Russian Iskander-M missile stockpile: What numbers reveal
Russia's increasing use of Iskander-M missiles in recent attacks against Ukraine is raising questions about their arsenal
Defense Express writes about it.
In a recent overnight attack on October 18-19, Ukraine reported that Russia unleashed five Iskander-M ballistic missiles, an S-300 anti-aircraft missile, one cruise missile, nine Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, and a manned Kh-59 missile. Ukrainian forces managed to intercept only one Kh-59 and three anti-aircraft missiles.
This attack highlights a shift in Russia's tactics, with a reduced reliance on cruise missiles. This marks only the second cruise missile launch by Russia this month, while the use of ballistic missiles is on the rise.
Since the end of last year's winter campaign, starting from April 1, the Russian military has fired approximately 42 Iskander-M ballistic missiles. The exact count is challenging due to incomplete reports. Notably, the latest incident saw the launch of more than five ballistic missiles, with the largest being eight missiles on June 10, all of which went unintercepted. Defense Express provides a summary of their usage from April to October:
- April: 28 launched, 14 shot down
- May: 20 launched, 7 shot down
- June: 8 launched, 0 shot down
- July: 8 launched, 0 shot down
- August: 2 launched, 1 shot down
- September: Not used
- October 1-19: 8 launched, 0 shot down
Intelligence reports indicate that Russia produces Iskander-M missiles at varying rates. In May, they manufactured an estimated five units, but by August, this number had risen to 30 per month. Considering this data, Russia may have produced around 100 missiles between April and mid-October. The article notes that this total could be further bolstered by an additional fifty 9M723 ballistic missiles left over from the previous winter campaign. In sum, it suggests a significant stockpile of Iskander-M ballistic missiles in Russia's arsenal.