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Iskander SRBM


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SS-26 'Stone'

Soviet Designation: Tender/Iskander-E

Industrial Index:

Operational: Under testing


Industrial Index: 9M72

Designer: KB Mashinostroeniya

Length: 7.3 m

Diameter: 0.92 m

Launch Weight: 3,800 kg

Warhead: 700/480 kg HE, cluster or penetrator

Propulsion: Single-stage solid-propellant rocket

Guidance: Inertial + IIR terminal homing

Max Range: 400/280 km

CEP: 30 m

Launch Vehicle

Designation: MZKT-7930

Designer: TsKB Titan

Length: 11.76 m

Width: 3.13 m

Height: 3.00 m

Weight: 29,100 kg

Road Speed: 65 km/h

Water Speed: 8-10 km/h

Road Radius: 700 km

Engine: 400 hp UTD-25 diesel



The Iskander SRBM is a second attempt to design a replacement for the R-17 (SS-1C), as the R-400 (SS-23) missile was banned by the INF treaty. Based on technology from the Oka-U missile, the development of the Iskander began in the early 1990s, with the first test launch in 1996. The missile is designed for the destruction of enemy airfields, artillery, SAM, SSM and C3 sites. The Tender is a domestic version with active radar terminal homing in addition to IIR, longer range and larger warhead, whereas the export Iskander-E adheres to MTCR restrictions. The single-stage missile is controlled in flight by four aerodynamic fins and gas-dynamic controls. The Iskander has some stealth features, and it manouevers through its entire flight path to make intercepting it more difficult. Terminal homing is achieved through an imaging infrared system that compares the terrain below to a digital image stored in an onboard computer.


An Iskander battery comprises of TELs, transloaders, and a command vehicle (KShM). Further support is provided by a mobile information preparation center (PPI), and technical support units. Target data is passed to the PPI by satellite or airborne recon platforms. The PPI processes the data and transmits mission information to the KShM through a radio link. The KShM then instructs individual missile launchers. The TEL based on a BAZ-6909 8x8 wheeled chassis carries two missiles, has high off-road mobility and is air-transportable. The two missiles can be launched at an interval of one minute. The SS-X-26 designation was originally assigned to the Kuryer light ICBM that was cancelled on 6 October 1991.

Source: http://personal.inet.fi/cool/foxfour/sovmis/sovmis-ss.html






The Iskander-M/Iskander-E is a short range ballistic missile (SRBM) designed for tactical battlefield use.  The Russian military version is known as the Iskander-M and the export version is known as the Iskander-E.  Created by the Design Bureau of Machine Building (KBM) in Kolomna, the Iskander-M/Iskander-E has its origins in the Oka-U project which was first started in 1984 as an upgrade of the 9K714 Oka [NATO designation SS-23 'Spider'], but was discontinued in accordance with INF Treaty requirements.  Further development of the Iskander-M/Iskander-E began in the 1990s under the project name 'Tender' using the information and technology from the Oka-U design.[1] The Iskander-E was first displayed at the MAKS-99 air show in 1999 in Zhukovskiy, near Moscow.[2]  On 3 October 2001 testing for the Iskander-E was reported completed, while testing of the domestic Iskander-M version was reported to be continuing.[3]


The Iskander-E is a solid-fueled, single-stage SRBM with a maximum range of 280km and a warhead payload of 480kg.  It adheres to MTCR restrictions that limit missiles to a range of 300km and a payload of 500kg.[4]  The domestic Iskander-M version is expected to have a longer range of approximately 400km and a larger warhead up to 700kg.[1]  The Iskander-E has a launch weight of 3,800kg and is deployed on a transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle that carries two missiles.  The missiles can reportedly be launched within a minute of each other.[4]


Syria, Iran, and Jordan have shown open interest in purchasing the Iskander-E.[5,6,7]  KBM director Nikolay Gushchin has stated that Russia will also seek to export the Iskander-E to Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and South Korea.[8]  The state tests are to be completed in which is planned for 2003, and following their completion the Iskander-M is expected to be deployed by the Russian military.[9]


Iskander-E Missile Characteristics [1,4]

Length (m)  7.3

Diameter (m)  .92

Range (km)  280

Launch Weight (kg)  3,800

Payload (kg)  480


[1] Steve J. Zaloga, "Son of Scud," Journal of Military Ordnance, Vol. 10, No. 2, March 2000, p.28-30.

[2] Dmitriy Litovkin, "Kolomna is surprising the world.  The time is ripe for a revolution in the market for technical systems," Krasnaya zvezda, 18 March 2000, p. 6; in "New Products at 'Mashinostroyeniya'," FBIS Document CEP20000317000289.

[3] ITAR-TASS, 3 October 2001; in "Russia tests export version of Iskander missile system," FBIS Document CEP20011003000179.

[4] Sergey Sokut, "Innovation: Iskander-E Attacks the Rivals: Russia's Leading Role in the Surface-to-Surface Class of Missile Weaponry Is Being Restored," Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye, 1-7 October 1999, No. 38, p. 6; in "Tech Specs of Iskander-E Missile System," FBIS Document FTS19991007001708.

[5] Igor Korotchenko, "Russian Federation Will Strengthen Damascus' Military Potential.  Over Next Few Years Russian Arms Shipments to Syria Will Rise to $1 Billion," Nezavisimaya gazeta, 24 May 2001, p. 6; in "Syrian Defense Minister To Discuss Military-Technical Cooperation in Moscow," FBIS Document CEP20010542000148.

[6] "Russian military say cooperation with Iran good for regional stability," ITAR-TASS, 5 October 2001; in "Russia: Military 'sources' say cooperation with Iran good for regional stability," FBIS Document CEP20011005000395.

[7] "Russia Has Little Hope For Jordan Purchase," Middle East Newsline, Vol. 3, No. 340, 29 August 2001.

[8] "Russia Wants To Sell Multi-Warhead Missiles To M.E.," Middle East Newsline, Vol. 2, No. 114, 22 March 2000.

[9] Agentstsvo voyennykh novostey, 22 May 2002; in "State tests of two missile systems to be completed in 2003," FBIS Document CEP20020522000087. {Entered 4/19/02 RG}


Page last updated 26 June 2002




Iskander Deployment Update

January 28, 2005 :: Itar-Tass :: News


Itar-Tass provides an update on the scheduled deployment of the first Iskander-M ballistic missiles to the Russian army later this year, quoting First Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Belousov. Itar-Tass also quotes head of the Russian Armed Forces’ Missile Troops and Artillery Colonel General Vladimir Zaritsky as specifying that that the first squad of Iskanders will be formed in the North Caucasian military district, and “Next year we will start re-equipment of missile brigades stationed in the Far East and the Siberian military district, in compliance with the armament program and the development concept.”


        The Iskander short range ballistic missile has also been in the news for Russia’s reported plans to sell a version of the missile, the Iskander-E, to Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism. The Iskander has been characterized as a next-generation Scud, which the Soviet Union and Russia widely proliferated the world over, and as a replacement to the “SS-21 Tochka,” with much more advanced guidance and perhaps even the capabilities to avoid theatre ballistic missile defenses, such as the Patriot.


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