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Iskander-M in Kaliningrad

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Iskander-M in Kaliningrad

Old 8th Oct 2016, 07:22
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Iskander-M in Kaliningrad


Estonian officials have said that Russia appears to be moving powerful, nuclear capable missiles into Kaliningrad, a Russian outpost province sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic coast.

The Iskander-M missiles, which have a range of over 500km, are reportedly being transported by ship from the St Petersburg area. It had previously been reported that the Russians might seek to place the Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad but not until 2018-19. If confirmed, the move would be seen by western governments as another sign that Russia is seeking to establish facts on the ground, from eastern Europe to the Middle East, before a new US president takes office in January.

Estonian officials said they were monitoring the ship and its contents. The ship, called the Ambal, was due to dock on Friday; reports of the cargo came from Estonian government sources. An Estonian defence expert said: “This weapon is highly sophisticated and there is no comparable weapon in western armoury. It can carry nuclear weapons, change direction mid-flight and fly distances of up to 500km. As such it is capable of threatening Poland, including the US missile defence installations there. You would not change the date of the delivery of a system such as this on a whim. The intention is to make a strong strategic point.”.........

Iskander (SS-26 Stone) Short-Range Ballistic Missile | Military-Today.com

Introducing the Iskander: The Russian Missile NATO Fears | The National Interest Blog

Last edited by ORAC; 8th Oct 2016 at 09:12.
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Old 8th Oct 2016, 07:56
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With all the chest-thumping rhetoric and posturing it's all too easy to miss the genuinely concerning changes in Russian intent. This development, if true, is rather worrying and should have been picked-up by more of the mainstream media.

Last edited by Just This Once...; 8th Oct 2016 at 08:33.
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Old 8th Oct 2016, 08:21
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Oddly enough, the Russkies did NOTAM the airway over Kaliningrad as closed daylight hours up to 18000m AGL. I was thinking 'rocket'.

Oh and you maybe want to change the thread title, ORAC, else you'll be inundated with Britten-Norman enthusiasts
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Old 8th Oct 2016, 08:32
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The range of the cruise missile is listed in the article as 'greater than 1000km' whilst other sources suggest that the maximum is closer to 2000km. All that can be said for certain is that it is slightly under 1500km from London to Kaliningrad.

The ballistic missile threat from Kaliningrad would cover quite a few NATO installations and could operate with impunity.
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Old 8th Oct 2016, 09:14
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Dallas, tried, but it needs a Mod, my change only changes the post. Bloody iPad autospelling.
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Old 8th Oct 2016, 12:27
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I recall there were many warnings in the past years that if NATO weapons and installations would keep approaching Russian borders (what is happening now), stuff like Iskander-M would be also moved closer to borders of the NATO member states.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 08:33
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Haven't they been putting them into Kaliningrad for years on Excercise so why all the fuss this time?
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 12:43
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I read that they are also going to be re-opening bases in Cuba and Vietnam, i think we've been here before. Worrying times
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 13:10
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Kalingrad is part of Russia - same as Hawaii (but without the sun, the surf and the beautiful people...)

I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner TBH

Cuba and Vietnam are just to be irritating - absolutely zero military use
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 14:37
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Just after NATO put "facts on ground" in Poland and elsewhere.. why does this so read like Cuba/Turkey 1961/2?
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 15:36
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Everything was going swimmingly with Russia from 1991 right up until 1999, and then NATO bombed Belgrade. There was a huge amount of ignorance in the West about the effect this would have on the Russian brain and its tendency towards paranoia, especially about the objectives of NATO in general and America in particular.

Then there was GW2 and the basing of ABMs in former Warsaw Pact countries, and all the while the Russians were watching and becoming increasingly anxious - when would they be next? The Russians saw nations like Albania, the Czech Republic, and Romania join NATO and that was pretty much it, they were alone, isolated, and without alllies - a reaction was inevitable, they are scared, and that is a very, very dangerous thing.

There was a seminal moment just a few weeks ago and that was the Russian attack on At-Tanf in Syria, a joint US/UK base - at that point the game switched from sabre rattling to an open attempt to kill US and UK personnel.

I don't believe the Russians want open conflict, but I do believe they are more than happy to oblige us if it becomes necessary to assert dominance in Syria, and push us back in Europe.

Just my own uninformed analysis of the situation.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 17:29
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fair points - with Estonia only 136 kms from St Petersburg it's as if the Russians were based in the Hamptons facing New York - or in Cardif threatening Birmingham..................
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 19:24
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I seem to remember there being a few SA-5 GAMMON (S-200) in the same area many years back and was only replaced by S-400 SA-21 GROWLER recently. Considering SA-5 Dubna can carry a 25kt nuke tip, there isn't exactly a huge escalation here (unless, of course you are trying to shift your odious daily rag with sensationalism). I'm not sure if S-400 is nuke capable as well, but I know that S-300 that it is based upon can carry a nuke tip.


Last edited by Lima Juliet; 9th Oct 2016 at 20:07.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 19:48
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Leon, you are right that it is easy to overplay any potential nuclear angle here and in reality the nuclear side does not change the price of fish.

The conventional side is much more interesting and arguably more alarming as the prospect for its use is much more credible.

Until this development the most credible way to prevent PGMs from raining down was to to track aircraft launches, monitor their flights and then field your air defence aircraft to intercept (with the usual escalation options) with (for other nations) the ability to bring MRSAMs to bear.

In that context the ability to launch multiple PGMs from unknown and dispersed locations in short order whilst providing the warhead with countermeasures, decoys and high-g evasion really does change things. Not much on the shelf to provide a effective counter and, given the surgical nature of the system, there would be less constraint in using it even when escalation is not sought.

This reminds me of the recent expressions of frustration regarding the ability of the British Army to counter a Russian air attack. Not much our AD capability could do about such a threat, let alone the NATO nations who will live under this umbrella.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 21:43
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If you can catch it oblique/early enough with a Block-1 upgrade ASTER-30 the SAMP-T or PAAMS would be more than adequate for midcourse intercept on the Iskander as my bet is that the missile is pretty much dumb on a GAINS strapdown.

Suck it up and do a UOR wet lease on some French kit.

Otherwise, you're left with ERINT on the MEADS PAC-3 system which may be a little lacking in terms of positive engagement overlaps before impact on that what, Mach 9? missile. I think that's what Spyder ended up being.

Of course, The Next Big Step is a Fluorine [email protected] ala MTHEL.

You're really just talking about an extraordinarily large CRAM mission here you know and the Nautilus was plucking 155mm Artillery shells out of midflight from 7km, even at at 2.25km/sec that's a 2 second engagement window, including through clouds. I seriously doubt if Iskander is going to be beating the tracking head on that.

Add to this, MTHEL was only 150KW. With SSLs you could slab up to 250KW in a hurry.

But be aware: If it will kill a seriously hypersonic missile in diver mode or a seriously supersonic contour follower, it will also put paid to subsonic airpower as well, unless the jets are operating at very great height as standoff (shoot the arrow, not the archer).

By the way, aren't there some key details between the SS-21/23 and the Iskander variant which prevent it from being nuclearized under INF? Or did they break the rules on that too?
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