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    Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

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    Russian Patriot

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    Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Russian Patriot on Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:29 am

    Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone)

    In the late 1990s the Kolomna KB, which was in a difficult financial position, followed up its earlier work to develop a new tactical system, which it called the Iskander-E. This name suggested that it was first intended for export (the letter E stands for export), primarily to the Middle East. "Iskander" is the name used in Arab countries to describe Alexander the Great. That name is to symbolize to system buyers its invulnerability and high combat efficiency.


    The Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone) is a tactical surface-to-surface missile complex designed to deliver high-precision strikes at a variety of ground targets at a range of up to 280 km (170 miles). It carries a single warhead with a payload of 400 kg to comply with the limits laid down by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

    The Iskander-E has a launch weight of 3,800 kg and is deployed on a transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle that carries two missiles. The missiles incorporate 'stealth' technology and feature variable flight trajectory. They can reportedly be launched within a minute of each other and have a circular-error probable (CEP) of 30 meters. An Iskander battery comprises TELs, loaders, and a command vehicle. Target acquisition is supported by a mobile data-processing center.

    The system is intended to use conventional warheads for engagement of pinpoint and area targets, such as:
    hostile fire weapons (missile systems, multiple launch rocket systems, long-range artillery pieces);
    air and antimissile defense weapons;
    fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft at airfields;
    command posts and communications nodes;
    critical civilian infrastructure facilities;
    other vital pinpoint and area targets.
    The missile system ensures:
    high probability of fire mission accomplishment in hostile active countermeasures environments;
    high probability of failure-proof functioning of the missile during its launch preparation and in flight;
    automatic computation and input of missile flight missions by the launcher devices;
    high tactical maneuverability and strategic mobility owing to transportability of the system vehicles by all types of transport;
    automation of battle management of missile units and their information support;
    long service life and ease of operation.
    The Iskander-E system is equipped with a solid-propellant single-stage guided missile controlled throughout the entire flight path and provided with a non-separable warhead.

    Russia may deliver an export version of the Iskander system (Iskander-E) to Belarus as a response to U.S. missile shield plans in Central Europe. "Any action triggers a counteraction, the same is true for the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland," Colonel General Zaritsky said on 14 November 2007. Russia and Belarus, which maintained close political and economic ties since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1991, had been in talks for several years on the delivery of Iskander-E complexes to equip at least one Belarus missile brigade by 2015. With its maximum range of 280 km (about 180 miles), Iskander-E's range is likely to cover U.S. missile defense facilities in Poland, which borders on Belarus.

    State arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on 01 October 2008 that several countries had shown an interest in purchasing Russia's advanced Iskander-E short-range ballistic missile systems. "Syria, the UAE, Malaysia, India and some other countries have shown an interest in the missile system," said Rosoboronexport official Nikolai Dimidyuk. Russia will also seek to export the Iskander-E to Algeria, Kuwait, Singapore, Vietnam, and South Korea, he added.

    According to Russian military experts, the Iskander-E missile complex will serve as "determent weapon" in local conflicts and as strategic arms for the countries with limited territory. Its great range of shooting making it possible to use it from the depth of one's own positions, and the brief time it can stay in its launch position make the complex virtually invulnerable to ordinary weapons.

    The United States has tried to reconsider the Missile Technology Control Regime and here arises the question whether this may be an obstacle for the sale of the new missile abroad. Such missile systems as Iskander have a special place in the world weapons market. Even a small amount of such missiles drastically changes the balance of force in conflicts.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/ss-26-iskander-e.htm
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    Stealthflanker

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Stealthflanker on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:52 am

    This Missile is the "shorter" brother of earlier R-400 Oka..that sadly canceled due to stinks INF treaty No

    hmm i heard the Russian Version of this Missile have range of some 400 Km and each TEL can carry up to 2 Missiles ,is it true ?
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Russian Patriot on Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:28 pm

    Stealthflanker wrote:This Missile is the "shorter" brother of earlier R-400 Oka..that sadly canceled due to stinks INF treaty No

    hmm i heard the Russian Version of this Missile have range of some 400 Km and each TEL can carry up to 2 Missiles ,is it true ?

    Yes it is!
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  sepheronx on Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:44 am

    Interesting to say the least. The fact that these missiles mostly fly below the main radar path, making it hard for missile defense systems to detect it and counter it (PAC-3, etc), but they have maneuvering abilities to evade incoming defense threats. These missiles are yet again, another step in missile technology, making Russia still #1 in this field.

    The cost of these missiles, and the effectiveness makes them very intriguing system. That is why I understand many countries trying to get their hands on the system.
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:42 am

    Stealthflanker wrote:This Missile is the "shorter" brother of earlier R-400 Oka..that sadly canceled due to stinks INF treaty No

    hmm i heard the Russian Version of this Missile have range of some 400 Km and each TEL can carry up to 2 Missiles ,is it true ?

    Actually the Russian version has ranges up to 500km.
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Stealthflanker on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:45 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:

    Actually the Russian version has ranges up to 500km.

    really ? hmm so finally Russians really replaces their old Oka with that version
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:55 am

    sepheronx wrote:Interesting to say the least. The fact that these missiles mostly fly below the main radar path, making it hard for missile defense systems to detect it and counter it (PAC-3, etc), but they have maneuvering abilities to evade incoming defense threats. These missiles are yet again, another step in missile technology, making Russia still #1 in this field.

    The cost of these missiles, and the effectiveness makes them very intriguing system. That is why I understand many countries trying to get their hands on the system.

    Not only that, but the missile itself is equipped with RCS reduction-coating/shape, decoy launchers, plus the maneuvering trajectory. There is little any Western ABM system can do to intercept it.
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:58 am

    Stealthflanker wrote:
    Vladimir79 wrote:

    Actually the Russian version has ranges up to 500km.

    really ? hmm so finally Russians really replaces their old Oka with that version

    Yes, Putin withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2007 making this range possible. If the US wants an ABM shield, we have the right to take it out.
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Vladislav on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:45 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:

    Not only that, but the missile itself is equipped with RCS reduction-coating/shape, decoy launchers, plus the maneuvering trajectory. There is little any Western ABM system can do to intercept it.

    Our Iskander is unstoppable!! What a Face
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    Russia says may yet deploy Iskander missiles in Baltic exclave

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:12 pm

    Russia says may yet deploy Iskander missiles in Baltic exclave

    RIA Novosti

    19/02/201020:29

    HELSINKI, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia could still deploy Iskander missiles in its exclave on the Baltic Sea if new threats emerge in Europe, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov warned on Friday.

    "If no threats emerge in Europe to Russia, Iskanders will not be deployed in Kaliningrad, but if Russia faces new threats in Europe, Iskanders will be based there," Serdyukov said. "The decision will be taken by the president."

    Bulgaria and Romania have said they are in talks with the United States on hosting elements of its missile shield on their soil. The planned deployment of U.S. interceptor missiles into the Black Sea region triggered fierce criticism from Moscow, which is finishing up negotiations with Washington on a new nuclear arms cuts treaty.

    The planned deployments in Bulgaria and Romania come after President Barack Obama scrapped earlier plans for a radar and interceptor missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland, which Russia vehemently opposed as a national security threat and a blow to its nuclear deterrent.

    Russia insists that there is a direct link between cutting the nuclear arsenals of the two countries and curbs on their ability to build missile defense systems.

    A U.S. State Department official has said the facilities in Romania are to become operational by 2015 and are designed as protection against "current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran."

    On Monday, the unrecognized separatist Moldovan republic of Transdnestr offered to deploy Russian missile defense elements. Transdnestr leader Igor Smirnov was quoted by media that his republic would deploy elements of a Russian missile defense system to counter U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Romania if Moscow asked.

    Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday that Transdnestr's move to deploy Russian Iskander missiles could lead to a serious regional conflict, and added that there could be no talk yet of bilateral efforts to "reset" Russian-U.S. relations if Moscow continues to hear the United States' plans to deploy missiles in Romania from mass media.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-100219-rianovosti01.htm


    Last edited by Russian Patriot on Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:48 pm

    If the US missile base is in Romania, what good are Iskanders in Kaliningrad? We going to shoot the Poles just because they piss us off? dunno
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  GarryB on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:50 pm

    sepheronx wrote:Interesting to say the least. The fact that these missiles mostly fly below the main radar path, making it hard for missile defense systems to detect it and counter it (PAC-3, etc), but they have maneuvering abilities to evade incoming defense threats. These missiles are yet again, another step in missile technology, making Russia still #1 in this field.

    The cost of these missiles, and the effectiveness makes them very intriguing system. That is why I understand many countries trying to get their hands on the system.

    Well, no, they don't fly under the radar, western radar would detect them early enough.
    The problem arises for the air defence SAM that when engaging very fast targets that you have to fly to where the target will be rather than where it currently is.
    What I mean is that if you have a large room and you have one person walking straight across it as the missile and direct another missile to intercept it if you launch the SAM directly at where the person is by the time your SAM gets there the person will have moved on.
    Because the person is moving at pretty much a similar speed to western SAMs this means that if the person coming across the room keeps changing direction the SAM has to cover a huge amount of ground to compensate.
    Even a turn of 10 degrees can shift the interception point by a much larger amount for a very fast target.
    The SAM will run out of energy and drop from the sky and keep in mind that the Iskander flys a ballistic trajectory so for the first part of its flight it will be very very high. PAC-3 has a very restricted range against ballistic targets (due to their steep trajectory) and would not cope well with a manouvering target.

    Actually the Russian version has ranges up to 500km.

    I have read up to about 480km for Tender-M, but this is only because of the INF treaty.

    Yes, Putin withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2007 making this range possible. If the US wants an ABM shield, we have the right to take it out.

    No, with respect that was the CFE treaty he withdrew from because no one else within NATO had signed it so Russia was limiting itself in a treaty no one else was bound by.
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    Iskander missile deployment in northwestern Russia incomprehensible – Estonian defense minister

    Post  Russian Patriot on Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:35 pm

    Iskander missile deployment in northwestern Russia incomprehensible – Estonian defense minister

    RIA Novosti

    01:45 20/07/2010

    TALLINN, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - The deployment of Iskander missiles in Russia's northwestern military district is incomprehensible in view of Russia's current relations with NATO, Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo has said.

    On Saturday, the chief of Russia's Ground Forces, Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov, said the Iskander missiles had entered service with the Armed Forces in the Leningrad Military District.

    "During the past two decades, NATO has been seeking benevolent mutual understanding in relations with Russia. But benevolence does not mean naivety, that is why Moscow's decision to deploy Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region did not surprise us," Aaviksoo said.

    "We do not comprehend such a step considering both modern security threats and current relations between Russia and NATO," he said.

    The United States scrapped earlier plans last September for an antimissile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

    However, Washington has not given up on its European missile shield initiative. In May, the United States opened a temporary military base in northern Poland, just 80 km (50 miles) from the border of Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, in accordance with an agreement negotiated under former President George Bush in 2008 – a move which drew much criticism from Russia.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-100720-rianovosti03.htm
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:58 am

    Incomprehensible and no surprise?
    This guy needs to read a dictionary.
    The US has moved its missile shield, not scrapped it. Russia has moved its missiles.
    This guy should look up words like symmetry and balanced response.
    He should also look at Estonian relations with Russia and ask why when Estonia and its neighbours are always trying to stick the boot into Russia at every NATO event/conference that Russia should treat such countries as friends.
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    Viktor

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Viktor on Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:31 pm

    Also he does not mention NATO exercises at area.

    Anyway what cares what little man has to say.
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  coolieno99 on Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:21 am

    An interesting and detail description of Iskander tactical BM as given by a poster at irandefence.net. The missile is difficult to intercept, because it spirals downward in the terminal phase of its trajectory.

    “Effective range” of Iskander is a conditional notion. Most likely, the ballistic range of Iskander-E would be equal 500 km approximately, because it is a derivative of the Soviet “Oka” of 1980s, and somewhat longer for more advanced Iskander-M.
    But in fact Iskander is “quasi-ballistic” missile (or “exoatmospheric cruise missile”) which is controllable during all flight time and can change trajectory arbitrarily. Naturally, each deviation from the ballistic trajectory spends energy and diminishes the practical range. It is artificially reduced to 280 km for the export Iskander-E and can vary between 400 km and 500 km for “interior” Iskander-M
    In the boost phase Iskander almost vertically ascend to the altitude 12-15 km and reach the velocity of 2100 m/s ( about M=8 ).
    In the midcourse phase Iskander takes the due direction and further ascends to the “working altitude” of 50 km, with some zigzag maneuver. “Working altitude” is chosen to diminish effectiveness of exoatmospheric ABMs like THAAD (its minimum effective altitude is evaluated as 30-40 km, and the 50-km altitude is still inconvenient for its seeker; note that the maximum flight altitude for 300-km ballistic range would be 84 km). The velocity of Iskander during the flat midcourse part of trajectory is about 1300 m/s (about M=4); it has stealthy shape and anti-radar covering, and can change direction in flight, i.e. make turns.
    The midcourse trajectory is calculated by on-board computer so that the missile would duly exhaust energy by the end of planned range and fall vertically on the target. The fall from 50 km altitude is accomplished as a spiral maneuver with occasional amplitude and g-load=20-30. The maneuver brakes the missile and allows: a) initiate cluster warhead properly (at the altitude about 1 km); b) avoid point-defense endoatmospheric ABMs like Patriot PAC3, Arrow etc. which need precalculating the path of intercepted missile (note that they are effective only up to the altitude of 25-30 km, and can not intercept Iskander during its mid-course phase). Besides, the intercepting ABM must sustain g-load=50 at least, or rather 60, which is near the limit of existing SAMs.
    Iskander is fully autonomous during all flight, i.e. ground operator enters only coordinates of launching and target. The flight path and characteristics of maneuvers are chosen by the on-board computer absolutely independently and arbitrarily, i.e. the path of missile is unpredictable even for launching team. This makes the standard version of Iskander inherently unjammable: it doesn’t radiate anything and doesn’t accept any flight commands.
    Iskander-E has INS (inertial navigation system) for mid-course flight and electronic-optical seeker for final homing. INS provides CEP=50 m for 280-km range. EOS has CEP=5-7 m. EOS compares the distinctive points of visible terrain with the preloaded map. It can be used in the day and night time and even in moderate cloudiness, but not in really bad weather.
    If necessary, GPS/GLONASS navigation can be added optionally. Designers consider GPS/GLONASS vulnerable to jamming, but it can be useful in the conflicts of low and medium intensity, as providing cheap all-weather capacity.
    Reputedly Iskander-M uses active radiolocation seeker (ARS) of the company Fazotron instead of EOS of TSNIIAG. Its prototype was exhibited in 1999 with claimed CEP=2 m, but later this matter has been classified.
    The weight of warhead of Iskander-E is 482 kg (i.e. the same as for Tochka-U), for Iskander-M – reputedly 700-750 kg (in fact the weight of various warheads can differ). Warheads can be “special” (i.e. nuclear or chemical) or conventional of 7 types: 3 unitary (HE-Frag, HE-Incendiary, Penetration) and 4 cluster (Fragmentation, HEAT-Frag, Anti-tank with IR-homing, FAE bomblets). Note that the cluster warhead with homed submunitions (MOTIV-3M or GNOM) can be used against moving targets (tank columns etc.).
    It can be said without boasting that Iskander is the most advanced among all existing short-range ballistic missiles, and certainly the hardest to intercept.

    Source: Dmitry - irandefence.net
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    IronsightSniper

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:17 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:Interesting to say the least. The fact that these missiles mostly fly below the main radar path, making it hard for missile defense systems to detect it and counter it (PAC-3, etc), but they have maneuvering abilities to evade incoming defense threats. These missiles are yet again, another step in missile technology, making Russia still #1 in this field.

    The cost of these missiles, and the effectiveness makes them very intriguing system. That is why I understand many countries trying to get their hands on the system.

    Not only that, but the missile itself is equipped with RCS reduction-coating/shape, decoy launchers, plus the maneuvering trajectory. There is little any Western ABM system can do to intercept it.

    Any info on it's RCS? :O

    Also, I am curious if it has/plans to have counter-laser technologies like the Topol-M has.

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Austin on Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:27 am

    ^^^ The velocity of Iskander-M is ~ 2100 m/s ( Mach 6 ) while it is boost gliding during its cruise phase at ~ 50 km altitude its a Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehical while it attack or dives at the target at high supersonic speed > M 3.

    The only other missile that is known to boost glide at hypersonic speed is the Indian Shourya missile.


    Last edited by Austin on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:58 am


    Russia to deploy Iskander missiles in all military districts

    RIA Novosti

    18:21 14/10/2010

    MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in all four of its future military districts, the chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff said on Thursday.

    In line with Russia's ongoing military reform, the number of military districts will be cut from six to four by December 1, 2010. In the future, the military districts will be replaced by unified strategic commands.

    "We will have brigades equipped with Iskander missiles in every military district," Gen. Nikolai Makarov told reporters in Moscow.

    The general said the supply of the Iskander-M missiles is a priority in the development and rearmament of the Russian army.

    The Iskander-M system (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) is equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage 9M723K1 guided missiles with "quasi-ballistic" capability. The missiles have a range of 400 km (250 miles) and can reportedly carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

    Russia is planning to equip at least five missile brigades with Iskander-M systems by 2016.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-101014-rianovosti02.htm
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    Western military district gets first Iskander tactical missile system

    Post  Russian Patriot on Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:14 am


    Western military district gets first Iskander tactical missile system

    RIA Novosti

    11:13 14/12/2010 MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - The first Iskander tactical surface-to-surface ballistic missile system has entered service with the Russian Army's Western Military District, regional commander Arkady Bakhin said on Tuesday.

    "We are at practically 98 percent permanent readiness. We are carrying out reequipment and delivery of new types of weapons," Bakhin said.

    Iskander is designed for tactical strikes on small, high value land targets. The export variant has a range of 280 km but the variant in Russian service has a range of 500 km.

    Iskander was produced by a range of scientific-industrial companies including KBM Kolomna, which previously produced the Tochka and Oka missile systems.

    Russia has previously threatened to deploy Iskander in the Kaliningrad region if NATO deployed missile defense systems in Poland without Russian approval.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-101214-rianovosti01.htm
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Ogannisyan8887 on Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:46 am

    Iskander vs Thaad afro
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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  GarryB on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:35 am

    Iskander does not follow a pure ballistic path and actually manoeuvres to the target specifically to evade enemy air defences.
    It is even reported to carry active jamming and decoy equipment for that purpose.

    THAAD was pretty much designed to fight SCUD and equivelent weapons.

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Austin on Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:23 pm


    Iskander the Great
    Mikhail Barabanov

    The Iskander short-range mobile theater ballistic missile system is the latest armament to burst onto the political arena, serving as a persuasive argument for politico-military discussions taking place in Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. The reason why the Iskander (Western designation SS-26 Stone) has attracted so much attention is that it is quite possibly the most effective and deadly nonstrategic ballistic missile in existence.

    From the Oka to the Iskander

    In 1980, the Soviet Union adopted the 9K714 Oka (SS-23 Spyder) short-range theater mobile ballistic missile into service, having a range of up to 450 km and a high precision, single-stage solid propellant missile with a nuclear or conventional warhead. This system was developed by the Kolomna Machine Building Design Bureau (KBM). The accuracy of the Oka missile (Circular Error Probable – CEP) is 30 m. Oka missiles were meant to replace the notorious old 9K72 Elbrus (SS-3B Scud) short-range theater ballistic missile with a range of up to 300 km, used by the Soviet Army and forces of the Warsaw Pact. The USA was worried from the start by the outstanding accuracy of the Oka missile. In 1987, exploiting Mikhail Gorbachev’s inclination to compromise, the United States was able to have the Oka (as OTR-23) included in the list of systems to be eliminated under the U.S.-Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, even though the Treaty applied only to missiles with a range over 500 km. The Soviet Union was required to destroy every one of its 106 transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles and 339 Oka missiles by 1991. Later, the United States insisted that former Soviet allies destroy the Oka missile systems they received in the mid-1980s on a unilateral basis: Bulgaria (eight TEL vehicles and 25 Oka missiles), Czech Republic (two TEL vehicles and 12 Oka missiles) and Slovakia (two TEL vehicles and 24 Oka missiles).

    The destruction of the Oka missiles in accordance with the INF Treaty was hotly debated among Soviet politico-military circles and was seen by society as a glaring example of Gorbachev’s «betrayal.» Thus, the Soviet Union and Russia were deprived of their most effective short-range theater ballistic missile. Moreover, the R-17 Elbrus (SS-3B Scud) short-range ballistic missiles («operational-tactical» ones in Russian terminology), based on the design of the German V-2 liquid propellant ballistic missile, were withdrawn from operational use due to their low accuracy and outdated technology. Accordingly, the Kolomna Machine Building Design Bureau began to develop a new and more modern, highly accurate single-stage solid propellant short-range theater mobile ballistic missile with a range of up to 500 km to satisfy the requirements of the INF Treaty. The new system was named Iskander, after the Persian name for Alexander the Great, and intended to fill the armaments gap left by the elimination of the Oka and Elbrus ballistic missiles. Later, it was decided to use the Iskander to replace the Tochka and Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) short-range ballistic missile mobile systems with ranges of up to 70 and 120 km respectively, as their service life was to expire after 2000.

    The Iskander ballistic missile is 7.3 m long, has a body diameter of 0.92 m and a launch weight of between 3,800 and 4,020 kg, depending on the payload. A Soyuz NPO single-stage solid-propellant engine provides propulsion. The high velocity of the missile allows it to penetrate antimissile defenses. Iskander missiles can fly a depressed trajectory below 50 km and can make evasive maneuvers up to 30 g during the terminal phase, to prevent interception by surface-to-air missiles. The Iskander has several conventional warhead options weighing between 480 and 700 kg, depending on type. These are believed to include cluster warheads with antipersonnel/antimaterial blast/fragmentation submunitions, area denial submunitions, high explosive unitary, fuel-air explosive, high explosive earth penetrator for bunker busting, and an antiradar blast/fragmentation warhead. A nuclear warhead can be affixed to the Iskander, though this capability is not advertised officially. The payload can also include tactical decoys.

    The guidance system, designed by the Central Scientific Research Institute for Automation and Hydraulics (TsNIIAG), features an inertial unit with terminal guidance electro-optical correlation seeker with digital target area data. The missile has been reported to have an accuracy of 10 to 30 meters CEP, or even better. Some versions have guidance systems capable of GPS/GLONASS satellite navigation system updates during mid-course and with missile datalink for in-flight re-targeting. Other types of terminal guidance system are possible, using active radar or imaging infrared sensor seekers.

    The Iskander ballistic missile system was created in two basic versions. The 9K723 Iskander missile system (sometimes called the Iskander-M or Tender) was made for the use of the Russian Army, using the 9M723 ballistic missile with a maximum range of up to 450 or even 500 km. The 9K720 Iskander-E export version uses 9M720-E ballistic missiles with a reduced payload of up to 480 kg and a reduced maximum range of up to 280 km, to respect the limits imposed by the international Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

    The Iskander 9P78 TEL vehicle carries two missiles. The 9P78 four-axle TEL vehicle was developed by the Titan Central Design Bureau in Volgograd and based on a Minsk MZKT-7930 chassis. It has a length of 13.1 m, a width of 2.6 m and a height of 3.55 m, with the two missiles in the stowed traveling position. The fully loaded weight is 42,850 kg. This TEL has a 650 HP diesel engine, with a maximum road speed of 70 km/h, and an un-refueled range of 1,100 km. The vehicle has a launch crew of three, has full nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and amphibious capabilities. The TEL contains a command post with an automated fire-control system, so that each TEL can operate independently if necessary. The command post has target data and designation, navigation, and weather control positions, as well as built-in system-test equipment. The TEL can be positioned on sloping ground, and leveled with four hydraulic jack supports within 30 to 80 seconds. The missiles are raised to an angle of 85°, which takes around 20 seconds. The reaction time can vary between 5 and 16 minutes, and two missiles can be fired in salvo with 60 seconds between launches. The Iskander missile system also includes a 9T250 transporter-loader vehicle based on a MZKT-7930 chassis, which carries two reload missiles and a crane. This has a crew of two, with a fully loaded weight of 40,000 kg. There are four other vehicles based on the six-axle KamAZ-43101 truck chassis. These are a 9S552 command and control post with four operator stations and a communications suite, a 9S920 mission planning vehicle with two operator stations, a maintenance vehicle, and a crew accommodation vehicle.

    A typical Iskander operational battery is expected to consist of two TELs with two reload vehicles, two command and control vehicles, two mission planning vehicles, a maintenance vehicle, and a crew accommodation vehicle. An Iskander battalion is composed of two operational batteries. A Missile Brigade equipped with Iskander missile systems, is composed of three missile battalions, with 12 TELs and 12 transporter-loader vehicles, and a total of 48 ballistic missiles.

    Testing of the Iskander ballistic missile system has been ongoing at the Kapustin Yar Test Range in Astrakhan Oblast since 1995. The state tests were complete in August of 2004, and in 2007 the Iskander was formally passed into service by the MOD. Limited serial production of the system began in 2005. Iskander ballistic missiles are manufactured at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant in Udmurtia and the solid propellant motors are built by the Soyuz NPO (now part of the Tactical Missiles Corporation) at Dzerzhisky. The TEL and transporter-loader vehicles are built at the Barrikady Plant in Volgograd.

    Further development of the warfighting capabilities of the Iskander missile system should include the integration of the high-precision R-500 (3M14) subsonic cruise missile, developed by the Novator Design Bureau in Yekaterinburg. The R-500 missile is actually a conventional version of the Soviet 3M10 (RK-55) long-range cruise missile, which was the analogue of the U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile. The 3M10, is installed as the Granat (SS-N-21) system with a range of up to 2,600 km on the Russian Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines and was previously deployed as the Relief (SSC-4) ground-based long-range mobile cruise missile system, eliminated by the 1987 INF Treaty.

    The R-500 is equipped with a conventional warhead and has an official range of up to 500 km to honor the limits of the INF Treaty. However, several observers have suggested that the R-500 could easily be modified to attain ranges of up to 1,000 km or even more (up to 2,500 km, depending on the size of the warhead).

    In November of 2007, the Commander of the Missile Troops and Artillery of the Russian Ground Forces, Colonel General Vladimir Zaritsky said that «at present the Iskander-M missile system fully complies with the conditions of the INF Treaty, but if a political decision were made to withdraw from the Treaty, we would increase the fighting capabilities of the system, including its range.» The R-500 cruise missile guidance system has an inertial unit, a GPS/GLONASS satellite navigation system, and a terminal guidance electro-optical correlation seeker with digital target area data or active radar seeker. Testing of the R-500 cruise missile was completed at Kapustin Yar in 2007, and it was announced that the missile would be passed into service as part of the Iskander system in 2009. The Iskander missile system with the R-500 cruise missile is designated Iskander-K. Six R-500 cruise missiles with vertical launch canisters can be installed in place of the two ballistic missiles on a standard 9P78 TEL vehicle.

    Iskander in Service

    On January 1, 2007, the 630th Training Missile Battalion with four Iskander TEL vehicles, the first one of the kind, was formed at the 60th Combat Training Center of the Army Missile Troops at the Kapustin Yar Test Range, based in the North Caucasus Military District. According to the National Armaments Programs for 2007-2015, 60 serially-produced Iskander ballistic missile systems (that is, 60 TEL vehicles) will be procured to equip five of Russia’s ten Missile Brigades. The newly equipped brigades will be distributed right across Russia: the 26th (Luga, near St. Petersburg in the Leningrad Military District), the 92nd (in Kamenka, near Penza in the Volga-Urals Military District), the 103rd (in Ulan-Ude, Siberia Military District), the 107th (Semistochny, near Birobidzhan in the Far East Military District), and the 114th (in Znamensk, near Astrakhan, in the North Caucasus Military District). Each of those missile brigades is currently equipped with Tochka and Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile mobile systems. The 92nd and 107th Missile Brigades are to be the first to be reequipped, by 2011, with the first deliveries to begin in 2008. It should be noted that the list of five brigades designated to receive the Iskander does not include the 152nd Missile Brigade in Kaliningrad, the two missile brigades of the Moscow Military District (the 50th in Shuya and the 448th in Kursk), and yet another missile brigade in the North Caucasus Military District (the 1st in Krasnodar).

    On May 9, 2008, four TEL vehicles loaded with Iskander missiles of the 630th Training Missile Battalion of the 60th Combat Training Centre of the Army Missile Troops took part in the Military Parade on the Red Square in Moscow. On August 630th Training Missile Battalion took part in Five-Day War with Georgia over South Ossetia. Several 9M723 missiles were reportedly fired from Russia against military targets in Georgia with cluster and high-explosive unitary warheads. According to unconfirmed reports, it was an Iskander missile that inflicted the infamous, high-precision strike on the Georgian Separate Tank Battalion base in Gori. Moreover, the Iskander missile made a direct hit on the arms depot, causing it to explode and inflicting extensive damage on the tank battalion. Russian officials have not admitted to using the Iskander missile against Georgia. However, unofficial reports testify to the high effectiveness of the Iskander missiles, as one of the most devastating and accurate weapons in the Russian arsenal.

    The fate of the Iskander missile took a new turn on November 5, 2008, when President Dmitry Medvedev announced in his address to the Federal Assembly that Russia would deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad Oblast as a response to the planned deployment of parts of the American missile-defense system on Polish and Czech territory. In principle, Medvedev’s announcement should not have been a surprise to anyone following Russian military developments. First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov had said as much in July of 2007, and similar announcements have been made several times in Russian military circles in 2008. There was even a story about the plans in a September issue of Krasnaya Zvezda, the MOD’s newspaper. In fact, the issue concerns nothing more than the replacement of the Tochka-U missiles of the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade, located at Chernyakhovsk in Kaliningrad Oblast, part of the Kaliningrad Special Military Region, which is under Naval Command.

    The rearming of the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade with Iskanders would allow 9M723 missiles with a range of 500 km to reach all of Poland, the eastern parts of Germany and northern Czech territories. It could target all elements of the American Ballistic Missile Defense system planned for deployment in this area, including the radar station in the Czech Republic. The accuracy of the 9M723 missile is sufficient to defeat even heavily fortified targets, including the American GBI silo-based missile interceptors, with conventional warheads. The R-500 cruise missile would allow for an even more effective destruction of targets in Europe from Kaliningrad, and probably at a greater range as well. Moreover, Russia has not excluded the possibility of equipping the Iskander with a nuclear warhead.

    However, the decision to rearm the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade with Iskander missiles is only part of a full-scale review of the original plans for their deployment. Two days after Medvedev’s speech, a high official of the Russian MOD told the RIA Novosti news agency that the new plan would have all five brigades armed with Iskanders by 2015 «facing the West.» This would imply that instead of equipping the 92nd, 103rd and 107th missile brigades with Iskanders, the new weapons would be deployed to the 50th and 448th missile brigades of the Moscow Military District, the 152nd in Kaliningrad, and the 26th in the Leningrad Military District, and the 114th in the North Caucasus. On the basis of several subsequent official statements, it seems that the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade in Kaliningrad will be equipped with Iskanders no sooner than 2011, and would be timed to coincide with the deployment of American GBI missile interceptors in Poland.

    Clearly, the decision to change the plan for the deployment of Iskander missiles to concentrate on reequipping the European parts of Russia first, reflects the significant deterioration of relations between Russia and the West over the past few years, especially in the wake of the Five-Day War with Georgia. In military terms, the deployment of the Iskander system in Kaliningrad and other European parts of Russia represents a radical increase in the capacity of Russian formations to inflict high-precision strikes against any target in Eastern, Central, and Northern Europe. It is extremely difficult for even the most modern and prospective air defense systems possessed by Western countries to intercept the Iskander ballistic missile. The TEL vehicles themselves proved to be difficult to detect and relatively invulnerable to American forces in 1991 and 2003 during the two wars with Iraq.

    The sharp reaction of West European states to the announced deployment of the Iskander system in Kaliningrad comes as no surprise, as it represents a quantum leap for Russian military capabilities in the enclave. However, the Europeans should not forget that it is the American plan to deploy its Ballistic Missile Defense system along the Russian border that has led Moscow to making this decision. The Kremlin has clearly reasoned that the Iskander should be a weighty argument for European discussions on whether they are prepared to sacrifice their own immediate security interests for the sake of America’s politico-military ambitions. After all, the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad are a lot closer and much more real than any hypothetical Iranian missiles.

    Export Opportunities

    The Iskander-E short-range theater ballistic missile mobile system was publicly offered for export in 1999, though the sale of such a sensitive article was bound to meet with many political obstacles. Syria and Iran were the first to express an interest in 2000, though Russia apparently refused delivery for fear of spoiling its relations with the United States and Israel. By late 2004, Russia had practically concluded a contract for the sale of 18 systems to Syria, but President Putin canceled the deal at the last minute. Nevertheless, future sales cannot be excluded, and Russia is clearly exploiting the prospect of deliveries to Iran as a playing chip with the United States and Iran. The Iskander-E has become a powerful card in Russia’s hand in the complex game over the Middle East.

    Negotiations with the United Arab Emirates have taken place, and Rosoborneksport has also named Algeria, Kuwait, Yemen, Vietnam, Singapore, and South Korea as potential customers. In 2006, KBM representatives announced that a contract for the delivery of the Iskander-E was concluded, but did not name the purchaser. This information has not been forthcoming to date. The Novator Design Bureau has also offered the Club-M missile system with 3M14E cruise missiles and 3M54E/E1 (SS-N-27) antiship missiles for export. The Club-M is actually the export version of the Iskander-K missile system. The UAE has expressed an interest in this system.

    However, Belarus is likely to make the first purchase of the Iskander-E. In November 2007, General Mikhail Puzikov announced a government decision to acquire an Iskander-E missile system brigade to rearm the 465th Belarusian Missile Brigade by 2015-2020. Puzikov said that funds had already been allocated and the missile systems would be acquired at domestic Russian prices, in accordance with the terms of the Tashkent Agreement of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The first deliveries of the Iskander-E should begin in 2010.

    The Iskander-E and Club-M are unique wares on the global arms market in terms of their technical specifications and warfighting capabilities. The acquisition by any country of the Iskander-E, the Russian arms industry’s most advanced export, is sure to influence the balance of forces in any corner of the world.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:40 am

    Should add that it has been revealed that they are going to take steps to extend the range of Iskander over the next few years, and also develop a replacement missile.

    With the interservice standardisation going on recently with artillery and SAMs would it be a huge surprise if I was wrong and the new missile being developed was going to be a joint Army/Navy ballistic missile?

    The sticking point is the INF treaty... are the comments about longer range models of Iskander and a new even longer range missile being developments a hint that Russia intends to withdraw from the INF treaty?

    Austin

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    Re: Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone):

    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:01 am

    Moving out of INF is too drastic and has consequences for Russia and Europe that would be the last step if the Missile Defence talk fails and huge build up of ABM happens.

    INF treaty only limits ground based system but they can always develop Air Launched system of longer range , any ground based system developed Iskander or new one will have to adhere to INF treaty which limits to 500 km

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