MOSCOW, January 1. /TASS/. The missile troops of the Russian Ground Forces will be fully reequipped with the Iskander-M missile systems in 2019, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"In 2019, the process of reequipping the missile troops of the Russian Ground Forces with the Iskander-M missile systems will be completed. In accordance with the state defense order, the manufacturer will hand a unit of the Iskander-M systems over to the Western Military District," the statement reads.
The Iskander-M ballistic missile systems are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 500 km, destroying multiple-launch rocket systems, long-range artillery guns, aircraft and helicopters at aerodromes, command posts and communications centers. The complex is capable of outmaneuvering any air defenses.
About 200 new types of weapons will be tested at the Kapustin Yar range in Russia’s southern Astrakhan Region in 2019.
"In 2019, about 200 new types of weapons are planned to be tested, which is commensurate with the 2018 number and half as many as in 2017," the statement reads.
According to the ministry, the number of tests carried out at the site has been growing in the past two years. "As steps are being taken to implement the state rearmament program, the range of tested items will expand in the two years to come," the Defense Ministry stressed.
Improving the protection of military facilities and testing weapons ranging from intelligence equipment to precision weapons guidance systems will be among top priorities, as well as the development of methods to test advanced weapons and military hardware.