Russia: Moscow develops “Zmeevik” anti-ship ballistic missile described as carrier killer

  • July 14, 2022
  • 2 Min Read

In December 2021, Chairman of the Defense Committee in the Duma (a section of the Russian Parliament) after having been Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russians and Deputy Minister of Defense, General Andrei Kartapolov explained that the hypersonic missile Zircon, which was then completing its state trials, would be an “aircraft carrier killer” against which no countermeasures could be applied.

And obviously, and while it has only one ship of this type, the “Admiral Kouznetsov”, which has not gone to sea for five years now, Russia develop of an anti-aircraft carrier weapons it’s a priority.

Indeed, in addition to the Zircon, the Russian arsenal also includes the hypervelocity aeroballistic missile Kinzhal, derived from the Iskander, whose trajectory is semi-ballistic, which means that it has the ability to maneuver when approaching its target. Carried by a MiG-31K combat aircraft, this missile can be used against an aircraft carrier. At least, that’s what Moscow suggests…

In addition to the Zircon and the Kinzhal, the Russian arsenal could still expand soon with the anti-ship ballistic missile “Zmeevik”. This is indeed what the Tass agency said on July 12, stating that this machine would also be an aircraft carrier killer. Obviously, given the current context, one might think that this is an announcement without consistency. However, China, with the DF-21D and DF-26 missiles, has also gone down this path. Or so she claims, because, to date, none of these devices have been seen hitting a moving ship…

However, the Tass agency did not provide details about this new “Zmeevik” anti-ship missile, except that it has been in development for quite a long time. Which is quite vague … and one of its sources only confided that its characteristics are similar to the Chinese DF-21D and DF-26B, their range being respectively 1.800 and 4.000 km.

Given that a carrier battle group is a movement, it must first be able to locate it and then guide a missile like the “Zmeevik” or the DF-21D and DF-26B towards the aircraft carrier to be destroyed. Guiding an object that would go at very high speed towards a moving target like a boat seems rather complicated its and hard job and many military analysts don’t believe in this concept and tecnology.

Image: Russian MoD