Russia's Ministry of Defence (MoD) briefed foreign diplomats on the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) at Patriot Park, Kubinka, in the Moscow region, on 23 January.
According to the MoD, the new missile is an updated variant of the 9M728 GLCM that has already been integrated into the Iskander-M missile system. "The 9M729 features a more powerful warhead and a more accurate guidance system. This modernisation has resulted in an increase in the lengths of both the missile and its container, with the latter being 53 cm longer compared to the 9M728," said Missile Troops and Artillery Commander Lieutenant General Mikhail Matveevskiy. He added that the missile is assembled at a factory and supplied in sealed containers and therefore cannot be rearmed and refuelled in the field.
The 9M728 and the 9M729 feature the same booster, engine, and fuel load, which provide a range compliant with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, according to the general. "As the 9M729 is armed with a heavier warhead, it has a slightly reduced maximum range of up to 480 km. This range was confirmed during the 'Zapad [West] 2017' exercise," he said.
The 9M729 comprises a warhead, modernised system, guidance unit, fuel system, engine, and booster. According to the Russian MoD, the missile has a range of 50-480 km, compared with 50-490 km for the 9M728, while its container is 7.93 m long and 0.514 m wide.
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