A report from Russian news agency TASS has cited two anonymous sources as saying, Moscow is developing a new ballistic missile, potentially a hypersonic one, aimed at destroying surface targets, including enemy aircraft carriers.
The new missile in development, called Zmeevik, nicknamed “carrier killer” is being developed by the NPO Mashinstroenie company, part of Russia’s state enterprise – Tactical Missiles Plant. Both of these enterprises have developed and produced the Zircon hypersonic missiles, as well as the Avantgarde hypersonic missile system.
According to TASS sources, the Zmeevik ballistic missile will enter service with the Russian Navy. The report did not mention a timeframe when the missile is expected to be tested, or whether the missile has passed any test.
According to Russian defence experts, Zmeevik is a missile similar to the Chinese DF-21D and DF-26, which are stated to have a range of 4,000 kilometers.
The operational range of the Russian Zmeevik missile has not been disclosed.
According to Russian media reports, NPO Mashinostroene is experiencing production issues. It is not clear what are the reasons for the same. It could be because of the Russia Ukraine war, lack of sufficient funding, lack of production parts, or that Moscow is unable to keep up with the plan to produce the aviation version of the Zircon missile.
According to Anatoly Svintsov, deputy general director at NPO Mashinostroenie, “the client – Russia – decided at the first stage to intensify work on the creation of a marine version of the missile.”