Russia has deployed Iskander-M missile systems for the first time to Tajikistan in preparation for joint exercises.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, the commander of the troops of the Central Military District, Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, stated that the Iskander-M missile systems will carry out a combat launch at a hypothetical “terrorist” base camp in the mountains in the course of the combat exercises.
This will be the first time the Iskander missile systems will take part in military exercises outside of Russia.
The Russian army adopted the Iskander missile system in 2006. The Iskander has a maximum target range of 500 km. The complex uses high-precision R-500 cruise missiles, which are controlled throughout the flight.
The Iskander-M operational-tactical systems are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but at present these systems are only equipped with conventional warheads.
The CIS Antiterrorist Center will conduct the "Dushanbe-Antiterror-2017" large-scale antiterrorist exercises in conjunction with the armed forces of the CIS members.
The Russian side has sent about 2,000 troops and more than 300 pieces of equipment, including 30 aircraft and helicopters, as specified by the Central Military District, for The "Dushanbe-Antiterror" joint exercise. The exercise will take place under the coordination of the CIS Antiterrorist Center.
A representative from the press service of the Central Military District, Major Nikolai Berkalov, said that the military was brought to the highest readiness to make a battle-march to the designated area to carry out the combat mission. Soldiers and officers are practicing skills in removing military equipment from short-term storage, loading ammunition, and in implementing tasks to combat terrorism.
Furthermore, a comprehensive check of the combat readiness of the military 201st Russian military base in Tajikistan was completed last Wednesday.
Russia has been strengthening its military base in Tajikistan. Su-24M bombers arrived earlier in Tajikistan, as a supplement to Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.
Earlier, the Commander of the Central Military District, Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, stated that Russia has strengthened its military base in Tajikistan with an Uragan MLRS (Multiple Rocket Launch Systems).
"We have strengthened the defensive capability of the 201st military base with a large-capacity division, which is armed with an Uragan MLRS," Vladimir Zarudnitsky said.
In addition, he specified that the size of the command remains within the framework of international agreements.
On October 8, 2016, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the transfer of the Iskander-M missile system to the Kaliningrad Region. This caused criticism from the NATO bloc, which saw it as a threat to the countries of Eastern Europe.