Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Iskander missiles - Russia's apparent concessions

Andrzej Wilk, Piotr Żochowski
February 04, 2009

On 28 January, the Interfax agency quoted an unidentified representative of the Russian army's General Staff who claimed that work on the deployment of the Iskander operational-tactical missile launchers in the Kaliningrad oblast had been suspended. This was purported to be a gesture of good will towards the new US administration and a signal of Russia's readiness to start talks concerning international security policy. The news from Interfax appeared in the setting of a media campaign suggesting a covert agreement on international security issues might be concluded between the Russian authorities and the new US administration. The information about the possible deployment of Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad oblast had been an element of Russia's propaganda intended to prop up the arguments of the European opponents of US plans to deploy the missile shield. In reality, Russia intends to continue the modernisation of its armed forces and to stick to the plan to deploy the Iskanders in the Kaliningrad oblast.

Real arms...

Work on the new operational-tactical Iskander missile launchers was first started in the final days of the Soviet Union and, as was the case with the other newly constructed types of weapons, de facto stopped in the 1990s due to the disastrous condition of the Russian Federation's budget. The work was completed during the period of financial prosperity under Vladimir Putin's rule and the introduction of the Iskander missiles into the Russian armed forces' arsenal began. Since 2006, at least two missile squadron of the 114th Znamensk Missile Brigade have been re-armed with the Iskanders.
The full article is here

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