Russia is set to test-fire Iskander-M long-range missiles, involving the Western Military District and Long-Range Aviation Command, during tactical exercises.
Carried out at an undisclosed location, the exercises aim to train soldiers to engage critical targets with high-precision missiles, and evaluate the readiness of various control systems and equipment responsible for electronic warfare and intelligence gathering, RIA Novosti reported.
The Russian Defence Ministry press service was quoted by Interfax as saying that the drills will test the organisation of critical facilities of a hypothetical aggressor using ground-based and air-based high-precision weapons.
"The training uses one missile junction of the Western Military District, which is equipped with the Islander-M missile system and long-range aviation planes," the press service said.
"At the final stage, the missile troops will work with the Long-Range Aviation Command on meeting hypothetical targets using ground-based and air-winged missiles at the maximal range."
The tactical exercises are scheduled to conclude on 5 June.
Iskander-M is an upgraded version of the Russian Army’s 9K720 Iskander mobile-theatre ballistic missile system, which is designed to engage a range of ground targets, including command posts and communications nodes, troops in concentration areas, air and missile defence facilities, and fixed and rotary-wing aircraft at airfields.
Also known as SS-26 Stone, the missile features inertial and optical-guidance systems for improved firing accuracy and an electro-optical (EO) seeker for self-homing capabilities. It has an operational range of 400km with a potential for extension.
The missile was also considered for deployment in the country’s Kaliningrad region to counter any potential threats posed by the US-led NATO anti-missile defence (AMD) shield in Europe, which Moscow fears will lessen its own strike capabilities.
Image: Russian military will test launch Iskander-M missiles during tactical exercises. Photo: courtesy of A.Savin.