The Iskander-M is Russian short-range ballistic missile system, equipped with supersonic, guided nuclear-capable missiles which have a range of up to 500 kilometers and are fully controlled at every stage of their flight path.
The Russian Defense Ministry has reported a successful test-launch of an Iskander-M missile, which took place at the Kapustin Yar firing range in southern Russia’s Astrakhan region.
“Fired at a range of more than 100km, the missile is aimed at a target simulating the command post of a conventional enemy. The target was destroyed with a high degree of accuracy,” the ministry said.
The Iskander-M missile launch became the final stage of the tactical drills for Russian servicemen based at the 60th training center for the combat use of missile forces.
The Iskander-M is one of Russia’s newest high-precision weapons, which entered service at the country’s armed forces in 2006. Its supersonic, guided nuclear-capable missiles, ranged at 415-500km, can be independently targeted in seconds, and are fully controlled at every stage of their flight path.
Why Russia’s Iskander Missiles Are ‘Guarantors of Power Balance in Europe’
While the US is deploying elements of its missile shield in Europe, Russia’s Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems ensure a balance of forces on the continent, Rostec Corporation’s CEO Sergei Chemezov told Sputnik.
“The Iskanders are no less popular with the military. They are guarantors of a power balance in Europe,” Chemezov said in an address devoted to the 75th anniversary of the Konstrukskoye Buro Mashinostroyeniya (KBM), the design bureau behind the Iskander missiles.
The KBM’s chief designer Valery Kashin earlier said that the Iskander missiles will remain on combat duty for another 30 years, and that proposed upgrades to the system were now being considered by the Defense Ministry.
He added that the existing Iskanders will not need any upgrades before the start of the 2020s.
The Iskander-M is a rapid-deployment tactical system designed for eliminating targets at a range of up to 500 kilometers. It is intended for small-scale targets such as missile systems, multiple rocket launchers, long-range artillery, airfields and command posts.Russia deployed the Iskander-M mobile short-range ballistic missile system to Kaliningrad, its exclave on the Baltic Sea, in October 2016.
The move came in response to NATO’s decision to send four multinational battle groups and additional military hardware to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
High-ranking Russian officials have also cited a US-built missile defense system in Europe as a major concern.