The crew of the Russian Navy’s Yasen-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, Severodvinsk, have successfully launched the Zircon hypersonic missile.

It was the second test launch of Zircon missile and was carried out from a submerged position from a depth of 40m for the first time.

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The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Severodvinsk cruiser performed two launches of the Zircon cruise missile at mock targets in the Barents Sea.

The objective control data of the launch demonstrated that the flight of the rocket from ‘leaving the water to hitting the conditional target’ completely corresponded to the respective parameters.

The ministry in a statement said: “The day before, for the first time, a hypersonic cruise missile Zircon was fired from the nuclear submarine missile cruiser Severodvinsk from a surface position.”

Capable of travelling at over five times the speed of sound, the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile is designed to be deployed on surface ships.

The Yasen-class submarines are being built by Russia’s Sevmash shipyard for the Russian Navy. The submarines are being developed as part of Project 885 Yasen.

The keel of the first submarine of the class, Severodvinsk, was laid down in December 2003.

The Severodvinsk was launched in June 2010 and its commissioning took place in 2012. The submarine completed its first sea trials in October 2011.

In May last year, the Russian Navy accepted delivery of the strategic ballistic missile carrier submarine Knyaz Vladimir from the Sevmash shipyard.