Isos wrote:Iskander has a 800 kg warehead. Imagine you want to destroy an airfield or damage it seriously. You will need like tens of Kalibrs to do so like US did to Syrian airbase. With an Iskander you can put a warehead with submunitions and touch all the area to destroy any fighter that is not covered and even if it is detected it can't be destroyed by SAM (very difficult, not impossible).
Zircon has yet to prove all these capacities. You have 0 proof it has a range of a true land Attack cruise missile (1000+ km) or it has lot of flight profiles.
I didn't say to use Iskander for antiship missions but for land Attack on big target behind enemy lines. But to answer to you remark about chinese BM, it is a dangerous weapon because it attacks from the top. Radars have dead zones, and the chinese antiship ballistical missile exloits these dead zones (like normal antiship flying low to be under the coverage of radar) to go through defences.
You should compare what Houti's BM did to saoudis and what can do a single cruise missile. The difference is huge in terms of results.
Iskanders are not Scud to miss targets by 1km or more. They are as precise as kalibr but fly just 5 to 10 minutes befire reaching the target with 4 times bigger warehead than kalibr.
Sure, the Iskander is rather more powerful. But building a ship around it cannot be justified.
Does Russia need to carry out strikes on Papua New Guinea now?
As for it's range; it's officially stated at around 500km. Unofficially who knows.
The Zirkon is also given a range figure of around the same ballpark. But as for it's true range again it's classified.
The Zirkon is a cruise missile, which means it will be able to adopt different flight profiles a lot easier than a quasi-ballistic missile such as the Iskander can. Although given that it's Unique Selling Point is speed the only real profile that makes sense is a diving attack; at the very least during the 2nd phase of its flight (it might sea-skim earlier on). If you want a missile that sea-skims all the way you might as well use a cheaper Kalibr.
With a diving attack it will also attack the target top-down, little different to the Chinese missile.
I don't know if it will have a land-attack mode. It might not need it. But I feel that this is the sort of thing whereby if the Russian MoD decides that it needs such a capability from the Zirkon for use against land-based infrastructre, then it can be added in w/o too much trouble.
Furthermore Russia itself is big. If there are targets to take out in Europe, Iskanders can be deployed to Kaliningrad (as they already are), Belarus or Transdniestr.
If targets in the Middle East - they can be deployed to Armenia or Tajikistan (in fact there already is a regiment in Armenia).
If targets in the Asia-Pacific region; they can be deployed to Primorye or Sakhalin.
They can even reach Alaska, if deployed to Chukotka.
Iskanders can't reach South Asia, South America, mainland US, Australasia or Africa from Russian territory. But if, for some reason there is an urgent need to reach further - then Russia can always leave the INF treaty and introduce a new system with a longer range.
Big_Gazza wrote:Do you have a source for stating that Iskander slows to supersonic speeds for terminal phase? Sounds counter-intuitive for a missile touted to defeat ABMs systems to slow down at the target... Wiki claims the vertical attack mode has a final attack speed of 700-800m/s but... pfftt... its wiki so who knows?
Wiki claims it and cites sources. I might have read it somewhere else too, don't remember.
The missile has to slow down to carry out anti-ABM manuevers. The missile can't manuever when its travelling at hypersonic speeds.
It can't home in on anything either when travelling so fast; it would have to be a pre-programmed stationary target given by GLONASS co-ordinates.
Although I'm sure that there is also a mode whereby it won't slow down at all; if there are only anti-air defences to worry about, and that's what command figures will give it the best chance of striking the target.[/quote]