SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II (INTERNATIONAL ISSUES)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, Russia has promised its ally Belarus delivery of nuclear- capable ISKANDER-M MISSILE SYSTEM in the coming months to take on an aggressive West.
WHAT IS THE ISKANDER-M MISSILE SYSTEM?
- Iskander-M is a term use by Russia to define both the transporter-erector launch system and the short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) it fires.
- The system can also fire ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) – the SSC-7 and the SSC-8.
- The Iskander-M system has been exclusively use by the Russian military, whereas Iskander-E is the one meant for export.
WHAT IS THE MISSILE’S CAPABILITY AND RANGE?
- The Iskander-M missile has a range of 500 km and it can carry a payload of up to 700 kg.
- It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. The conventional warheads can be equippe with include cluster bombs, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads and bunker-buster munitions.
- The export variant, Iskander-E, has a range of 280 km with a reduced 480 kg payload.
WHEN WAS IT INDUCT AND FIRST USE IN COMBAT?
- Iskander system was induct by Russia in 2006.
- Its development pick pace in the late 1980s after the “Oka” SRBM or the OTR-23 was ban under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
- The Oka was Russia’s first attempt to replace the Soviet Scud missiles. Iskander was the second.
- Russia first used the Iskander in combat in Georgia in 2008.
- US-based think tank, says that the Iskander missiles are design to confuse missile defences by flying on a low trajectory and manoeuvring in flight to strike targets within 2 to 5 meters accuracy.
WHAT DOES ITS PROPOSED DELIVERY TO BELARUS MEAN?
- Russia has made the announcement at the time when the G-7 meets in Germany
- It is also one more time that Putin has rais nuclear weapons as a sort of warning to the West against climbing the escalation ladder in the Ukraine war.
- The Iskander system has already been deployed in Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, from where it can be fired to target NATO forces in Poland, the Baltic States, and Sweden.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS