Russia is firing Iskander missiles more than once at the same target as Ukrainian military personnel gather at a “hit site” so that rescue operations cause maximum casualties.
The Ukrainians have been stunned by the tactic, as they are used to expecting only one attack from Iskander, allowing them to take corrective positions on the battlefield. But a quick subsequent attack before taking countermeasures has maximized the casualties, leaving them in a state of shock.
This was stated by prominent Russian military correspondent Alexander Kots, who observed the practice based on images and information about Russia’s frontline operations.
Some Russian Telegram groups, which claim to have personal and family connections to the military and defense industry, also say that Russia may deploy Iskanders as its factories have successfully increased production and are far from being harmed by Western sanctions.
Iskander short-range mobile ballistic missiles are tactical battlefield missiles, including some variants of cruise missiles, which have a range of around 500 km. “The missile warhead of the complex can destroy enemy command posts, equipment convoy and air defense systems,” according to the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD).
‘Hit a target more than once’
Russian reports quoted Kots, referring to an Iskander attack in the Zaporizhzhia region, which he said saw “more effective use of Iskander’s operational tactical missile systems.” “Previously these missiles were used individually, but the new tactic of the Russian army involves the simultaneous launch of several missiles against the same target.”
In this case, a second attack on the exact place where an Iskander had landed took the Ukrainian soldiers, who had become “accustomed to single attacks,” by “surprise.” “First, two missiles were fired, destroying the intended target. After the Ukrainian army approached the explosion site, some personnel were hit by the third missile fired,” Kots said.
Expanding further, Kots referred to undisclosed footage, showing that after “two missiles hit and the Ukrainians ran to clear the debris, they were hit by a third.” This capability has been aided by “enhanced…reconnaissance and objective control capabilities, which can, although unnoticed by the enemy, observe their actions deep in the rear.”
Kots is possibly referring to the Sirius/Inokhodets-RU, a Medium/High Long Endurance (MALE/HALE) class combat drone, roughly the same class as the US MQ-9 Reaper. The UAV has been upgraded Russia’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and the ability to target the kill chain, as discussed in a previous article. article.
“Usually only one Iskander was assigned to a target, and this target was considered destroyed. And now everything is changing; “I see several Iskanders deployed simultaneously on one target,” Kots added. He also cited a case in which three iskanders attacked an armored vehicle plant in Kharkiv/Kharkov one after another.
Russian Defense Ministry reports on Iskander’s actions
While it is unclear when the Iskander attacks mentioned above occurred, the latest two promotional materials and videos of the missile in action provided by the RuMoD offer some clues. On November 1, he unveiled the Iskander Operational-Tactical Missile System (OTRK) of the Western Military District that “launched strikes against the military infrastructure of the AFU.”
#Russia is shooting #iskander missiles more than once against the same target when Ukrainian military personnel gather at a “hit site” so that rescue operations cause maximum casualties. #UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/SihVKez0bO
— EurAsian Times (@THEEURASIATIMES) November 19, 2023
Staying “many kilometers from the front line (conducted) successful launches and neutralized targets serves as proof.” The “throws,” plural, hinted that there was more than one Iskander throw at the exact location.
The attached video also highlighted this. A Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) and a missile carrier approach side by side, with the former receiving a canister carrying the Iskander-K variant. This version is launched from a boat and has a different shape from the conical nose of the other Iskander variants. Soon dusk falls and two missiles are launched from a tree line.
On November 17, he posted another video of an Iskander TEL moving toward the location. He lifts the missile out the large hatch and fires it. The RuMoD described this as Russian Iskander units firing at “a camouflaged AFU command post (whose) location was revealed by reconnaissance.”
After receiving the coordinates, the “missile men” advanced to the firing position, deployed the launcher for combat use in “a matter of minutes,” and launched the missile before changing location.
“The complex is armed with ballistic and cruise missiles, which electronically interfere with the approach to the target and are practically invulnerable to enemy air defense systems. Cruise missiles can fly at ultra-low altitudes and circle terrain. It is impossible to detect them,” stated the RuMoD.