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Scud

Scud is the NATO reporting name (not an acronym) for a Soviet army short-range liquid propellant surface-to-surface ballistic missile, the SS-1. The Makeyev OKB Design Bureau developed it from the German V2 in the 1950s. Variants were the -B in 1961 and the -C in 1965, both of which could carry either a conventional high-explosive, a 5 to 80 kiloton nuclear, or a chemical (thickened VX) warhead. The -D variant developed in the 1980s can deliver a conventional high-explosive warhead, a fuel-air warhead, 40 runway-penetrator sub-munitions[?], or 100 5-kg anti-personnel bomblets.

All models are 11.25 meters long (except Scud-A, which is one meter shorter) and 0.88 meters in diameter. They are propelled by a single engine burning either kerosene and nitric acid in the Scud-A, or UDMH and RFNA (Russian SG-02 Tonka 250) in other models.

The name "Scud" is also used to refer to an Iraqi modification of the same missile. Altered for greater range, it came to particular prominence during the Gulf War, when a number of missiles were fired at Israel (40) and Saudi Arabia (46). The US-made Patriot missile system claimed successes in shooting down the missiles, but many critics claim that the accuracy of the Patriot missiles has been greatly exaggerated.

All "Scud" versions derive from the German V-2 rocket (just like the majority of early American missiles and rockets) and are (very) inaccurate due to their construction. The Iraqi modifications increased range, at the cost of accuracy.

As with some other missiles, the military advantage of this weapon consists in its ease of transportation, on a TEL vehicle (transporter-erector-launcher). This mobility allows for a choice of firing position and increases the survivability of the weapon system (to such an extent, that of the approximately 100 launchers claimed destroyed by coalition pilots and special forces in the Gulf War not a single destruction could be confirmed afterwards).

The Iraqis developed four versions: Scud, longer-range Scud, Al Hussein[?], and Al Abbas[?]. Apart from the almost unmodified weapon these were not successful missiles as they tended to break up in flight and had small warheads.

General Characteristics

DIA SS-1b SS-1c SS-1dSS-1e
NATO Scud-A Scud-B Scud-CScud-D
Deployment Date 1957 1965 19651980s
Withdrawn 1978
Range 130 km300 km 575-600km700 km
CEP (NATO estimate)4,000 m 900 m 900 m50 m



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