Russia says all missile units are rearmed with ‘modern and unique’ nuclear-capable SS-26 Stone tactical missile system

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On November 19, the Russian Defense Ministry said that all missile units of its armed forces had been rearmed with “modern and unique” Iskander-M missile systems.

In a statement, the ministry said that all missile formations of the Russian Armed Forces are now being re-equipped with the state-of-the-art Iskander-M missile system, which has no equivalent anywhere in the world.

The definition of “modern and unique missile systems” was not specified by the ministry. However, current reports indicate that the weapon system has received significant upgrades to bolster its effectiveness on the battlefield.

Recently, Moscow announced that the Iskander-M tactical missile system (NATO name: SS-26 Stone) could be equipped with new missiles, improving his combat abilities. Russian defense industry data indicated that the infrastructure built for the Iskander system would likely last 30 years.

Valery Kashin, deputy general manager of the high-precision systems company and general designer of the Hero of Labor machine-building design bureau, said Moscow will also strive to improve its combat capability, starting with the added new more sophisticated missiles.

Russian troops frequently use the Iskander-M to launch attacks against strategic Ukrainian Armed Forces locations. In August 2022, Moscow alleged that the Iskander-M hit a military train in the Dnepropetrovsk region, destroying military equipment and combat vehicles of the Ukrainian army.

The latest development comes days after it was claimed Moscow was critically short of missiles to attack inside Ukraine. On November 7, Ukrainian intelligence agencies claimed that Russia had only 120 modern Iskander missiles in its inventory.

The Iskander-M carries two tactical ballistic missiles. (Russian social network image source)

The Iskander-M is intended to destroy long-range artillery, command posts, communications centers, missiles, multiple launch rocket systems and aircraft at airfields up to 500 kilometers (311 mi ).

The Russian Armed Forces began using the Iskander-M system in 2014. At the end of 2019, the Russian Missile Forces were fully rearmed with the system. Based on an 8×8 military truck chassis, the Iskander-M is a mobile ballistic missile.

It is equipped with two 9M723K1 single-stage solid propellant guided missiles. Each is guided along the flight path and is equipped with an indestructible warhead. Each projectile in the launch vehicle can be directed independently in seconds.

Additionally, the system can launch the SSC-7 and SSC-8 Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs). The Russian military uses the Iskander-M system; the Iskander-E system is designed for export.

The Iskander-M missile can carry up to 700 kilograms of payload and has a range of 500 kilometers. It can be equipped with conventional and nuclear weapons.

Cluster bombs, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads, and bunker busters are examples of conventional warheads that can be installed.

The Iskander missiles would be designed to trick missile defenses by flying on a low trajectory and maneuvering in midair to attack targets with an accuracy of two to five meters, according to the US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Rockets And Artillery Groups

Sputnik News, citing a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry, reported that the rocket and artillery groups are armed with “modern samples” that were actually used in “special military operations”.

The ministry explained that multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) are provided for large and medium caliber rocket formations of the Tornado family (300 mm caliber Tornado-S MLRS and 122 mm caliber Tornado-G MLRS ).

The government further stated that the arsenals of artillery units are constantly being upgraded with 2C19M2 “Msta-S” self-propelled howitzers. The statement claimed that the vehicle could operate in a “barrage of fire” which could ensure the defeat of the enemy by hitting the target with intensity.

Tornado (multiple rocket launcher) - Wikipedia
Tornado (multiple rocket launcher) – Wikipedia

This warhead can fire in the “dump of fire” mode, which increases the density of fire and guarantees enemy damage by launching multiple rounds from a barrel at different angles.

The Russian Armed Forces commemorate the Day of Artillery and Missile Forces on November 19. It was created on October 21, 1944, by order of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, in recognition of the outstanding contributions made by artillery during the Battle of Stalingrad.

The Red Army’s counteroffensive, launched on November 19, 1942, with volleys of tens of thousands of artillery pieces, was a fundamental turning point in the Great Patriotic War.

The operation, known as “Uran”, was crucial in thwarting fascist troops. Artillery was vital in this bloody battle, serving as the main fire force that helped the Allies defeat the enemy.

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