Military/Intelligence Bulletin 03/2016 – Iskander TEL spotted in Syria

Military/Intelligence Bulletin 03/2016 – Iskander TEL spotted in Syria.

Television footage and satellite imagery has revealed a single Iskander TEL deployed to Humaymim air base, currently the air base used by Russia’s air force in Syria.

Although it is clear that Russia has deployed an Iskander TEL in Syria, its purpose is as yet undetermined. The SS-26 is a mobile short-range ballistic missile system and is capable of carrying a number of differing warheads, including cluster munitions, fuel-air explosive enhanced-blast warhead, a bunker buster and an EMP, Electro-Magnet Pulse, warhead.


9K720 Iskander – SS-26 Stone

Photo By Aleksey Toritsyn – Victory_Day_09_05_2010_Tech, CC BY-SA 3.0,

But on a more ominous note, the SS-26 can also carry nuclear warheads.


Iskander missile in launch position

Photo By, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Iskander missiles right, and an OTR-21 Tochka missile on the left.

Photo By Leonidl – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The range of an Iskander missile is believed to be in the region of 280-500km, although to comply with the INF treaty it would need to be officially less than the 500km. If the one in Syria is an export version, Iskander-E, then the range could be the lower 280km. The TEL chassis is an 8×8 MZKT 79306 ASTROLOG Truck.

The one sighted in Syria is believed to be either an Iskander-M ballistic missile system, or the Iskander-K, the cruise missile system. Why is it there? Consensus is that it has been put there as a warning to countries in the region not to attack Russian aircraft on the ground for fear of retaliation, or replace the role of the strike aircraft that have been withdrawn form the country. Perhaps it is there to target Patriot batteries based in Turkey, although at the moment the Spanish Patriot PAC-2 battery at Adan airport is too far from the border to threaten aircraft in Syrian airspace.


Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

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