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UK intelligence analyses potential use of Zircon missiles by Russia

Wednesday, 14 February 2024, 12:29
UK intelligence analyses potential use of Zircon missiles by Russia
Zircon missile. Stock photo: Defense Express

The Defence Intelligence of the United Kingdom has analysed information about Russia's potential use of the Zircon missile against Ukraine.

Source: UK Defence Intelligence review dated 14 February, as reported by European Pravda

The intelligence refers to the report of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute for Forensic Examinations, which stated that on 7 February, the Russians used the supposedly hypersonic 3M22 Zircon missile in an attack on Ukraine.


Intelligence cites Russian data stating that the missile is capable of reaching a speed of Mach 9 and has a flight range of up to 1,000 km. It was initially developed for the Russian Navy. 

However, the intelligence emphasises that Russia does not have ships in the Black Sea capable of carrying these missiles, raising questions about the launch method. 

The intelligence suggests that the Russian K-300 coastal defence system may have been adapted for this purpose.

"If its use is confirmed, this would present a significant challenge to Ukrainian air defences due to its speed and manoeuvrability," the message reads.

The report emphasises that the Russians are testing a newly operational weapons system on a real-world battlefield to ensure their confidence and demonstrate its capabilities.


  • The previous review mentioned a proposed bill in the Russian Federation regarding the increase in the age of those eligible for military service, which, however, is unlikely to contribute to enhancing the combat readiness of the Russian army.
  • Before that, UK Defence Intelligence analysed the creation of a new military institute in Russia, which signifies the increasing militarisation of higher education in the country.

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