CSTO Member Belarus Purchased Chinese M20 Ballistic Missile Instead of Iskander-M Missile

In a recent release, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus noted the induction ceremony for the new ‘Polonez-M’ rocket launcher.

To mark the acceptance of the new rocket launcher, a ceremonial parade was held involving the personnel of the brigade, attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Viktor Gulevich.

“Our state’s leadership places significant emphasis on the development of missile forces and artillery, learning from the combat experience of warring armies,” commented the Chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian Armed Forces.

Gulevich highlighted the capabilities of the ‘Polonez-M’ missile system, which can precisely target up to eight objectives simultaneously at a distance of up to 300 kilometers, underscoring its unparalleled features in certain aspects. He congratulated the brigade personnel on acquiring the new upgraded complex with enhanced combat characteristics.

However, during the presentation, only the rocket launchers of the missile complex were showcased without the actual missiles.

It’s worth noting that Belarus does not possess its own long-range rocket production and missile systems. The ‘Polonez’ complex was developed with the use of Chinese-made rockets and ammunition.

This new version of ‘Polonez’ seems adapted for use with the M20 solid-fueled ballistic missile with a claimed range of 280 kilometers.

The M20, also known as DF-12, was specifically designed for export by the 9th Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) and was first introduced at the 10th International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in 2011.

Earlier, this missile was exhibited in 2017 alongside the ‘Polonez’ complex in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

Reports indicate that the missile is capable of maneuvering in flight, executing a pull-up maneuver in the terminal phase. Utilizing GPS and inertial guidance, the missile boasts an accuracy of up to a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 30 meters, although other reports suggest a 50-meter CEP.

Similar to the Russian ‘Iskander-E’, the export variant of the M20 cannot exceed a range of 300 km/500 kg and the threshold value of payload, as stipulated by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an agreement limiting the export of advanced missile technologies.

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