Russian army to receive 120 Iskander tactical missile systems

MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti)

The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to buy up to 120 Iskander-M tactical missile systems, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov said.

« We purchased six [Iskander] systems in 2010, and plan to acquire up to 120 more, » Bulgakov told a news conference in Moscow on Monday.

The Iskander-M system (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) is a mobile theater missile system equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage 9M723K1 guided missiles with « quasi-ballistic » capability.

The missiles have a range of 400 km (250 miles) and can reportedly carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

According to the Moscow Centre for Strategy and Technology Analysis, the Iskander-M system was combat-tested in the brief war with Georgia in August 2008, and it proved highly effective in destroying military targets and infrastructure.

Russia threatened to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the alliance placed elements of its proposed « missile shield » close to Russian borders.

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