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Russia has started Research and Development work for a new weapon to replace the ISKANDER tactical missile system.

Announcing the decision in an interview to local media, Russia’s Missile Forces and Artillery Commander Lieutenant-General Mikhail Matveyevsky said, “The ISKANDER-M will meet all the modern requirements for quite a long time and will remain the basic weapon for the missile forces and artillery at least until 2030.”

“As for the future weapon, we can say that quite substantial scientific basement is already available for its development,” he added. The ISKANDER-M tactical missile system’s upgraded potential “has been tapped by less than a half,” stressed Matveyevsky.

Russia is currently carrying out scientific work on the concept of advanced rocket artillery armament while efforts are simultaneously underway for upgrading the capabilities of existing weapon systems. Currently, the Russian artillery troops have been receiving upgraded TORNADO-G medium-caliber Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) and modernised TORNADO-S launchers, the General noted. Both systems are latest derivative from the 300-mm SMERCH MLRS from the SPLAV NPO, located in the city of Tula.

New Missile/Artillery Developments

Further power could be added to the Russian artillery and missile forces with introduction of the HERMES over-horizon smart missile weapon system being developed by the Tula-based Shipunov KBP Design Bureau, another HPW subsidiary.

The manufacturers claim that HERMES is a new generation system, occupying a niche between guided artillery projectiles and operational-tactical systems. The ISKANDER-M tactical missile system is designated to strike adversary low-sized and site important targets including missile launchers, multiple launch rocket systems, long-range artillery as well as airfields, command posts and communications centres at up to 500 km.

Yury Laskin