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, which is reportedly similar to the new Kh-47M2 hypersonic missile, 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.
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.
It’s also known as the SS-26, Stone, Tender, 9M720, 9M723, or “Son of Scud,” because it replaced the Scud B.
It has three different variants: the Iskander-M, the Tender, and the Iskander-E, which is the export version.
It’s about 24 feet long, about three feet wide, and has a launch weight of about 8,378-8,863 pounds.
The Iskander has a range of about 300 miles, which is just under the threshold set forth by the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Moscow claims that the Kinzhal can hit speeds of up to Mach 10, has a range of 1,200 miles and are basically impossible to detect by modern air defence systems, but many western analysts remain sceptical of the its capabilities.
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.
High explosive penetrators are for hitting bunkers.
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.
And here it goes …
… Up …
… And up …
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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