Given the, um, uneven track record of the Patriot missile interceptor, you'd think such a weapon might not be necessary. But Russia has gone ahead and put together "the first ballistic missile ever to include built-in countermeasures against the West's growing range of deployed theatre missile defence systems," according to Jane's Defence Weekly.

russian_missile.jpgThe Iskander-E short-range ballistic missile is designed to defeat Western ballistic missile defence systems, particularly the Patriot air-defence system...It appears to forego conventional chaff, flare and anti-radar signals and instead employs manoeuvring at both launch and attack phases, a low and direct trajectory and a low radar signature produced by what Russian reports called "a special composite"... These details will be [puzzling] to Western missile defence specialists.The Iskander-E has a maximum range of 280 km and a payload of 480 kg to comply with the limits laid down by the Missile Technology Control Regime... In each case these missiles can be used to carry be nuclear, chemical or biological warheads.Nations such as Syria (in 2004) and Iran (in 2001) were reported to have shown interest in purchasing this weapon - which is currently available to the market - however this seems an unlikely event and was denied in each case. Russia appears to be courting its market by revealing many of the missile details in a 21 February 2005 broadcast on Moscow's Channel 1 television news programme. "Missileers are usually wary of showing their hands regarding countermeasures," said Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel's Missile Defence Agency. "I can only interpret the Russians' bout of transparency as a marketing effort toward customers who face theatre missile defence systems."
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