Russian Armed Forces to obtain new unique rocket complex

The new complex became the embodiment of advanced technical principles and ideas

State tests of the first tactical rocket complex Iskander have been completed, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov told President Putin. “The complex is to be purchased in 2005. Land forces will finally be equipped with modern complexes of the tactical rocket arms,” the minister said.

The draft budget 2005, Ivanov said, stipulates 471 billion rubles for the funding of the Defense Ministry. Taking into consideration certain programs, federal targeted programs linked with social payments and the construction of military objects, the defense funding totals 573 billion rubles. The defense minister pointed out that it would help execute the key strategic goal. In 2005 the spending to maintain the Russian Armed Forces will make up 60 percent, 40 percent will be spent to develop the forces – from 573 billion rubles, Mayak radio station reports.

The rocket complex Oka used to be the predecessor of the new tactical rocket complex Iskander. Oka was the unique complex, which had no analogues in the world, although its fate proved to be rather doleful.

In December of 1987 Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed a treaty between the USSR and the USA about the elimination of medium and small-range missiles. Experts differed in their opinions as far as the estimation of the document is concerned. The treaty ceased the nuclear arms race and lessened the US advanced deployment threat against the Soviet Union. However, due to certain mistakes made by the Soviet government, the document imposed restrictions upon vital defense systems. The Oka rocket complex was among them: over 200 rockets and 102 launchers were destroyed in 1989.

The new complex called Iskander possessed expanded tactical and technical properties. The new complex became the embodiment of advanced technical principles and ideas. The complex is capable of hitting small-sized targets, including fire arms, anti-aircraft emplacements, air bases and planes, command posts, etc. The complex consists of a rocket, a self-propelled rocket launcher, a loading machine, mobile hardware units, training equipment.

A big part of Iskander's body was constructed with the use of Stealth technology. It has small dispersion surface, which considerably reduces the probability of enemy's attack. The 'invisible effect' is produced with the help of constructive peculiarities, the special finishing of the rocket and the detachment of obtrusive parts after the launching.

The complex has a non-ballistic trajectory. In addition, it is hard to predict it.  A rocket maneuvers immediately after it has been launched and before it reaches the target. An intercepting rocket would have to bear the double or triple overload, which makes it extremely hard for the enemy to destroy the rocket complex.

Two rockets are placed on the launching system. The time difference between the launches of the two missiles is only one minute. The launcher carries a full set of equipment for rocket launches. According to experts' estimates, the tactical rocket complex surpasses foreign analogues.

Tactical and technical characteristics of the rocket complex Iskander:

Fire distance: minimum – 50 km, maximum – 280 km;
Mass: the starting mass of one rocket – 3,800 kg, the mass of the battle part – 480 kg, the mass of the launcher with rockets – 42,300 kg.
Chassis: high maneuverability wheels.
The number of rockets: 2 rockets on the launcher, 2 rockets on the transport and loading machine.
Temperature range for launching missiles: from +50 to -50 degrees centigrade.
Operational period: ten years.

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Author`s name Olga Savka