What is Iskander-M Missile System? Russia Deploys Tactical Nuclear Weapon Within 40 Miles From Ukraine Border

Russia has deployed deadly Iskander-M mobile battlefield missile launchers near the Ukraine border, Ukraine's Armed Forces have claimed. The missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads, are deployed nearly 40 miles away from the Ukrainian border.

General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces on Sunday revealed that Moscow has deployed Iskander-M launchers close to the Ukrainian border near the Belgorod region, where Russia has increased the numbers of troops as it added additional units.

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The missile launcher, a tactical nuclear weapon, is a ground-based missile system designed as a solid-fuel rocket that has a range of 400-500 km.

NATO has codenamed the mobile ballistic missile system SS-26. The weapon replaced the Soviet Scud missile.

The system's two guided missiles are able to carry nuclear and conventional warheads.

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"In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy is increasing the grouping of troops by transferring and massing additional units in the Belgorod region. According to available intelligence, some 60 km from the state border of Ukraine, Iskander-M tactical missile launchers have been deployed," read a war update by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to Ukrinform.

Iskander is a Tactical Missile System

Iskander, a tactical missile system, could launch ballistic and cruise missiles. Until 2019, Russia operated 11 combat brigades of Iskander-M systems.

Generally, a standard Iskander brigade includes 12 transporter erector launcher and their associated support vehicles.

Its final unit was made by the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau and was handed over to Russia's 448th Missile Brigade in November 2019. Russia was also in plans to enlarge the Iskander brigades from 12 to 16 launchers each, according to Missile Threat.

Russia Used Iskander Against Georgia

Iskander was first used against Georgia during the 2008 attack. A unit of the system was also deployed in Syria in 2016. But it was not used in combat. Tajikistan and Russia first launched an Iskander-M missile outside of Russian soil during a military exercise in June 2017.

The deployment of Iskander comes at a time as Russia on Wednesday conducted the first successful test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile named Satan 2. The missile can fly 6,000 miles and can carry 16 warheads and has the potential to destroy an area the size of France.