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Nuclear weapon drills: Belarus to deploy Iskander-M and Polonez-M missile systems to training sites

Nuclear weapon drills: Belarus to deploy Iskander-M and Polonez-M missile systems to training sites Archive photo: Belarus inspects nuclear weapons carriers (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

The Army of Belarus will deploy Iskander-M and Polonez-M systems to the test sites during an unscheduled inspection of non-strategic nuclear weapons carriers, the Belarusian Hajun Telegram channel reported.

It is noted that the inspection involves a squadron of Su-25 attack aircraft of the 116th Assault Air Base and the 587th Separate Missile Division of the 465th Missile Brigade, armed with the Iskander-M air defense system.

A unit of the 336th Rocket Artillery Brigade armed with Polonez-M missile systems will also take part in the exercise.

Where missile systems can be deployed

The Belarusian authorities stated that the inspection would “test the entire range of measures from planning, preparation, and use of strikes with tactical nuclear ammunitions.” Among other things, the issue of supplying special ammunition to military units and loading it onto launchers will be practiced.

According to Hajun, today at least two Su-25 attack aircraft have flown from the Lida airfield to the Machulishchy airfield. The deployment of units armed with the Iskander-M and Polonez-M complexes to positional areas is also planned. It is quite possible that the Asipovichy and Neman training sites will be involved in the inspection.

Details on the weapon

Polonez is a Belarusian 301-mm multiple-launch rocket system. The system is designed for highly precise strikes on openly located and hidden enemy forces, unarmored and armored military equipment, and other objects.

The range of the system was initially up to 200 km; in 2017, it was increased to 300 km with the use of new missiles. Belarus has previously used this weapon in exercises.

Iskander is a family of Russian tactical missile systems. The Iskander-M is a ballistic missile with a range of up to 500 km, according to various sources. In February, Alexander Lukashenko admitted that two divisions of Iskander-M missile systems had been received and deployed.

What preceded it

Yesterday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that, by order of Vladimir Putin, the Russian army would conduct tactical nuclear weapons exercises.

Today, Alexander Lukashenko decided to conduct the inspection of tactical nuclear weapons carriers as well.