The Armed Forces of Armenia have received the latest Russian operational-tactical Iskander-M missile system, defense-blog.com reported. This is the first confirmed case of an exported supply of the latest Russian missile system. The possible supply of this missile system to Armenia was reported earlier; however, there was no official confirmation of the information until now.
The Iskander missile system (NATO code: SS-X-26) was developed by Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau, located in Kolomna, in order to replace the 9K72 operational-tactical missile system. It is an upgraded version of the Oka missile system. Its creation was launched immediately after the agreement with the United States to eliminate the Oka missile systems. At that time, new instructions were given to create a ballistic missile system without removable warheads and with a range of up to 300 kilometers.
Soon thereafter, the conceptual design of this missile system was developed by Kolomna Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau under the leadership of Sergey Nepobedimy. In this conceptual design the missile system was able to receive commands throughout its whole flight path, adjust the program and change the target. The government resolution on the development of the Iskander missile system was issued on November 9, 1988. The export version of Iskander-E was created simultaneously.
In 1990, Nikolai Gushchin was the head and chief designer of Kolomna Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau and, currently, Oleg Mamaliga is the chief designer of the sector that includes the Iskander. The Iskander missile system ensures effective use and meets the latest requirements for operational indicators. The Iskander missile system is designed for the covert preparation for and carrying out of strikes against high-profile small-sized and area targets.
It is used to defeat enemy’s fire assets (e.g. surface-to-air missile systems), aircraft, helicopters airfield parking areas, anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile objects, command facilities, communication lines, high-profile small-sized and area targets, and crucial civilian infrastructure targets. The Iskander missile system is also designed to defeat small-sized and area targets that are located in the depths of an operational formation of enemy troops. It is expected that the Iskander could be the delivery vehicle for tactical nuclear weapons.