Russian Doomsday Missile: Iskander-E




 
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October 8th, 2008  
Lunatik
 
 

Topic: Russian Doomsday Missile: Iskander-E


Russia has been finding a ready market for weapons it was developing at the end of the Cold War, but had to suspend work on during the 1990s because of lack of money. One of the more popular of these now available weapons is the SS-26 (9M723K1, or "Iskander") ballistic missile. Syria, Kuwait, South Korea, India and the United Arab Emirates are all interested in buying some. The United States was so impressed by Iskander, that it has threatened economic retaliation on Russia if Syria got hold of Iskanders. Despite that, the Russians are eager to make sales of the half million dollar missiles, as well as the transporter vehicle (from which the missiles are fired.) The Iskanders cost varies depending on which warhead and guidance system they were equipped with.

The Iskander finally completed its development in the last few years. The 3.8 ton missile has a range of 280 kilometers, and a 900 pound warhead. Russia sells several different types of warheads, including cluster munitions, thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) and electro-magnetic pulse (anti-radar, and destructive to electronics in general.) Guidance is very accurate, using GPS, plus infrared homing for terminal guidance. The warhead will land within 30 feet of the aim point. Iskanders are carried in a 20 ton 8x8 truck, which also provides a launch platform. There is also a reload truck that carries two missiles.

Another unique feature of Iskander is that it is not a traditional ballistic missile. That is, it does not fire straight up, leave the atmosphere, then come back down, following a ballistic trajectory. Instead, Iskander stays in the atmosphere and follows a rather flat trajectory. It is capable of evasive maneuvers and deploying decoys. This makes it more difficult for anti-missile systems to take it down. This is why the U.S. made so much noise when it looked like Syria might get some.

Russia is buying several dozen Iskanders for its own military. These versions have a longer range (400 kilometers) and more countermeasures (to interception). Russia will not provide details. Russia has admitted that it could use Iskander to destroy the U.S. anti-missile systems in a pre-emptive attack. Just in case Russia wanted to start World War III for some reason or another.

Russia developed the solid fuel Iskander to replace its Cold War era SS-23 battlefield ballistic missiles (which in turn had replaced SCUD). The SS-23 had to be withdrawn from service and destroyed by 1991, because the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty prohibited missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,300 kilometers. When post Cold War financial problems slowed down development of Iskander, this left Russia dependent on the shorter range (120 kilometers) SS-21 system, along with some aging SCUDS, for battlefield ballistic missile support. Russia used some of these older missiles against Chechen rebels in the 1990s.



http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hta.../20081007.aspx
October 8th, 2008  
SHERMAN
 
 
big truck...big launcher...if they launch it we can see it. if we can see it we can kill it. look into the israeli air campaign in lebanon 2006. the big rocket launchers were destroyed a few minutes after launch...
October 8th, 2008  
Lunatik
 
 
This sounds like an ATACMS with a proper guidance system and a little more kick. But I don't know what they mean by "countermeasures", maybe decoy warheads or lateral thrusters for increased maneuverability?

Russia's Iskander-E missile systems see strong foreign demand

Several countries have shown an interest in purchasing Russia's advanced Iskander-E short-range ballistic missile systems, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.

The Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone) is a tactical surface-to-surface missile complex designed to deliver high-precision strikes at a variety of ground targets at a range of up to 280 km (170 miles). It carries a single warhead with a payload of 400 kg to comply with the limits laid down by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

"Syria, the UAE, Malaysia, India and some other countries have shown an interest in the missile system," said Rosoboronexport official Nikolai Dimidyuk.

Russia will also seek to export the Iskander-E to Algeria, Kuwait, Singapore, Vietnam, and South Korea, he added.

The Iskander-E has a launch weight of 3,800 kg and is deployed on a transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle that carries two missiles. The missiles incorporate 'stealth' technology and feature variable flight trajectory.

They can reportedly be launched within a minute of each other and have a circular-error probable (CEP) of 30 meters.

An Iskander battery comprises TELs, loaders, and a command vehicle. Target acquisition is supported by a mobile data-processing center.
Dimidyuk also said Russia is forming a brigade of Iskander-M SRBM systems with longer ranges and heavier payloads than the export [Iskander-E] version.

"The system has been adopted in service with Russia's armed forces and, as far as I know, a brigade [of Iskander systems] is being formed," he said.

In an interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily in July, Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, a former commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, said Moscow could deploy tactical Iskander-M missiles in the Kaliningrad Region or in Belarus, from where they could reach U.S. ground based interceptors in Poland.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/li...anovosti01.htm
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December 5th, 2008  
Sven Ortmann
 
I'm deeply impressed by Iskander as well. It's a very different approach to air attack. A power can hit & destroy targets like bridges, depots and likely even warships without the huge investment and proficiency requirements of an air force. No SEAD, AEW&C, CAP are necessary to get the warhead on target. The Russian original version with the terminal phase seeker is reputed with such a good accuracy that you can select WHERE to hit a building like a bridge, not just HOW LIKELY. And it's really no normal SRBM - it should rather be considered as a high-flying top-attack hypervelocity missile. It's probably more a descendant of the Soviet CVN-buster missiles than of Scud. The warhead does not separate - it seems to remain in one piece until impact. That does pretty much exclude the possibility of effective decoys. Cost limits prevent effective jamming. Survivability against normal AD and AD with ATBM does therefore likely rest on an (in effect) evasive maneuver pattern on descend. There are some technologies to detect & track such trucks, but there are effective countermeasures as well. A smart user wouldn't get busted in an inhabited region. The Hebollah example is not applicable. The Israelis had (as before the Bekaa valley campaign as well) enough time to collect intel during peacetime. NATO's inability to destroy much of the smart Yugoslavian air defences in 1999 is a better argument. Iskander is in my opinion the operational strike weapon technology of choice for powers that don't trust their fighter bombers' ability to accomplish strike missions.
December 5th, 2008  
rock45
 
I think it's more of a ground launched cruise missile more then anything.

Quote:
The Russian original version with the terminal phase seeker is reputed with such a good accuracy that you can select WHERE to hit a building like a bridge, not just HOW LIKELY. And it's really no normal SRBM - it should rather be considered as a high-flying top-attack hypervelocity missile.
Most Russian smart weapons aren't at western standards as far accuracy do we assume this weapon can hit what it's aimed at? Can we assume they can find targets? Look how Russia fought in Georgia and what weapons they used and how they controlled battle field. Judging how Russia fought I don't see them taking advantage of such a platform providing it can do what they say it can. There information gathering is the weak link in this type of weapons in battle I think. Think about it they had to send a 30 year old bomber on a recon mission to collect targeting information (which got shot down) using almost 50 years old pilot to fly the thing. Doesn't it seem a little far fetch that it can select what part of the target to hit?
December 6th, 2008  
SHERMAN
 
 
A Bear was shot down?
December 8th, 2008  
rock45
 
I'm confused what does a Bear have to do with this? Did they shoot down one of there own bombers?
December 8th, 2008  
Sven Ortmann
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock45
I think it's more of a ground launched cruise missile more then anything.

Most Russian smart weapons aren't at western standards as far accuracy do we assume this weapon can hit what it's aimed at? Can we assume they can find targets? Look how Russia fought in Georgia and what weapons they used and how they controlled battle field. Judging how Russia fought I don't see them taking advantage of such a platform providing it can do what they say it can. There information gathering is the weak link in this type of weapons in battle I think. Think about it they had to send a 30 year old bomber on a recon mission to collect targeting information (which got shot down) using almost 50 years old pilot to fly the thing. Doesn't it seem a little far fetch that it can select what part of the target to hit?
The Russians don't have the PR talent of the Americans, but many of their guided weapons work very well, were not monkey grade and some of their missiles were simply ahead of Western technology. Examples; R-73 (AA-11), Krizanthema with dual seeker (AT-14?) It's quite dangerous to underestimate possible opponents. We did never fight the real thing, only monkey models used by usually ill-trained troops. Still, some Russian hardware caused headaches in the Cold War proxy wars. Iskander uses apparently an electro-optical sensor with target recognition based on a previously fed aerial or satellite image. It's reasonable to expect that such a weapon meets the same accuracy claims. The Russians used almost exclusively old equipment (much from the 70's) in Georgia, but that doesn't tell anything about their 90's hardware. It's well-known that they hadn't the funds to pay for procurement, only for some R&D in the past two decades. Btw, I think it was no bear, but a Tu-22M or Tu-26 that got shot down.
December 8th, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
Electro optical guidance is not very popular with Western hardware for a very good reason.
December 8th, 2008  
rock45
 
Hello Sven Ortmann

The AA-11 has been surpassed by western type for ten years now. The Russian fielded the HMS first teamed with the AA-11 and was very deadly combo for it's time.

Those money problem you mention carry over into R&D for different weapons programs as well. Russia has a PR section to and some of their weapons and systems don't perform or live up to what Russia's own PR machine says it does. Why should I believe this system or platform is different?

You would be very surprise at just how few weapons were bought by the Russian Armed Forces themselves in the 90s and not made for export. I'm not saying Russia doesn't have people smart enough to create such weapons and know how to build the factories to produce them. It's just the government failure to maintain steady funding to such programs is why Russia has falling back in certain areas.

I agree with your assessment that monkey or downgrade models were sold and used by ill trained personnel in many cases. Some of the blame for poor showing equipment wise does in "some cases" fall on the Russian doctrine on training. I think you can see this as far back as the Middle East wars 67, 73, Gulf War I, most fought the way they were trained.

In Georgia why wasn't Russia using satellite or aerial images to setup battle field tactical missiles (some were used) and air force assets using standoff smart weapons to take out key targets like CC, radar, SAM sites, Naval patrol Boats in the docks, strong enemy build up positions, the upgraded Su-24, a few have been upgraded to fire, launch, carry these weapons. Russia military PR release this information but yet very little advance weapons nor tactical planning was seen?

You can Google the Russian weapons including the upgraded Su-24 and a whole bunch of Russian made smart bombs, stand-off air to ground missiles and much more but it wasn't used on a tactical level not even information gathering. This is why I don't believe that this Iskander can pick what part of a target to hit.

Its not the people or the industry base it's the government lack of long term fuinding and support, R&D cost billions.
 


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