Precision and Power Unleashed: Iskander-K, the Weapon that Intimidates Enemies
The Iskander-K cruise missile can cover targets within a range of up to 500 km.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has recently published information and images recording the combat operation of the Iskander-K tactical cruise missile system in the Ukraine war. Accordingly, the Iskander-K cruise missile can cover targets within a range of up to 500 km. The combat deployment took place within minutes, and the missile was fired after that.
During the Ukraine war, the Russian Army mainly used the 9M723 ballistic missiles of the Iskander-M complex for bombardment, while the R-500 cruise missiles of the Iskander-K complex were less. The ammunition of the Iskander complex is extremely powerful, helping Russia diversify its attacks, making it difficult for the enemy to resist.
Essentially, the design of the Iskander-K is very similar to the Iskander-M, a ballistic missile launch vehicle. The Iskander-K is a mobile short-range cruise missile launcher vehicle based on an 8×8 military truck chassis. The vehicle can be fitted with two to six container launcher units able to fire the 9M728 also called R-500, or the 9M729 which is a land version of the 3M14 Caliber-NK. The Iskander-K was tested for the first time in May 2007 and entered into service with the Russian armed forces in 2009.
The Iskander-K is designed to perform tactical-operational strikes. The 9M728 cruise missile has a maximum firing of 500 km combined with a powerful warhead weighing up to 480 kg. While the 9M729 cruise missile is designed to destroy land targets and is able to fly at a low altitude to reduce the risks of detection and complicate countermeasures. Their slower speeds and more consistent altitudes also make tasks such as maintaining data links with satellites easier.
The Iskander-K launcher vehicle is based on the MZKT-7930 8×8 military truck chassis designed and manufactured by the Belarus Company Minsk Tractor Plant. The vehicle is powered by a YaMZ-846 diesel engine developing 500 hp, that can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km.
The Iskander-K launcher vehicle can launch the first missile within 16 minutes of traveling or 4 minutes from the highest readiness. The second missile can be launched in less than a minute once the first missile is launched. The command communication vehicles can receive data and information in real-time from UAVs allowing the Iskander-K crew to receive target information. It allows operators to select areas on a map for targeted strikes by a range of Russian long-range assets.
In recent times, Russia has announced that it will attack the command centers of the Ukrainian armed forces. As for Kyiv, they claim to have neutralized many Russian attack missiles, including Iskander-M and K, through modern air defense systems transferred by the West.