The Iskander missile, a Russian-made short-range ballistic missile, is known for its ability to carry nuclear warheads. Of course, Iskander can also accept several different conventional warheads such as penetrating warheads, an electromagnetic pulse warhead for anti-radar missions and others.
The missile was designed to engage small and area targets, well behind enemy defenses with conventional warheads. However, it is said to be capable of carrying regular nuclear weapons as well.
In an operational briefing, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russian forces launched a series of attacks on the Ukrainian capital.
Ukraine's armed forces said ten Iskander missiles were fired from Russia's Bryansk region, northeast of Kiev. Ukrainian defense successfully intercepted seven Iskander-M ballistic missiles and three Iskander-K cruise missiles.
While the specific air defense systems Ukraine uses to intercept the Iskander missiles have not been disclosed, Kiev's Western backers have provided military assistance to bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities.
Among these aid packages, is the inclusion of advanced systems such as the American Patriot air defense system.
Improving Ukraine's air defense capabilities is intended to provide better protection against missile threats, including those posed by the Iskander system.
Moscow's forces have consistently relied on the Iskander missile system to deliver precision strikes on Ukrainian targets. The Iskander stands out as a mobile ballistic missile system, with an impressive range of 400 kilometers and the ability to deploy nuclear warheads if necessary.
This weapon system integrates seamlessly with a networked system of sensors and rapid attack missiles, enabling rapid and coordinated attacks on targets across the theater of operations.
In general, Iskander missile strikes have occurred mostly during night operations. However, on May 29, Ukraine's military said Russia had launched a day-long attack on Kiev, using 11 Iskander missiles in a barrage.
According to a statement by Ukrainian officials, the enemy had changed its tactics, deviating from the previous pattern of exclusively night attacks.
Russian ballistic missiles deliberately targeted Kiev during the day, when many residents were at work or on the streets, creating additional challenges for defense forces.
While the Ukrainian military receives advanced weapons systems from its allies and actively pursues F-16 fighter jets, a military analyst has identified the critical requirements he believes are necessary for the Ukrainian military to effectively counter and defeat Russia.
According to military expert Tom Cooper, the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not need F-16s. Instead, he emphasized the urgent need for numerous artillery shells.
Another priority identified by Cooper is the provision of heavy infantry weapons, specifically automatic grenade launchers and heavy machine guns. These weapons are necessary to enhance the firepower and capabilities of Ukrainian infantry units.
Cooper also underlined the requirement to supply heavy equipment, such as tanks and armored personnel carriers, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. These armored vehicles play a critical role in providing protection and offensive capabilities on the battlefield.
Another item on his priority list is the acquisition of additional air defense systems, including the Patriot, IRIS-T, NASAMS and Hawk systems. He stressed the need to deploy an air defense system alongside frontline troops, providing critical protection.
He also believes that faster weapons, such as the Rampage, are vital and should be acquired in significant quantities to effectively bolster Ukraine's military capabilities.
Israel's Rampage supersonic missile (can be launched from an F-16), flies at near-ballistic speeds, covering a distance of 150 kilometers with great accuracy.
Cooper's rationale for favoring the Rampage missile over other options is its impressive speed, as opposed to the slower speeds of the Storm Shadow and HIMARS missiles.