developed Scud missiles Short-range ballistic missiles, perhaps the worst-known missile of modern times, were one of the nuclear assets of Soviet leaders during the Cold War. Today, more than six decades later, the “DNA” of Scud missiles is scattered all over the world, so that it can be found in ballistic missiles of North Korea to me Iran even To whom. and became Scud missiles Heavy action is more visible than ever, as dozens of them are being launched in the ongoing Yemeni civil war.
What is a Scud missile?
The Scud missile is a direct product of captured wartime German missile technology. Soviet testing with the Nazi V-2 rocket led to a ten-year development effort, culminating in the R-11M, which the Union demonstrated across Red Square in November 1957.
The liquid-fueled R-11M missile can fire a conventional high-explosive warhead up to 167 miles (268.7 kilometers) and a heavier nuclear warhead up to 93 miles (approximately 149.5 kilometers). NATO called the R-11M the “Scud”, and with the advent of later versions it became known as the “Scud-A”.
The short range of the Scud-A made this missile a tactical nuclear delivery system. The missile’s accuracy was poor, with a possible rotation error – or the distance at which half of the missile’s warhead would fall – at a distance of 1.8 miles (approximately 2.9 kilometers). This error, along with the rudimentary state of the early development of nuclear weapons, meant that Scuds, despite being a tactical system, were still equipped with large warheads with a capacity of 20 to 100 kilotons.
The evolution of the Soviet Scud missiles
Says a report by the American magazine The National Interest The basic Scud missile design underwent several updates during the Cold War. The R-17, also known as the Scud-B, was introduced in 1965.
The Scud-B switched to an 8×8 wheeled, erection-and-shooting unit, and increased the nuclear payload’s range from 93 to 167 miles (from approximately 149.5 kilometers to 268.7 kilometers).
The new inertial guidance system reduced the accuracy of the Scud-B to 0.6 miles (0.9 km), and although the new missile was by no means a “precision-guided weapon”, it was still much more accurate than its predecessor.
Military analyst Stephen Zaloga estimates the total number of Scuds produced of all types at about ten thousand, with five to six thousand remaining by 1997. Total production of launchers was estimated at 800. The Scuds have gone out of production and are no longer in service with the Russian army.
Despite being retired from service by the Russian army, SCUD is still active
However, the end of the Cold War did not mean the end of the Scuds. The missiles were first used in the region during the Iran-Iraq war, when Iranian “Scud” missiles, purchased from Libya, were directed against Iraqi cities.
Iraq, which was unable to respond to distant Iranian cities with its own Scud missiles, began a program to develop long-range missiles. This resulted in the development of the “Al-Hussein”, a ballistic missile with a range of 400 miles (643.7 kilometers). Hundreds of Iranian “Scud” missiles and Iraqi “Al-Hussein” missiles were launched during the war, most of them on civilian targets, and Iraq alone launched 516 “Scud-BS” and “Al-Hussein” missiles on Iranian soil.
Iraq used Al-Hussein missiles again in 1991, when it launched an estimated 93 missiles, including against Israel and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Although Saddam Hussein’s Iraq no longer existed, Iran continued to develop ballistic missiles.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative believes that Iran has at least 200 to 300 Scud missiles, with 12 to 18 mobile launchers, and 25 to 100 Shahab-3 missiles identical to North Korea’s Nodong medium-range ballistic missile. With 6 launchers. The Nodong missile is also a descendant of the Scud. However, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which provided these figures, warns that they include missiles imported from abroad and “do not take into account Iranian domestic production.”
At the same time, Iran was able to increase the range of the Shahab-3 missile, which led to the production of the Ghadr-1 with a capacity of 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers). The Ghadr-1 missile, in turn, represents the first stage of the Safir space launch vehicle. Iran’s recent advances in solid-fuel missiles have halted the country’s further development of weapons based on Scud missiles, but the latter has undoubtedly been instrumental in giving systems like Iran a reliable platform for early-stage research and development.
Most countries have developed Scud missile systems
In addition, North Korea is one of the main users and developers of the Scud platform. Pyongyang received two Scud B missiles from Egypt sometime between 1976 and 1981. The then-nascent missile research project got its start, and by 1986 it had developed a domestically made version, the Hwasong-5 ″, with an increase in range and payload by 10 to 15%.
However, the requirement to strike US bases in Japan brought North Korean missile scientists back to square one, and by 1994 they had developed what became known as “Nodong”, which has a range of 932 miles (1,499 km), or enough to hit Okinawa (Japan’s southernmost point). ).
Nodong is not an accurate missile; It has a circular error potential of 1.26 miles (2 kilometers). North Korea has exported Nodong technology to Iran to build the Shahab-3 missile. The Nodong was also used as the basis for the Taepodong-1 medium-range ballistic missile (which is no longer in service) and a combination of Nodong and Scud engines to power the Unha-3 space launch vehicle.
Scud missiles appear in the Yemen war
During the ongoing Yemeni civil war, several Scuds were fired, allegedly from the stocks of the Yemeni army purchased from North Korea. These missiles were directed against targets including the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as well as Mecca.
It is difficult to obtain an accurate estimate of the number of ballistic missiles launched in the conflict. But one piece of evidence lies in a statement earlier this year by Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot missile, claiming that since “January 2015, the Patriot system has intercepted more than 100 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world.”
While the Scud did not fire with fury in the Cold War for which it was originally designed, ironically it has become a major military threat in the post-Cold War era. Since then, the missile has generated more dangerous, and even worse, missile research programs, into the hands of various nations. Although the Scuds themselves will eventually disappear, their legacy will continue to haunt the world for decades to come.