According to the national media, the Russian Ministry of Defence plans to create a new brigade equipped with ISKANDER-M missile systems in the Eastern Military District. The brigade is to be equipped with ballistic and cruise munitions with a range below 500 km. Reportedly, this move is in response to the US and Japan military strengthening in the area.
It is expected that the new unit will be established before the end of this year. At the end of December, the Commander of the Eastern Military District (VVO), Colonel-General Alexander Chaiko, announced that in the course of this year, the district would receive:
- long-range TORNADO-S multiple launch rocket systems
- Mi-28NM attack helicopters
- fifth-generation Su-57 fighters
According to Chaiko, this would bring the share of modern weapons in the Far East to 56 per cent.
The VVO will not be the only recipient of ISKANDER weapon systems this year. On 24 January, the Commander of the Central Military District, Colonel General Alexander Lapin, informed that the district was to be reinforced with two divisions of such missile systems in 2022.
In January 2019, the MoD officially presented the 9M729 cruise missile as the new ISKANDER-M munition with increased power, but an unchanged range of 480 km to comply with INF Treaty restrictions. A quadruple launcher was specially developed for the new missile. The ISKANDER ammunition family includes five types of ballistic and two types of cruise missiles.