|Country of Origin: Soviet Union|
Initial Year of Service: 1957
5,600kg battlefield missile
The SCUD missile system was the Soviet military long-range missile mainstay throughout the 70's and 80's. The system gained notoriety during the first Gulf War in 1991, where Saddam Hussein launched attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia using these missile systems with some success.
The SCUD missile is set upon a mobile 9P117 8x8 truck, which made it difficult for Allied aircrews and special forces to zero in on their locations (SCUD crews would launch their missiles and immediately move to a new location). The SCUB missile itself stemmed from post-World War Two Soviet engineering based on captured Geran V-2 rockets. The design firm of Korolyev was responsible for the research along with captured German scientists and engineers.
The missile itself was measured at 11.25m (36.9 ft) with a weight of 5,600kg (5.6 tons). The warhead consisted of a single payload measured at roughly 985kg and could be armed with conventional, nuclear or chemical armaments. The rocket was propelled by a single-stage liquid booster and had an overall range of 300km (186.4 miles). Once the rocket motor would give out, the missile system became completely unguided making the weapon extremely inaccurate.
Though reportedly not very accurate, the Cold War-era World War 2-devised SCUD system worked well enough under combat conditions as televised in the Iraq war of 1991 and served as a potent weapon for causing much angst in the Israeli public. About 30 deaths from SCUD missile attacks were reported from that war's use. Missile programs of Pakistan, North Korean and Iran have been reported to use the Soviet Scud-based technology to produce battlefield missiles capable of reaching up to 1,500km in range (932 miles). Add this range with the potent ability to deliver a payload of explosive, chemical, biological or even nuclear warheads and these armies gain a certain tactical advantage on the battlefield. A modernization program for the Scud missile system began in 1999, though the system is widely being replaced in most inventories.