North Sea: Russian warship arrives with Zircon hypersonic missiles

The crew will practice “using hypersonic weapons and long-range cruise missiles in different environments.”

EWhether from his office in Sochi or the Kremlin – both with reputations as carbon copies – Vladimir Putin announced via video conference the January 4 departure of the Russian frigate Admiral Gorchkov for the “Atlantic, the Indian”. Ocean and Mediterranean” with a cargo of Zircon missiles? However, this ship, one of the newest ships of the Russian Navy, left the port of Murmansk, released in December, after a certification campaign to launch this new hypersonic missile. Highlights of La Voix du Nord.


Admiral Gorchkov was spotted on January 6 by a P3-Orion maritime surveillance aircraft from the Norwegian Navy’s 333rd Squadron. He was sailing north of the Lofoten Islands in the Norwegian Sea. Often, this building does not move alone. Sea-going tugs or oil tankers are regularly called upon to carry these units, from the most recent to the oldest.

The oil tanker Gama, already needed during Gorchko’s previous campaigns, appears to be sailing alongside it. If Gorchkov is free to turn off his AIS transponder (a device that can identify a boat’s movements), the Gamma, close to the coast, makes it intermittently active when sea traffic thickens. On January 8, he set sail for the North Sea.





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As usual, the convoy will be eagerly scrutinized and escorted by key NATO countries in the region. The Royal Navy and the Belgian Navy regularly engage in these types of operations, while the French Navy is more discreet. The Maritime Province of the Channel and the North Sea (Bremer) ensures that during each of these passages of Russian vessels, it monitors the “traffic of military vessels of other countries” in accordance with international conventions, especially Montego Bay (1982) ).

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Are zircon shots scheduled?

Nevertheless, Admiral Gorchkov’s mission and its payload of missiles, rendered faster and more complex to intercept, is already shaping up to be a relaunch of the military campaign for the Russian military fighting on the Ukrainian front.


The day after the Russian President’s speech, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, said on his Telegram channel: “Let Korshkov stand somewhere near the Potomac River (near Washington DC), 185 kilometers from the coast. And Moscow will continue to speak the language of power, because “you (NATO countries) It’s not understood any other way”. At least, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has already announced that “the team (Admiral Gorchkov) will practice the use of hypersonic weapons and long-range cruise missiles in different environments”. According to the minister, countering threats against Russia and “regional peace and maintaining stability” in partnership with allies will be his official mission.





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And Kalibr missiles

Real name Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorchkov, 135 meters, 210 sailors, one of the first battleships of the Gorshkov class. He was commissioned in 2018 and assigned to the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It has 16 anti-aircraft missiles at the front, a 130mm main gun, an S-350 surface-to-air missile system, torpedoes, and a Balash system. Finally, it launches a Kamov Ka-27 helicopter, which may be dedicated to anti-submarine warfare.


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