08:22 GMT23 April 2021
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    A missile unit in Russia’s Southern Military District located in the East Siberian Republic of Buryatia received Iskander-M (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) tactical missile systems, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Iskander is characterized by its high mobility and maneuverability, as it takes just 20 minutes to put the system in operational readiness.

    The 9K720 Iskander-M entered into service in 2006 to replace the OTR-23 Oka missile system, retired following the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.

    In order to master the sophisticated weaponry, the unit's military personnel "passed theoretical and practical training courses" and "performed combat and electronic launches of cruise and ballistic missiles" in Russia's southern Astrakhan Region, the statement reads.

    Another brigade of Iskanders under the district's command has been on duty in Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region in the Russian Far East since 2013.

    Russia is currently performing a $325-billion rearmament program to achieve a 70-percent modernization of its military by 2020.


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