This video by the GlobalLeaks News features footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry from a recent cruise missile test shoot. In this video, a cruise missile successfully hits a fake dummy target from 200 kilometers away, demonstrating why cruise missiles are still one of the most precise aerial weapons ever created. The missile was fired from an Iskander-M tactical complex.
The 9K720 Iskander is a mobile, short-range ballistic missile system produced and deployed by the Russian Federation. The Iskander-M system is equipped with model 9M723K1 missiles. These missiles are single-stage, solid-propellant guided missiles which are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision. The model 9M723K1 missiles are controlled throughout their flight path. Each missile in the Iskander-M tactical complex can be independently targeted in a matter of seconds.
The targets of the missiles can be located not only by satellite and aircraft, but also by a conventional intelligence center. The conventional intelligence center uses an artillery observer or aerial photos scanned into a computer. The cruise missiles can be re-targeted during flight, especially when engaging mobile targets.
A unique feature of the Iskander-M system is its optically guided warhead which can be controlled by encrypted radio transmission. This electro-optical guidance system provides a self-homing capability.
When the missile’s on-board computer receives images of the target, it locks onto that target and descends towards it at supersonic speed. The Iskander-M travels at hypersonic speed of 2,100 to 2,600 meters per second (Mach 6 to 7) at a height of 50 kilometers.
The Iskander-M weighs a total of 4,615 kilograms and carries a warhead of 710 to 800 kilograms. The missile has a range of 500 kilometers and it achieves a circular error probable (CEP) of 5 to 7 meters. During flight, the Iskander-M can maneuver at different altitudes and trajectories. It can even turn at up to 20 to 30 G to evade anti-ballistic missiles.