The great warrior "Iskander"
According to Western military and political experts, high accuracy in combination with the range of the Iskander missile and television complex guarantees the Russian military the defeat of even well-defended targets in Europe. “They can’t be stopped or shot down,” say Western analysts.
Since its establishment in 2009, the High-Precision Complexes holding has achieved great success in the Russian and international markets. Products of the holding's enterprises are well known not only to users, but also to their opponents. According to some information, it was the Syrian “Pantsir” that shot down the Turkish phantom reconnaissance aircraft that invaded the airspace of this Arab country. The Cornet anti-tank missile systems turned out to be a deadly weapon for Israeli tanks in Lebanon. For five years, the Kornet ATGM has become one of the most popular anti-tank combat systems in the world, and its new version with the ability to combat UAVs has already found its buyer.
In 2013, a unique enterprise, a manufacturer of the newest high-precision operational-tactical missile complex Iskander, became part of the “High-precision Complexes” Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering from the city of Kolomna.
Like the Oka, Temp-S and Pioneer missile systems, the Iskander has turned from a military tool into a military-political tool. It is noteworthy that the US military attributed the newest operational-tactical complex to armament, “prohibiting access to the theater of military operations,” that is, capable of only by its presence significantly affect the distribution of forces in the area of possible conflict and prevent its beginning.
The tactical complex "Iskander" remains one of the most mysterious weapons systems in the arsenal of the Russian army and the information about it is scarce.
According to one of the versions, the rocket complex received its name in honor of the great commander Alexander the Great (he wore a horned helmet, therefore in the East he was called Iskander Two-Storied; the rocket complex also has two rockets). Or just the eastern analogue of the name Alexander - "winner".
Atomic storm over Europe
If you look closely at the weapons and military equipment of the armies of the developed countries of the world, it immediately catches the eye that operational-tactical missile systems have found there limited use.In modern armies, more oriented to strike aircraft with high-precision means of aviation destruction. Although as early as the 1980s and 1990s, there was quite a lot of OTRK in the arsenal of the same US army, their number and, moreover, their quality could not be compared with the Elbrus tactical complexes deployed by the armies of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries , “Temp-S”, “Point” and “Oka”.
Why is the Soviet, now the Russian military leadership relies on OTRK?
For the answer to this question, we turned to the historian, author of books and articles on the opposition of NATO, the USSR and the Department of Internal Affairs Yevgeny Putilov. “Unlike aviation, which was experiencing restrictions on weather conditions and the need to pre-conduct complex organization of air operations, missile systems could be used for nuclear strikes immediately. The enemy had no defense against ballistic missiles. ”
According to Yevgeny Putilov, the basis for the hostilities in Europe were to be made up by strategic operations carried out by coalition front groups according to a single plan and under a single command.“It was supposed,” he says, “that the depth of the frontal offensive operation will be up to one thousand kilometers, and the average speed of the offensive will be up to 100 km / day for the combined-arms army and even up to 120 km / day for the tank army. The achievement of such rates was ensured by the destruction of the enemy’s battle formations simultaneously with the tactical nuclear weapons to the entire depth of the frontal offensive operation. ”
Evgeny Putilov also explained that since there were virtually no nuclear munitions for artillery in the Soviet Army before the 70s, the front-line and army tactical missile systems were the main carrier of nuclear weapons that were in possession of the front command.
“This is well seen in the example of the front, which was advancing from the territory of Bulgaria,” the historian asserts. - Here, superiority in aviation was on the side of the enemy, although the front had to advance within three to four days to a depth of 150–185 kilometers, and then, within a week, perform a further task to a depth of 220 kilometers with the crossing of the Black Sea straits.Operational-tactical missile systems with nuclear weapons were the main means of hacking the enemy’s defenses on mountain passes and narrows. ”
The Soviet OTRK became the “nuclear club” that paved the way for the combined-arms units. Tracking and destroying them for Western countries was very difficult. NATO was saved only by low accuracy and a relatively small range of shooting by the army OTRK 9K72 "Elbrus" and divisional "Luna". But the situation changed when the long-range Temp-S was transferred from the Strategic Missile Forces to the Ground Forces, and high-precision Oka OTRK was put into service for the army and front-line missile brigades.
“After the transfer in 1970 from the Strategic Missile Forces to the Ground Forces of the 9K76 Temp-S complexes, front-line commanders were able to hit targets from the first day to the full depth of the offensive front tasks,” notes Yevgeny Putilov. “Next lay the line of demarcation of nuclear strikes by strategic and tactical means and objectives were already within the purview of the Strategic Missile Forces.”
In the opinion of Oleg Kovshar, the chief editor of the Internet Project “The Frontier”, the OTRK of the Oka and Temp-S types, the command has kept: “Preliminary planningnuclear attack at the operational level involved only 10–15 percent of these PTRCs, says our interlocutor. - The main burden lay on medium-range missiles - they were connected to the nuclear facility, including for the operational level. Available RSD and OTRK type 9K72 allowed it. The main number of the Oka and Temp-S complexes was to start work after the conflict began, that is, to receive target designation in the course of the development of the situation on newly identified targets, such as NATO nuclear attack means, helicopter fields, troop accumulations of operational reserves, etc. d.
By the mid-80s, the troops of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries began to test the first reconnaissance-strike complexes on the basis of the Oka and Temp-S OTRK, target designations for which were issued ground-based and aviation reconnaissance means, and later satellite systems. Given that the time to prepare for the launch, the introduction of the flight task and the launch itself fit within 20 minutes for both complexes, the identified object was guaranteed to be destroyed from 30 minutes to one hour. It is noteworthy that in the early 80s, special combat units in the OTRK arsenals pushed cluster warheads.The positions of American ballistic Pershing-2 and ground-based Tomahawk cruise missiles also fell under the blow of the Oka and Temp complexes. In this situation, US President Ronald Reagan initiated negotiations to reduce medium and short-range missiles, which ended with the signing on December 8, 1987 of the indefinite Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Small-Range Missiles.
“The official motivation of the Americans at the demand to reduce the 9K714 Oka missile system within the framework of the INF Treaty was that the American missile of the same size could have a range of 500 kilometers,” says historian Yevgeny Putilov. - The Soviet "Oka" on tests showed a maximum range of 407 kilometers. However, the position of the Soviet negotiators allowed the Americans to demand unilateral reduction of the Oka complexes under the slogan “You promised.” What was done.
In the context of the limitation of the INF Treaty, the command of the Armed Forces of the USSR in 1987 formulated requirements for a prospective OTRK capable of striking well-protected targets with missiles with both nuclear and conventional warheads in conditions of enemy counteraction, and not only stage of its preparation and exit to the starting position.This complex was designed in 1987 by the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau on its own initiative by order and under the supervision of Chief Designer Sergey Pavlovich Invincible, the Iskander complex.
OTRK "Iskander" on duty in the west of the Russian Federation. December 2013. Photo: Alexander Pak, the press service of the Western Military District.
The birth of a warrior
“At first, there was an 8K14 rocket,” says Dmitry Kornev, the chief editor of the Militaryrussia Internet project. - Appearing at the dawn of the 50s on the basis of the German V-2, by the end of the decade the rocket formed the basis of the already effective 9K72 Elbrus missile system. At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, an awareness of the effectiveness of new directions — military (tactical), army and front-line missile systems, as well as such Western innovations as solid-fuel missiles — came. And a wide front began work on several types of complexes. ”
According to the expert, the OKB-2 GKAT (the future Fakel) launched a fairly revolutionary project in the mid-60s, suggesting the creation of the Yastreb and Tochka military missile complexes based on the B-611 anti-aircraft missile. But they were waiting for air defense and missile defense systems from the OKB-2, so in the late 60s the work on the ground direction in the design bureau was curtailed, and the documentation on the “Point” was transferred to the Kolomna machine-building design bureau.
“By the end of the 60s, effective mobile chassis, compact and more and more accurate inertial control systems, efficient mixed solid fuels and engines based on it, small nuclear warheads were created in the USSR. The creation of reconnaissance-strike complexes was on the agenda. Therefore, in the 70–80s a real boom occurred in the field of short-range missiles, ”Kornev told the publication.
The expert also explained that in 1972, due to the workload of MIT to create a Temp-2C mobile ICBM, the draft design of the 9K711 Uran complex was transferred for revision to the Machine-Building Design Bureau (KBM), where a new 9K714 missile complex was created on its basis "Oka". Then began the triumphal march of KBM in the segment of ballistic missile systems of short range action.
"9K714" Oka "with a range of up to 500 kilometers gradually transformed into 9K717" Oka-U ", which was supposed to grow to the Volga, with a range of about 1000 kilometers. By the end of the 80s - the beginning of the 90s, they planned to create an entirely new class of missile weapons on the basis of these complexes, which could be used in the interests of divisions, armies and fronts of various types.receiving target designations from various sources, ”continued Kornev.
According to the expert, on the "Wave" it was planned to introduce the re-targeting of missiles in flight according to information from aviation and other "eyes and ears" reconnaissance and attack systems. But the INF Treaty intervened.
“Initially, the creators of the new two-missile operational-tactical complex 9K715 Iskander set themselves the goal of creating a system capable of guaranteed (two missiles) to destroy an important target at a distance of 70 to 300 kilometers. The development of technology allowed several times to reduce the outfit of the funds necessary to defeat important goals. This is a comparison with the Elbrus 9K72 complexes that were in service, which the Iskander was supposed to replace in the 80s. But the signing of the INF Treaty made adjustments to the development of missile systems in our country, and Iskander became Iskander-M — the way we know it now, ”concluded Dmitry Kornev.
From rocket to modular system
Work on the Iskander complex began in 1988. Surprisingly, the collapse in 1991 of the USSR slightly influenced the creation of a new OTRK. In the summer of 1991, the first launch launches took place at the Kapustin Yar training ground, and in 1992 the Volgograd Titan plant presented the first chassis for the new complex.But in 1993, work on the Iskander reoriented to the creation of a “multipurpose modular missile system of the ground forces,” known as Iskander-M.
The newest operational-tactical complex became the pinnacle of creativity of the chief designer of KBM Sergey Pavlovich the Invincible, to which he went, creating “Point”, “Oka”, “Oku-M”, etc. The newest “Iskander” embodied all the experience and skills of its creator .
“At present, the KBM is only improving the Iskander, improving the work of its units and mechanisms, putting new radio-electronic equipment, sighting systems, etc. Sergei Pavlovich the Unbeatable did the rest, developing the unified universal modular missile system Iskander,” the Military -industrial courier "Dmitry Kornev.
The new OTRK must hit targets not only with conventional ballistic missiles with different warheads, but also with cruise missiles. In 1995, the first experimental launcher appeared on the Belarusian MZKT chassis and the missile launches began. In 1997, complex tests started at the Kapustin Yar test site, which ended in 2004 with the adoption of the Iskander-M operational-tactical complex for use by the Russian army.The very next year, the first complexes entered service with the 630th separate missile battalion of the 60th Combat Use Center in Kapustin Yar. In the same year, the Iskander PTRK export model project was presented, named Iskander-E (export) and different from a Russian product by a launcher on one missile with a reduced range instead of two in the Iskander-M variant.
Until this year, several rocket brigades have been re-armed to the new complex.
Work on the cruise missile started back in 1999. After state tests in 2007, the P-500 was adopted. Initially it was assumed that a new modification, the Iskander-K, would be created under the cruise missile. Several times the “K” variant appeared at various weapons exhibitions, evoking the genuine interest of foreign buyers. But apparently, cruise missiles will be delivered only to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
According to KBM Director General Valery Kashin, five types of missiles, both aeroballistic and cruise, have already been developed and put into service, three more are under development. It is noteworthy that in the Iskander ammunition there are missiles with a penetrating warhead for the destruction of bunkers and other enemy fortifications.
The armament of the likely enemy also does not stand still, new anti-air and anti-missile defense systems appear. Now the American Patriot, the Patriot, has undergone significant modernization and is capable of striking aeroballistic targets. The US fleet, which received modernized anti-missile SM-2 and SM-3, is not far behind. Naval and land systems constitute a single integrated missile defense system in the theater of operations. But the Russian side also has the answer. According to a number of media reports, missiles for the Iskander complex have received systems for overcoming enemy antimissile defense. Similar measures, implemented in the Oka OTRK, are passive and active jamming systems hidden in the rocket body. When approaching the target, dipole reflectors, small jammers, etc. are separated from the rocket.
The newest operational tactical complexes of the Iskander-M come into service not only with district (front) command and subunit rocket brigades, but also brigades subordinate to the combined-arms army headquarters, replacing reliable but already outdated Tochka-U tactical missile systems. .
According to an independent military expert, one of the authors of the book “Tanks of August” dedicated to the Russian-Georgian conflict in August 2008, Anton Lavrov, “Iskander” with its markedly increased accuracy and range compared to “Point-U” brigades. At the disposal of the Ground Forces, for the first time after the failure of the INF, there appears its own long arm, capable of striking at the key small-sized targets of the enemy in its deep rear practically to the entire depth of front-line aviation.
“In the current conflict, Iskander-M will take on the tasks reduced under the INF Treaty of Tempus-S and the Pioneers, while possessing the Oka long-range characteristics,” suggested the chief editor of the “Military Frontier” Internet project. Oleg Kovshar.
According to Western experts, the operational-tactical missile complex "Iskander-M" with its high precision and arsenal of missiles for all occasions will find worthy use not only in a big war, but also in a local conflict to destroy bases, places of concentration, fortified positions of militants.And in combination with the latest Russian reconnaissance systems of the complex’s missiles, you can hit targets in real time.
Interested in the procurement of the newest complex and some foreign countries. But, according to Andrei Frolov, editor-in-chief of the Export and Armament magazine, due to the negative reaction of the West and the INF Treaty, it is unlikely that these negotiations will be known before the transaction is made. “The countries of the CIS are interested in these complexes, in particular Armenia, Belarus. Perhaps even Ukraine to replace their "points-U". Also Iskander-E may be of interest to Iran or Iraq, ”Frolov suggested.
The newest Iskander-M complex produced by the machine-building design bureau took a worthy place in the arsenal of the Russian army. The complex will cope not only with a high-tech adversary, but also with militants in local conflicts. The company, headed by Valery Kashin, continues to improve OTRK, in its arsenal there are newest not only aeroballistic, but also cruise missiles. The leadership of the KBM and its employees were able in a short time to create a unique weapon system, which was highly appreciated by the domestic and foreign military, as well as the president of Russia.Now that KBM has become part of the holding company NPO Vysokotochny Komplektsy, which made it possible to form a closed control loop when creating high-precision weapons of the operational and tactical zone of general-purpose forces, the work on Iskander will reach a new level, making OTRK destructive and universal .
OTRK "Iskander" in the Western Military District
The main features of RK 9К720 "Iskander":
highly accurate and effective defeat of various types of targets;
the possibility of covert training, combat duty and effective missile strikes;
automatic calculation and entry of a missile flight mission by launcher means;
high probability of accomplishing a combat mission in conditions of active opposition from the enemy;
high probability of missile-free functioning in preparation for launch, as well as in flight;
high tactical maneuverability due to the high maneuverability of combat vehicles mounted on all-wheel drive chassis,
strategic mobility due to the transportability of machines by all modes of transport, including transport aviation;
automation of combat control of missile units
operational processing and bringing intelligence information to the appropriate levels of control;
long service life and ease of use.
“Iskander-E” in its tactical and technical characteristics fully corresponds to the position of the Non-Proliferation Technologies Control Regime. This is a “weapon of deterrence” in local conflicts, and for countries with limited living space it is a strategic weapon. The structure of the complex, its control systems, automated combat control and information support make it possible to quickly respond to new requirements without substantially modifying its combat assets and, as a result, guarantee it a long life cycle.
A variant of the Iskander-M missile system with increased flight range (over 450km), as well as the Iskander-K, equipped with a high-precision cruise missile R-500 (range up to 2,600 km) of the Kaliber system developed by Yekaterinburg OJSC "OKB" Novator ". The complex was successfully tested in 2007. at the Kapustin Yar training ground.
In 2007The Iskander-M complexes (four combat vehicles) were equipped with a training division in Kapustin Yar, which took part in the war with Georgia in August 2008.
In the west, the complex received the designation SS-26.
The 9M723 rocket is a solid-fuel single-stage missile with a non-detachable head in flight. The rocket is controlled on the entire flight path with the help of aerodynamic and gas-dynamic control surfaces. Flight path 9М723 is not ballistic, but controlled. The rocket is constantly changing the plane of the trajectory. Especially actively it maneuvers in the area of its acceleration and approach to the target - with an overload from 20 to 30g. In order to intercept the 9M723 missile, the anti-missile must move along a trajectory with an overload two or three times higher, and this is practically impossible. Most of the flight path of the rocket, manufactured using the ‘Stealth’ technology and having a small reflective surface, passes at a height of 50 km, which also significantly reduces the likelihood of its being hit by the enemy. The effect of имости invisibility ’is achieved due to the combination of design features and the processing of the rocket with special coatings.
Directly to the target, the rocket is derived using an inertial control system,and then captured by the autonomous correlation-extremal optical homing head. The principle of operation of the OTR 9M723 homing system is that the optical equipment forms an image of the terrain in the target area, which is compared by the on-board computer with the standard introduced during the preparation of the rocket. The optical head has a high resistance to existing means of electronic warfare and allows successful missile launches even on moonless nights when there is no additional natural target illumination, hitting the target with an error of plus or minus two meters. This task, except for "Iskander", can not solve any tactical system in the world. In addition, optical systems do not need signals from space radio navigation systems, which in critical cases can be turned off or disabled by radio interference. Integration of inertial control with satellite navigation equipment and optical satellite seeker allows you to create a rocket that hits a given target in almost every conceivable condition. The homing head can also be used on ballistic and cruise missiles of various classes and types.
The missile can be equipped with various combat units (10 types in total), including:
cluster warhead with fragmentation warheads of non-contact blasting;
cluster warhead with cumulative fragmentation warheads;
cluster warhead with self-targeting combat elements;
cluster warhead volume detonating action;
high-explosive fragmentation warhead (OFBCH);
high explosive incendiary warhead;
penetrating warhead (PRBCH).
The cassette warhead provides an opening at a height of 0.9-1.4 km with further separation and stabilization of the combat elements. Combat elements are equipped with radio sensors, the undermining of combat elements is carried out at a height of 6-10m above the target.
Thanks to the implementation of terminal methods of control and guidance, control throughout the flight trajectory, a wide range of powerful combat units and the provision of integration of on-board control systems with various correction and homing systems, as well as a high probability of accomplishing the combat mission in conditions of active opposition from the enemy, typical targets are affected by launch 2 missiles RK "Iskander-E", which is equivalent to the effectiveness of the use of a nuclear weapon.
Fully autonomous SPU is located on an 8x8 off-road wheeled chassis (MZKT-7930) and is designed for storing and transporting missiles, preparing for launch and launching within the ± 90 ° firing sector relative to the direction of SPU arrival. SPU provides: automatic determination of its coordinates, data exchange with all links of control, combat duty and preparation for launch with the rocket in a horizontal position, single and salvo missile launches, storage and verification of missiles. The most important feature of the launcher was the placement on it of not one (as in the "Point" and "Oka"), but two missiles. The time spent by the launcher on the launch position is minimal and is up to 20 minutes, while the interval between the launches of the 1st and 2nd rockets is no more than one minute. Missile launches do not require launch positions that are specially prepared in engineering and topographic and geodetic terms, which may lead to their disclosure by the enemy. Starts can be carried out from the so-called “readiness from the march”, i.e. the launcher drives into any site (except for swampy areas and loose sand) and its calculation in an automated cycle, without leaving the cockpit, prepares and launches the rocket.After that, the launcher moves to the point of reloading and, after loading the missiles, is ready to deliver a second rocket strike from any starting position.
TZM is also located on the chassis of MZKT-7930 and is equipped with a jib crane. Full combat weight - 40000kg, the calculation of TZM - 2 people.
The automated control system is built on the basis of a command-staff vehicle unified for all levels of control, built on the chassis of the KAMAZ family. Adjustment to a certain level of control (crew, division, launch battery) is carried out programmatically during operation. To ensure information exchange in the launcher, combat control and communications equipment is located. Information exchange can be carried out both through open and closed communication channels.
Iskander-E is integrated with various intelligence and control systems. Information about the object of destruction is transmitted from a satellite, a reconnaissance aircraft or an unmanned aerial vehicle (of the “Race-D” type) to the information preparation point. It calculates a flight mission for a rocket and prepares reference information for missiles with OGOS,Then, via radio channels, this information is transmitted to the command and staff vehicles (KSHM) of the commanders of the division and the battery, and from there to the launchers. Commands for launching missiles can be formed both in the KSHM and come from the command points of senior artillery commanders.
The car of regulation and maintenance (MRTO) is located on the chassis of the KAMAZ family and is intended for routine inspection of onboard equipment of missiles located on TZM (as well as in containers), testing of devices included in the group sets of spare parts for the complex and routine repair of missiles by forces calculation mrto. The mass of the machine is 13,500 kg, the deployment time is 20 minutes, the time of the automated cycle of the routine testing of the onboard equipment of the rocket is 18 minutes, the calculation is 2 people.
The life support machine is designed to accommodate combat crews (up to 8 people) for rest and food.