This video capture released by the Russian Defense Ministry on February 19 shows a Russian Iskander-K missile launch during a practice launch as part of the Grom-2022 Strategic Deterrent Force exercise at a location indefinite in Russia. AFP
Russia will deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday while receiving Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
“In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus the Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin said in a broadcast on Russian television at the start. of his meeting with Lukashenko. in St. Petersburg.
Let’s take a closer look at Iksander-M:
What is that?
According BBC, the Iskander-M is a mobile guided missile system named “SS-26 Stone” by NATO, which replaced the Soviet “Scud”.
Its two guided missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.
According to National Interest magazine, the Iskander Operational Tactical Missile System (OTMS) is the most dangerous weapon of the Russian Armed Forces.
This complex has a very low barrier to non-nuclear use, and the long range of missiles and their ability to overcome missile defense can immediately cause huge damage to NATO air forces in the event of Iskander attacks on airfields, ammunition depots and equipment and the like.
The system can also fire ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) – the SSC-7 and SSC-8, according to Indian Express.
When was he inducted?
According Indian Expresswhile Russia introduced the Iskander system in 2006, its development accelerated in the late 1980s after the SRBM “Oka” or OTR-23 was banned under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The US think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), claims that Iskander missiles are designed to confuse missile defenses by flying on a low trajectory and maneuvering in flight to hit targets with 2-to-5 accuracy. 5 meters, according to the report.
According to Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, there are two versions of the missile
- The Iskander-M
- The Iskander-E
This is for export only. The Iskander-M was commissioned in 2006 and is currently deployed by the Russian military. It has a range of 400-500 km and uses both inertial and optical guidance systems to achieve an accuracy of 10-30 m CEP.
It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads up to 700 kg and uses a maneuverable re-entry vehicle (MaRV) and decoys to defeat theater missile defense systems.
Conventional warheads that can be equipped by the Iskander include fragmentation warheads, fuel-air explosives, bunker-busters, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads. The missile was first tested in combat in 2008 during the Russo-Georgian War, when several conventionally equipped Iskander-Ms were used by the Russian military to strike targets in Gori, Georgia.
The Iskander-E variant – intended for export – has a range of 280 km and a warhead capacity of 480 kg. Like the Iskander-M, this version also has an inertial guidance system which gives it an accuracy of 30 to 70 m CEP. Reports indicate that the Iskander-E has been exported to countries such as Syria.
Putin offers upgrade to Belarus
Putin has also offered to upgrade Belarusian warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons, amid growing tensions with the West over Ukraine.
“Many Su-25s (aircraft) are in service with the Belarusian army. They could be appropriately modernized,” the Russian leader said.
“This modernization should be carried out at aircraft factories in Russia and training of personnel should start accordingly,” he added, after Lukashenko asked him to “adapt” the planes.
“We will agree on how to achieve this,” Putin said.
Putin has repeatedly referred to nuclear weapons since his country launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, in what the West saw as a warning to the West not to intervene.
Lukashenko said last month that his country had purchased nuclear-capable Iskander missiles and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia.
Meanwhile, G7 leaders on Monday expressed “serious concern” over Russia’s missile plans for Belarus.
“We urge Russia to behave responsibly and exercise restraint,” the leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations said in a statement.
“In this regard, we express serious concerns following Russia’s announcement that it may transfer nuclear-capable missiles to Belarus.”
With contributions from AFP
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