Armed Forces

Russia: Iskander System Replaces the Tochka Missiles

Russians are introducing more tactical Iskander missile systems into service, replacing the obsolete Tochka-U launchers.  

According to the reports published by the TASS media outlet, Russian Central Military District is going to receive a brigade-sized quantity of the Iskander-M missiles. The above equipment is going to replace the Tochka-U system, which is still being used by some of the units, including the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade stationed in the Kaliningrad Oblast.

As it is commonly known, implementation of the Iskander system contributes to significant expansion of the Russian capabilities related to application of the tactical missile systems. Iskander-M ballistic missiles have a range defined as 400 kilometres. They have been designed in a way that allows them to penetrate the enemy’s anti-missile defence systems. Moreover, Iskander system is also capable of launching the Iskander-K cruise missiles, the range of which is defined as 500 kilometres. However, according to the estimates, this missile is reportedly capable of attacking targets located up to 2 thousand kilometres from the launch point.

Iskander launcher with ballistic missiles. At least one of the variants may have a range of up to 700 kilometers. Image Credit:

Introduction of the Iskander-K missiles into service is a probable cause for the Russian breach of the INF Treaty. Tochka-U system has a range of 120 kilometres. Its accuracy is also limited, especially if compared with the Iskander missiles. The said system dates back to the Cold War period. Tochka missiles have been used in combat e.g. by the Houthi rebels, against the coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

The Russians expect that 10 tactical missile brigades are going to have the Iskander missiles at their disposal until 2018, which, in total, means that 120 launchers will be a part of the Russian inventory. Up until now, more than 50% of the expected systems have been introduced into use. The aforementioned 152nd Brigade is one of the elements that will receive the new system. Iskander launchers, belonging to a variety of other units, have been also frequently deployed in the area.