The 53T6 Gazelle, also known as the ABM-3, is an ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system that was designed in the 1980s and entered service in 1995. The missile can be launched from silos, and can also be carried and launched by a MAZ-7910. The missile is capable of intercepting re-entry vehicles at distances exceeding 100 km. The 53T6 is a solid-propellant two stage missile and is armed with a nuclear warhead that has a yield of 10 kt. The missile is ten meters long, one meter in diameter, and weighs ten tons. The missile reaches a speed of 5.5 km/sec within 3 seconds of launch, and reaches a height of 30 km within an additional 2 seconds.
The Project 667BDRM “Delfin” (Dolphin) strategic submarine, known in the West as the Delta-4, first entered service in 1985. The Delta-4 and its predecessors (the Delta-1, Delta-2, and the Delta-3 submarines) formed the backbone of the Soviet strategic fleet. The Delta-4 is designed to carry out strategic strikes on naval bases and military installations.
The submarine has a double-hull configuration, and is equipped with 16 missile silos specially designed for the R-29RMU (SS-N-23 Skiff) Sineva ballistic missiles. These missiles are equipped with 4-10 warheads and have a range of up to 8,300 km. The Delta-4 can launch these missiles at depths of up to 55 meters and while moving at a speed of up to 6-7 knots. The Delta-4 is also equipped with four 533 mm torpedo tubes that can fire a variety of different torpedoes. The Delta-4 can also fire the RPK-2 Viyuga (SS-N-15 Starfish) anti-ship missiles from its torpedo tubes. The RPK-2 missiles a have a range of up to 45 km. In total, up to 18 torpedoes or missiles can be carried in the torpedo compartment. In 2011, an upgraded version of the R-29RMU Sineva, dubbed the R-29RMU2 Liner, was introduced for the Delta-4. This new missile is more survivable against anti-ballistic missiles than its predecessor.
The Delta-4 has a maximum speed of 24 knots (regardless of whether it’s surfaced or submerged), and an endurance of about 80 days. The Delta-4 can dive to a maximum depth of 400 meters and has special hydroplanes attached to the sail to break through ice. There are currently 7 Delta-4 submarines in service with the Russian navy. Although these submarines are supposed to be replaced by the Borei class submarines, the latter are entering service very slowly, so the Delta-4 submarines remain in service. Four are equipped with upgraded Sineva missiles, one had its missile silo’s removed and is used as a special purpose platform, and one was damaged by a fire on December 29th, 2011, and is expected to be back in service in 2014.
The Iskander-M (also known as the SS-26 Stone) was developed in 1996 to replace the SS-23 “Oka”, a long range theatre ballistic missile system that was eliminated by the INF treaty. The Iskander-M entered service with the Russian army in 2006. The Iskander-M system consists of the TEL vehicle, a BAZ-6909 8-wheeled truck, and two 9M723K1 guided missiles. The missiles are controlled up to the point in which they hit the target, and can be re-targeted while in flight. The optically guided warhead of the missiles can be controlled via ERT (encrypted radio transmission) from a UAV or an AWACS. The 9M723K1’s integrated computer is updated with the target’s images, and the missile then locks on the target and engages it at supersonic speeds.
The 9M723K1 missile performs evasive maneuvers while flying towards its target and releases decoys, making it nearly impossible to intercept. The warhead of each missile has a weight of 800 kg, the missiles have a range of 400-480 km, and fly at a speed of Mach 6-7 (2,100-2,600 meters per second). The missiles are capable of pulling 20-30 G maneuvers in order evade intercepting missiles. The Iskander-M can be used to engaged various type of targets, both large and small, stationary and moving, troops and vehicles, command posts, anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, and more. A cruise missile for the system, the Iskander-K, was introduced in 2007, and is rumored to have a range of over 2,000 km.
According to Russian officials, the Iskander-M was used during the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, where it was reported to have destroyed over 28 tanks. Amid the disagreements between Russia and the US over the proposed NATO missile shield in Europe, Russia has threatened numerous times to field the system in Kaliningrad. Currently, Iskander-M systems are deployed in every Russian defense district, excluding Kaliningrad. Russia operates 24 units in total, and Belarus and Iran have expressed interest in purchasing the system, as well.
The RS-24 “Yars” mobile ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) system took part in exercises as part of the “Nuclear Shield” program in the Ivanov region. During these exercises, entire districts are closed, so that all procedures can be performed under utmost secrecy. It takes 15 minutes to set the system up or dismantle it. Changing the system’s position is extremely crucial, as it is carrying a missile that has the power of 100 “Little Boys” (the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima). The RS-24 was introduced to the region a year ago, and since then, testing has been performed monthly. Each time, the entire Teykovsky district is closed. These exercises resemble real military operations, except no firing takes place. The main mission: to ensure that the mobile ballistic missile system is hidden from the enemy. Each column has three sub-columns, and each sub-column consists of a launcher vehicle and a refueling vehicle.