson Society research fellow and Russia specialist Isabel Sawkins calls a Russia-China alliance “potentially catastrophic” for Western powers, adding “Bringing China into the conversation is a deadly addition for the West.” Way to stay positive, Isabel. Lovely speaking with you. Jesus.

DefenseReview (DR) has to of course agree with Ms. Sawkins that a Sino-Russian alliance is highly problematic for us (United States and our Nato allies), but lets try to keep our heads, and just wargame it until we figure out a viable World War III (WWIII) solution, assuming we can keep things conventional, and not go thermonuclear with it. The best solution to Russia’s and China’s hypersonic missiles is probably lasers (i.e., advanced shipborne and airborne laser weapons), which should theoretically be less expensive AND more effective than anti-hypersonic-missile hypersonic missiles. They’ll have to be mounted on every US warship and aircraft possible, as quickly as possible.

By the way, if China tries to invade Taiwan, it’s Defense Review’s opinion that the United States and our allies MUST stop them. While we’re doing that, we should obliterate their man-made military-base islands in the South China Sea as punishment. They simply can’t be allowed to keep them, since they’re already illegal, and an attack on Taiwan would make them intolerable moving forward. If the Chinese want to keep going after the islands’ collective destruction, that’s on them.

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Russian 3M22 Zircon (also spelled Tsirkon) 6670-MPH Scramjet Hypersonic Glide Vehicle/Missile Goes into Mass Production: Can the US Defend Against It? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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