A New Nuclear Threat-The Russian Iskander Missile
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A NEW NUCLEAR THREAT-THE RUSSIAN ISKANDER MISSILE
Stratfor email published by Wikileaks, reveal capabilities, accuracy, locations of Russia’s powerful Iskander Missile. The email was composed on December 13, 2009 by Lauren Goodrich. The email was addressed to “Secure List”, George Friedman. Some question this email raises are: Could this missile possibly defeat the United States Missile Defense Shield? A new nuclear threat? Is there a “secret” cold war arising? The information revealed in the Stratfor email will help answer these questions.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ISKANDER MISSILE
The Iskander is of great use to Russia and much focus. It has been highly successful both technologically and strategically. They consider the Iskander the most effective and deadly nonstrategic (and even perhaps strategic) ballistic missile in existence. It is better than the Oka, which worried the US so much because of its accuracy. But the Iskander is considered so much better. INF wiped out the Oka, but the Iskander falls underneath the INF-for now. The Oka was/is to replace the Elbrus, Tochka and Tockka-U and now the Iskandar replaces them both. If the United States was worried over the Oka missile, then the United States probably considers the Iskander a “serious threat”.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ON THE ISKANDER MISSILE
There are two types of Iskanders. The 9K723 Iskander-M that is now deployed in Russia and the 9K720 Iskander-E that is for export. The former’s range is of 450-500 km and the latter is of 280 km because of the MTCR limits. The Iskander has been equipped with a new and more modern highly accurate propellant of a short-range ballistic missile with a range of 500 km (310.685) miles. Its accuracy is now averaging of 10 meters or better. Each Iskander operational battalions has two TEL reload vehicles, two command and control vehicles and a crew. Russia has created missile brigades for each system-this is new for Russia. (Each brigade ideally-in the future– will have 3 missile battalions, with 12 TELs and 12 transporter-load vehicles with a total of 48 ballistic missiles). The state tests for Iskander were done in 2004 and the battalions were formed and put into service by the end of 2007.
ISKANDER MISSILE CAPABILITY/IS THE ISKANDER RUSSIA’S ANSWER TO THE US MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELD?/NUCLEAR OPTION
The Iskander’s accuracy is now averaging of 10 meters or better. Its high velocity allows the missile to penetrate antimissile defenses. It can fly low and make evasive maneuvers in order to prevent interception by surface air missiles. It has conventional warhead options and more recently Russia has been toying with adding a nuclear warhead (but not officially). According to the evidence presented here, the Iskander missile maybe developing into a “deterrent”/answer to the United States Missile Defense Shield. The evidence also prove that Russia “unofficially” has indeed been toying with the idea of adding a nuclear warhead to the Iskander missile. I speculate, that Russia, possibly has some sort of long range ballistic missile plans for the Iskander missile. Secretive “Cold War” arising?
LOCATION OF ISKANDER MISSILE BRIGADES
There are already 5 Iskander Missile Brigades in service and stationed across Russia. 26th – Luga, near St. Petersburg (in training and implementation stage) 92nd – in Kamenka, near Penza/Volga-Urals (done with training and implementation) 103rd – in Ulan-Ude, in Siberia (in training and implementation stage) 107th in Semistochni, near Birobidzhan/Far East (done with training and almost done with implementation) 114th in Znamensk, near Astrakhan in the Northern Caucasus. (in training and implementation stage) These are the brigades that did have the Tochka and Tochka-U. The 92nd and 107th were the first to get it and the 26th, 103rd and 114th are still currently being implemented and trained but should be completed by the end of 2011. Note that this does not include a Brigade in Kaliningrad, the two from Moscow district or the other Northern Caucasus brigades. These will have to wait until after the first 5 brigades are ready, trained and implemented. Also, the Kaliningrad decision is highly political, since it could reach into Germany or take out any American bmd (Ballistic Missile Defense) system. If the R-500 system were ever implemented, it would be able to take out targets all across Europe with highly precise accuracy-again, a political decision. The 630th Iskander Brigade – which trains the other Brigades – took part in the Russia-Georgia war. [LG: he wouldn’t go further into how the Iskander was or the other missiles the Brigade uses were used in the war….. but I had heard of Iskanders possibly used against Georgian tank battalions in Gori, but never heard confirmation of such…. This seems like partial confirmation to me].
A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
The developers of the Iskander system are toying with further development of its war fighting capabilities, including the integration of the high-precision R-500 subsonic cruise missile. The R-500 is a more conventional version of the old Soviet 3M10 long-range cruise missile with a range of 2600 km, which was put on the Russian nuclear attack subs. These were eliminated also under INF-for now. This testing will be wrapped up by the end of 2009, since it has been successful thus far. After that it is a political decision in whether to put it into service, though 6 missiles with the R-500s are already ready to be implemented So at present everything that Russia has “implemented” falls under INF-but that seems to be a short time issue at present, which is why Russia is playing with the options. By the time 2015 rolls around, 60 Iskanders will have been produced and implemented.
The evidence provided in the email reveal Kaliningrad decision is purely political due to the fact that it could reach targets in Germany. Kaliningrad is also political decision due to the fact that the Iskander missile can destroy any American Ballistic Missile Defense System. Proof positive that Russia is working on a defense system, courtesy of the developers of the Iskander, to defend against any threat by the United States via the US Ballistic Missile Defense System. Further information for research on the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System can be found here and here. The email also “unofficially” confirms that Iskander missiles were possibly used against Georgian tank battalions in Gori. History of the Georgian Armed Forces and War can be found here. With the United States bent on implementing a Ballistic Missile Defense System for its allies globally, and with the evidence presented here, there exists a good possibility that a “Secretive Cold War” being played out.
Even with the reduction of nuclear weapons, there exists weapons that can still be just as devastating against humanity. We must continue to educate future generations about these weapons. We must also continue the fight for transparency and anti-corruption. Julian Assange & Wikileaks have provided a useful model to combat corruption through dis-closure and transparency, to educate, ,help end future wars, and possibly save humanity from its destructive self. We can not expect to change the course of history overnight. There is a lot of history to be written. We must write this history without violence. For corrupt governments are looking for any excuse to make this world a global police “state” Civil Dis-Obedience and Violence will play right into the governments hands. Even though you may feel the urge to commit Violence or feel like Civil Dis-Obedience is the only way, please restrain yourself.