How Many "Iskander" and "Calibr" Cruise Missiles Has Russia Left (Quantitative Research)

The launch of "Iskander" mobile operational-tactical ballistic missile / Open source illustrative photo
The launch of "Iskander" mobile operational-tactical ballistic missile / Open source illustrative photo

As of the end of April, the quantity of these types of missiles has dropped to a critical level and now is not more than 40% of the pre-war totality

Russia has recently intensified the use of high-precision missiles to strike civilian and military infrastructure of Ukraine. One of the objectives set by the russian invaders is to disrupt the military aid supplies to Ukraine delivered by railway.

In addition to that the Kremlin, just like the Third Reich in World War 2, is trying to terrorize the civilian population with constant missile attacks.

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Defense Express /
"Iskander" missile system launcher

Since March 24, more than 1,950 missiles of various types have been launched on the territory of Ukraine. That's according to the Pentagon statement from April 29.

For the strikes on Ukrainian civilian and military targets, russian armed forces use ground-, sea- and air-launched high-precision ballistic and cruise missiles (BM and CM), including tactical (TM, up to 150 km), operational-tactical (OTM, up to 500 km), short-range (SRM, 500 – 1000 km) and medium-range (MRM, 1,000 – 5,500 km) missiles.

"Iskanders" are used by the Kremlin against Ukraine, illustrative photo

US Department of Defense estimates, russia still has up to 50% of what it had stored before the invasion in all types of ordnance as of today.

But how much is it exactly, in figures? In particular, regarding the most advanced developments in russian arsenal, namely sea-based "Calibr" cruise and "Iskander" operational-tactical ballistic missiles.

"Iskander-M" OTBM system launcher

According to the calculations from Defense Express, based on our own and foreign database analysis, as well as interviews with a dozen of expert specialists, we can affirm that the intense use of missile weaponry for striking targets on Ukrainian territory by the aggressor has exhausted the stocks to the point most of missiles were spent.

The situation at the end of April was the following: the quantity of mentioned types of missiles had dropped to a critical level and was not more than 40% of the pre-war totality. Precisely, russian army has up to 200 9M723 ballistic missiles for "Iskander" OTBM. Before the active phase on February 24, there were around 900 missiles of this type.

9K720 "Iskander-M" OTBM systems use both 9M723 ballistic missiles and 9M728 cruise missiles. 9M723 BM: 480 km range, 50 km max alt., 6,3M velocity, 20–30G overload, inertial guidance + optical homing head, CEP 5–10 m, warhead 480 kg. 9M723 BM cannot be intercepted – it maneuvers, is barely conspicuous, uses false targets and electronic warfare means. 9M728 CM: 490 km range, min. alt. 6–7 m, 0.7–0.8M, CEP 5 m, warhead 480 kg

As for the sea-based 3M-54 missiles for "Calibr", the current quantity of those at russian disposal is approximately 350 units out of 500 manufactured by russian defense industry and stored until the invasion started.

Defense Express / The launch of a high-precision
The launch of a high-precision "Calibr" cruise missile

Based on the present state of russian defense sector and considering the western sanctions put on it, we can predict that there will be needed about three years of non-stop work to only reach the pre-war quantities of "Iskander" and "Calibr" missiles.

It is also essential to remember, that OTBMs are purely offensive weapons created for nuclear strikes, their effectiveness with non-nuclear armament is lower, and a missile with a non-nuclear warhead has only a 300 km range of fire. This weapon begins a war but doesn't end one

Available stocks of imported components allow russian industry to continue manufacture of missiles for not more than three months, and then a crisis awaits for the mentioned branch.

Yet Ukrainians should remember that even ten missiles in the enemy arsenal are a threat that should be minimized by developing and strengthening Ukraine's air defense.

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