9 photos of Russian troops setting up and test firing the Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile

Russian Defence Ministry

Russia’s Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile will be unmatched until at least 2025, Russian state-owned media TASS reported in March.

“According to designers, foreign states will be able to create its counterpart no earlier than in 2025,” Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov said.

Salyukov’s statement came just a few days after Russian troops successfully test fired the Iskander-M at the Kapustin Yar testing grounds in southern Russia.

The missile hit its target about 62 miles away, according to RT, another Russian state-owned media outlet.

“Everything is fine. The missile has found its target,” the commanding officer said.

Here’s what the test fire looked like and what the ballistic missile can do:


The Iskander is a mobile short-range ballistic missile that became operational in 2007.

Russian Defence Ministry

It’s also known as the SS-26, Stone, Tender, 9M720, 9M723, or “Son of Scud,” because it replaced the Scud B.

Source: CSIS


It has three different variants: the Iskander-M, the Tender, and the Iskander-E, which is the export version.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: CSIS


It’s about 24 feet long, about three feet wide, and has a launch weight of about 8,378-8,863 pounds.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: CSIS


The Iskander has a range of about 300 miles, which is just under the threshold set forth by the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: Popular Mechanics


It has a single warhead payload that can be equipped with high explosives, submunitions, fuel-air explosives, high explosive penetrators, or nuclear warheads.

Russian Defence Ministry

High explosive penetrators are for hitting bunkers.

Source: CSIS, Popular Mechanics


Since it’s a short-range ballistic missile, it launches into a ballistic arc at an altitude of about 163,000 feet before the warhead separates from the missile and then flies down on its target at hypersonic speeds.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: CSIS


And here it goes …

Russian Defence Ministry

… Up …

Russian Defence Ministry

… And up …

Russian Defence Ministry

The Iskander is “an extremely flexible battlefield system,”according to CSIS, and has been deployed to Kaliningrad, where it can reach Poland, Sweden, and the Baltics.

However, it’s not invincible to the US’ Patriot PAC-3 missiles, according to Popular Mechanics.

You can read more about the Patriot system here >>

Russia has sold the Iskander to Armenia, Algeria and possibly Iran and Syria, CSIS reported. Russia also deployed the Iskander to its Latakia base in Syria in early January 2017.


Watch the Iskander-M in action at the Kapustin Yar testing grounds below:

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