Zircon-Armed Russian Warship Sails Through English Channel

Moscow announced that its brand new frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Zircon missiles, has crossed the strategic English Channel.

Days after the brand new frigate Admiral Gorshkov was flagged by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to set sail for the Atlantic, Moscow announced that the ship crossed the strategic English Channel.

The Russian Northern Fleet announced in a press release that Admiral Gorshkov, equipped with Zircon (or Tsirkon) hypersonic missiles, successfully traversed the English Channel to carry out its assigned tasks in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Today, the Soviet Union Northern Fleet Admiral Gorshkov frigate completed its passage through the English Channel to the south and yesterday transited through its narrowest part, the Strait of Dover.”

“Subsequently, the Russian warship will continue to move her in accordance with its deployment plan,” the press office said in a statement.

According to British media reports, the Royal Navy escorted the frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it crossed the North Sea in a southerly direction. Meanwhile, the Russian cruiser and a towed tanker, the Kama, were being watched by the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Portland as they approached the UK.

The English Channel is an important shipping route, as it is a narrow arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Great Britain from Europe and narrows east to the North Sea. The Canal has been a crucial factor in the military wars in which Great Britain has been involved, since it acts as a natural defense of the island nation and as a means of blocking the mainland.

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, foreign ships can pass through the waters of any coastal country as long as they do not threaten the security of that state.

However, the passage of a Russian ship armed with hypersonic missiles as tensions between Moscow and the West boil is significant.

Earlier, one of the leading Russian commentators, Dmitry Kiselyov, threatened two nuclear strikes against the UK, one by air and one by sea, sparking bragging and hysteria. In addition, the warship is armed with hypersonic missiles that could not be intercepted by even the most advanced Western missile defense systems.

The multirole hypersonic missile is designed to attack sea and land targets and can travel at Mach 9 (11,113 kilometers per hour).

The Royal Navy closely monitored all transit. Commanding Officer of HMS Portland, Commander Ed Moss-Ward, said: “Escorting the Russian task force alongside forces from our NATO allies has demonstrated the UK’s commitment to the alliance and maintaining maritime security.”

Last January, when an invasion of Ukraine was feared, a group of Russian amphibious warfare ships crossed the English Channel. At the time, it was anticipated that the ships’ voyage would eventually lead them to the Black Sea to launch an invasion.

In addition, the transit of the Admiral Gorshkov through the English Channel is not the first time that a Russian ship has transited near the United Kingdom since the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. In September last year, the Russian cruise ship Marshal Ustinov , the destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov and the tanker Vyazma passed through the Channel.

It is pertinent to note that Western military commentators have characterized the frigate’s voyage to the high seas as a Russian attempt at power projection in waters far from home and closer to the West.

Russian Hypersonic Armed Ship Grabs Attention

On January 4, the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with the Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile, set sail to tour the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that she was the first Russian warship to have hypersonic missiles, describing the launch as “an important event and even a milestone.”

According to reports, the battleship has covered 2,000 nautical kilometers since she left Severomorsk, the main naval base of the Northern Fleet. The frigate will participate in various exercises alongside other Russian Navy warship fleets and warships from other navies.

As previously reported by EurAsian Times, the frigate carried out training operations in the Norwegian Sea days after being flagged by Russia.

The exercise focused primarily on defending against enemy airstrike weaponry, aircraft, and anti-ship missiles, using a computer simulation of the tactical environment.

The Soviet Union Fleet Admiral Gorshkov is the lead multirole frigate of Project 22350 designed to operate in distant waters. The Kalibr-NK missile system is the main strike armament aboard the Admiral Gorshkov. The battleship was actively involved in testing the innovative Russian Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile.

Ever since her journey began, Admiral Gorshkov has been making headlines. According to the anticipated plans, the ship will also navigate the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean after completion of its designated duties in the Atlantic Ocean.

This article is originally published on israelnoticias.com