debkafile Exclusive: US and Israel eye with concern Russian test-flight Tuesday of the modernized version of the Iskander-M tactical cruise missile

The Iskander, which has a 280 km range and carries a 480-kilo warhead, is considered one of the most advanced surface missiles in the world. Information has reached Israel that President Vladimir Putin is willing in principle to sell Iskander missiles to Syria, although no delivery date has been set.
The test is causing concern in Washington. US officials believe the Iskander-M is the new-generation missile to which Russian officials are referring as being capable of striking the interceptors and radar station which America plans to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic to shield Europe from Iranian missile attack.
The worry in Israel’s high command is that the missile would allow Syria to mount a surprise attack undetected.
The Iskander-M to be tested Tuesday, May 29, at Kapustin Yar Range in the southern Astrakhan region, has a high capability for escaping detection and pinpoint precision against small targets. The system can interact with space reconnaissance and unmanned aircraft.
The test flight’s announcement was made at the highest level to the Russian cabinet meeting Monday by first deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov, until recently defense minister and a frontrunner to succeed Putin.
debkafile‘s military sources add: The recent joint US-Israeli military war game Juniper Cobra carried out simulated interceptions of the Russian Iskander by US and Israeli anti-missile systems. The Russians who no doubt watched the exercise seem to be saying they now have a modernized Iskander which can beat those systems. This development signals the onset of a new arms race between the United States and Russia focusing on the contest between sophisticated missiles and the ingenious systems designed to intercept them.

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