Iskander-M Iskander SS-26 Stone 9K720 9M72 9P78-1
Mobile Tactical Ballistic Missile System - Russia
Iskander Missile SS-26 Stone is a short-range tactical missile system developed and produced in Russia. The system replaces the Oka SS-23 SPIDER which had been terminated under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Development of the system was undertaken by the Kolomna Engineering Design Bureau development during the 1990s under the project name "Tender". The Iskander SS-26 Stone theatre missile system is designed to destroy enemy weapons, command posts, communications nodes, tactical aircraft parked on airfields, air and missile defense installations and other critical targets in operational depth round the clock and in any season when countered by heavy regular and precision-guided munitions, weapons of mass destruction, as well as anti-missile defense and EW assets. All Iskander vehicles feature cross-country wheeled chassis making them very mobile. The missile is solid-fuelled, single-staged with continuous guidance along the whole trajectory. It features a non-separable warhead with a self-contained INS coupled with an optical homing head. The warhead can house a cluster bomb, HE-fragmentation or penetration charge. The Iskander-M is an upgraded version of the previous version of the Iskander which has a range of 400 km. In December 2018, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced that The missile troops of the Russian Ground Forces will be fully reequipped with the Iskander-M missile systems in 2019. During a military parade on February 8, 2018, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army, North Korea’s armed forces displayed a number of missile systems including a new mobile missile platform that looked very similar to the Russian 9K720 Iskander-M which is in service the Russian armed forces. According to information published by Russian Press Agency TASS on August 7, 2020, Russian Iskander NATO code-named SS-26 Stone short-range tactical missiles will be used for coastal defense. In May 2022, Belarus confirmed the purchase of the Russian-made Iskander mobile ballistic missile system. Citing information published in October 2022, the Iskander-M will be fitted with a new missile that will enhance its combat potential. On December 16, 2022, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced the deployment of Iskander on Belarus territory.
Iskander Iskander-M variants:
- Iskander-M: Range 400 km with a potential for extension to INF Treaty violating 500 km. Speed Mach 6-7, flight altitude up to 6–50 km, nuclear-capable stealth missile, controlled at all stages, not ballistic flight path. Immediately after the launch and upon approach to the target, the missile performs intensive maneuvering to evade anti-ballistic missiles. The missile constantly maneuvers during flight as well.
- Iskander-E: export version, range: 280 km.
- Iskander-K: new version, unveiled in 2007, with a new cruise missile R-500, range: 280 km max.
The Iskander / Iskander-M system is combined of six types of vehicles. The Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) is based on the new BAZ6909 eight-wheeled truck chassis. Fully loaded with two missiles, a TEL weighs 40 tons. The transporter loader also carries two missiles reloads. The mission preparation station is equipped to process intelligence data, converting it to target data fed to the missile's navigation system. Command and staff vehicle, maintenance and life support vehicles complete the Iskander's unit. The TELs will remain in concealed position throughout the mission preparation and require only a brief exposure to an open area to erect and fire one or two missiles. After launching, the vehicle immediately leaves the area seeking the safety of another concealed area.
The SS-26 Stone Iskander missile system is equipped with a solid-propellant single-stage guided-missile 9M723K1 controlled throughout the entire flight path and provided with a non-separable warhead. The missile is designed for mobile, autonomous operation and is capable of striking point and area targets at ranges of 50 – 280 km. The missile can carry conventional warheads, cluster bombs splinter munitions, and allow for precision-strike operations. The target accuracy is 5-7 meters coupled with an optical homing head and 30-70 m in an autonomous application. A Thermobaric warhead is also believed to be part of the missile's warhead options. An unconventional warhead could also be an option, including a tactical nuclear warhead.
The Iskander-M missile is equipped with inertial and optical guidance, using the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system. The circular error probable (CEP) of the missile is 2-7 m.
|The Iskander missile is mounted to the MAZ-543 truck, the 9P78E is the self-propelled launcher and the 9T250E is the transporter-loader vehicle. The 9T250E is also used as a command post, launch data preparation post, maintenance, and support vehicle. The 9M72-missile SS-26 Stone is a powerful, solid fuel propelled short-range surface-to-surface missile, and can be fired quite fast in less than 8 minutes after warning. The Iskander-M is mounted to the truck MZKT-7930.|
|The missile is difficult to track with radar systems because it does have a very low flight curve with an apogee of about 50 km. The speed of the missile is about 2.6 km/s. Russia does export Iskander missiles as Iskander-E with a lower range and some other limited capabilities.|
|Two missile 9M723K1||No armor protection for the TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) truck|
|Country users||Missile Weight|
|Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Russia, North Korea||3,800 kg|
|Designer Country||Length missile|
|Conventional or nuclear||- Iskander 50 to 280 km |
- Iskander-M 50to 400 km
|Power missile||Guidance system|
|700/480 kg HE, cluster or penetrator||- Active radar terminal for Iskander |
- Inertial and optical guidance for Iskander-M
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