Re: Sorry that handle Re: Voland's right hand Two steps forward...
".....Has Patriot's been tested in that role?...." Even first generation Patriot could, as shown during the 1991 Gulf War when they swatted Scuds out of the sky. Iskander is little more than just a developed Scud, not the all-singing, all-dancing, magically-teleporting-about-the-sky superweapon Voland thinks it is. What Iskander can do that the new RS-28 can't is go out on the road and be launched from just about anywhere, making it much harder to strike pre-emptively or monitor for launch plumes. That was the real problem of Saddam's Scuds during the Gulf Wars - their mobility. As the RS-28 will go into already known silos they will all be under 24x7 surveillance from US satellites watching for any hint of launch activity (such as fueling up), even before we get to launch plumes (nice big IR indicator). As it is, the Kaliningrad Oblast is small enough that satellite tracking of Iskander mobile launchers trying to hide wouldn't be too hard a task.
Iskander does pay a penalty for being mobile and staying sub-orbital in that it is smaller and much shorter-ranged (@280-500km). Going orbital makes for true long range, staying inside the atmosphere requires a massive amount of fuel to go intercontinental, especially if you want to try maneuvering inside the atmosphere. Iskander only maneuvers on the downward arc of its trajectory, not during the climb, making it vulnerable to anti-ballistic missiles after launch. If the RS-28 wants to try hypersonic maneuvering inside the atmosphere without folding up it will not be making small turns but massive arcs, which will not be hard to track and intercept. Claims that any ICBM will be flying nap-of-the-Earth like a cruise missile but at hypersonic speeds are too stupid for words, as maneuvering at such speeds would require a structure made with massive amounts of reinforcing to handle the stresses, so much so the warhead would be tiny. The fact that the RS-28 uses the same engine modules as the old R-36M2, which are not designed for hypersonic maneuvering inside the atmosphere, goes to show the RS-28 is just the same-old-same-old in an updated wrapper.
Pootie needs his part of the MAD balance to be at least a viable threat, and there are rumours that the older Soviet ICBMs simply rotted in their silos to the point where only one-in-four were fit to launch, let alone deliver their warheads successfully. The RS-28 is just Pootie updating his old kit with new kit plus a lot of propaganda.