Russian Army plans to conduct an exercise, aim of which would be to deploy mobile Iskander missile system in the territory of the Kaliningrad Oblast. The exercise is a part of the planned combat readiness tests. Moreover, Tupolev Tu-22M3 (NATO codename: Backfire-C) bombers are going to be stationed in Crimea – as the TASS media agency reports.
Deployment of the Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region may be a part of the unplanned exercise which is being currently realized by the units of the Russian Western Military District, along with the Northern Fleet. As we know, this exercise also involves some elements of the mechanized infantry and artillery units of the Central Military District.
The Russians carried out exercise, aim of which was to deploy the Iskander-M missiles within the Kaliningrad Oblast in December last year. Within the same period, the Baltic Sea became a theatre for flights of the Russian Air Force units, including Tu-22M3 (Backfire-C) and Tu-95 (Bear) bomber formations.
According to TASS media agency, the aviation units are also going to be deployed in the Kaliningrad Region. The Russians have also planned to deploy Tu-22 M3 bombers to the air bases located in Crimea. All that is to be done within the scope of the exercises, aim of which would be to test the combat readiness status of the bomber force.
Currently, the units that are equipped with tactical missiles, which are stationed in the Kaliningrad Oblast, are using the older Tochka-U systems, with a range of ca. 120 km. Iskander-M missiles are capable of striking targets located at distances of up to 400 km from the launch site. The Iskander-M system uses a ballistic missile, which has been designed in a way to make it possible to go through the anti-missile defences.
What is more, another variant of the Iskander missile – Iskander-K – exists. Its range is officially as long as 500 km, however in practical terms it may be more than 2 thousand kilometres, which is a probable cause for the Russian breach of the INF treaty. The Iskander missiles are peculiar due to their mobility, as they may be deployed quickly, also with use of the air transport units.