Thursday, 14 August 2014

Russia postpones Iskander missiles export

Russia embargoed export of Iskander missile systems until 2016 due to insufficient production capacities, the weaponry producer said Wednesday.

"Production of these missiles is a bottleneck. The Votkinsk plant (in northwestern Russia's Udmurt republic) has been working to the limits of its capacity," Itar-Tass news agency quoted a deputy director of the KBM Machine-building Design Bureau as saying.

The official said that all potential clients have been informed about the delay, as he was attending an arms expo in the city of Zhukovsky outside Moscow,

The KBM cannot swiftly increase Iskander production for the Russian Armed Forces to 12 systems a year required by the Defense Ministry, he said.

The Iskander tactic missiles system is an advanced ground-to-ground first-strike complex with a range of 500 km.

Currently the KBM supplies the Russian army with two to three Iskander systems a year.

On Monday, Kazakhstan asked Russia for a possible delivery of its Iskander-M missile systems to Russia, according to Konstantin Biryulin, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technological Cooperation.

"There has been a request from Kazakhstan but no decisions have been made as of yet," the Itar-Tass reported quoting Biryulin.

Last December, Russia said it has deployed Iskander-M missiles along the borders with NATO countries. The missiles deployed are said to have a range of 400 kilometers, which thus do not fall under a category of the middle-range missiles banned by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between Moscow and Washington

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