Meet the Iskander: Russia's Latest Navy-Killer Missile?

Michael Peck

Michael Peck

Security,

We take a look. 

Meet the Iskander: Russia's Latest Navy-Killer Missile?

But also note that the DF-26 has an estimated range of 2,500 miles, much greater than a Kalibr or an Iskander-M. A 300-mile missile may be a useful coastal defense weapon in confined waters like the Baltic or Black Seas, enabling Russia to prevent NATO ships from getting too close to its territory. But it's not a long-range access denial weapon.

First, China developed long-range "carrier-killer" ballistic missiles. Now, Russia's Iskander ballistic missile system may have the same mission.

(This first appeared late last year.)

In late July and early August, Russia conducted two simulated "electronic launches" of the 9K720 Iskander-M (NATO code name, SS-26 Stone) against ships in the Black Sea, according to Russian media.

"An 'electronic' launch likely means a field combat simulation where the missile unit prepares and performs all procedures for a real-world launch without firing a live missile," explains the Russian Defense Policy blog. 

But exactly which missile did Russia pretend to launch? The Iskander, developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the Scud, is a road-based mobile launch system that can fire several models of ballistic and cruise missiles. The  Iskander-M is a single-stage ballistic missile, armed with a conventional or nuclear warhead, and a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles).

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