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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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

RIA Novosti

01/10/2008 16:34 MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - 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.

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