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Iskander (SS-26 Stone)

Short-range ballistic missile

Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

The Iskander short-range ballistic missile was designed to overcome air defense systems

 
 
Iskander-M
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2006
Crew 3 men
Launcher dimensions and weight
Number of missiles 2
Combat weight ~ 40 t
Length 13.07 m
Width 3.07 m
Height ~ 3.29 m
Missile
Missile length 7.2 m
Missile diameter 950 mm
Missile launching weight ?
Warhead weight 480 kg
Warhead type conventional, nuclear
Range of fire 400 km
CEP 2 - 7 m
Chassis mobility
Engine YaMZ-846 diesel
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Chassis maneuverability
Gradient 45%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

   The Iskander (NATO designation SS-26 Stone) short-range ballistic missile is a successor to the Oka (SS-23 Spider), which was eliminated under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. It was first launched in 1996 and was initially designated by NATO as the SS-X-26. It is considered the most advanced missile of its kind. The Iskander-M missile system was officially adopted by the Russian Army in 2006. As of 2017 Russian Army reportedly operates 112 of these missile systems. At least one launcher was deployed in Syria. In 2016 Iskander-E ballistic missiles were delivered to Armenia.

   The Iskander road mobile missile system is equipped with two short-range ballistic missiles, which substantially increases firepower of missile units. Each missile can be targeted independently. These missiles are capable of hitting moving targets, as target coordination can be adjusted while the missile is in-flight. The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including cluster, fuel-air explosive, bunker-busting and electro-magnetic pulse. It can also carry nuclear warheads despite the fact that this will violate the INF treaty. Maximum range of fire is 280 km for the Iskander-E downgraded export version and 400 km for the Iskander-M Russian Army version. Minimum range is 50 km.

   The Iskander was designed to overcome air defense systems. Missile ravels at supersonic speed. In the terminal phase of the flight it excessively maneuvers and releases decoys. In some cases this ballistic missile can be used as an alternative to precision bombing.

   Missiles can be launched 16 minutes from traveling or 4 minutes from highest readiness. The second missile can be launched in less than a minute once the first missile is launched.

   The Transport-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle uses MZKT-7930 Astrolog 8x8 high mobility chassis. It is powered by the YaMZ-846 diesel engine, developing 500 hp. Vehicle can be airlifted by the An-124 transport aircraft.

   The Iskander TEL is supported by a reloading vehicle, based on the same 8x8 chassis, which carries two reload missiles. Full missile system also includes command vehicle, information preparation vehicle, maintenance and repair vehicle and life support vehicle. All of these vehicles are based on KamAZ 6x6 trucks.

   China developed an equivalent short-range ballistic missile system, called the M20. It also carries 2 missiles with broadly similar capabilities, and is based on 8x8 high mobility chassis.

 

Variants

 

   Iskander-M is a version used by the Russian Army. It has a range of 400 km and is nuclear-capable. This ballistic missile is fitted with both internal and optical guidance. Most likely that it is guided using the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system. Optical seeker provides self-homing capability. It has a claimed CEP of only 2-7 m, depending on the source. The Russian Army version can also launch R-500 cruise missiles in the same manner as ballistic missiles. Once the launcher is loaded with the R-500 cruise missiles the system is referred as Iskander-K. This cruise missile reportedly has a range of 1 500 km. It looks like Iskander systems with nuclear-tipped R-500 missiles were first deployed operationally in 2017.

   Iskander-E is a downgraded export version, specially designed to meet Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) restrictions. It has a smaller fuel tank and a maximum range of 280 km. This missile is fitted with a simplified internal guidance system. It is not as accurate as the Russian Army version, and has a CEP of 30-70 m. This missile system has been exported to Armenia.

 

Video of the Iskander-E short-range ballistic missile system

 
Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

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Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

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Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

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Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

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Iskander (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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