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Russia deploys Iskander-K cruise missile launcher vehicles in direction of Kharkiv Ukraine

According to information published on the Russian social network "VK" on April 19, 2022, the Russian army has started the deployment of the Iskander-K, mobile cruise missile system in the direction of Kharkiv to conduct firing operations in Ukraine.
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Russian army deploys Iskander mobile cruise missile launcher vehicles in the direction of  Kharkiv. (Picture source VK Военный Осведомитель)

The Iskander-K is the latest development of mobile cruise missile launcher units based on the Iskander family. The Iskander is a family of short-range tactical missile systems developed and produced in Russia.

The Iskander-K is able to launch the R-500 cruise missile. Any missile is called Ballistic when the trajectory it follows is ballistic. It is used to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target. The cruise missile is guided and the target is pre-set. It is basically used against terrestrial targets.

The Iskander-K is based on the MZKT-7930 8x8 military truck chassis manufactured in Belarus. In road position, the cruise missiles are stored inside the rear part of the truck chassis. In the firing position, four-tube launchers are erected in the vertical position at the rear of the truck.

The Iskander-K is able to launch the R-500 tactical cruise missile and the vehicle can carry up to four missiles. According to Russian military sources, the R-500 also called 9M728, has a maximum firing range of 490 km. The missile can be fitted with a conventional warhead weighing 500 kg, or a nuclear warhead with a yield of around 10-50 kT. There are several different conventional warheads, including cluster, fuel-air explosive, and bunker-busting.

The R-500 missile is equipped with an Astro-inertial navigation system but can be also fitted with satellite navigation systems such as NAVSTAR and GLONASS. The missile has a CEP (Circular Error Probability) of around 5 meters.

The Iskander-K can fire each missile independently within 16 minutes from the traveling position. The R-500 missile has a weight from 1,800 to 2,300 kg with a warhead of 500 kg. It can fly at a speed from 230 to 260 m/s.

The Iskander-K is operated by a crew of three. The vehicle is powered by a YaMZ-846 diesel engine developing 500 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km.

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