Friday, October 30, 2009

The SS-21 SCARAB short-range ballistic missile's self-destruction

MOSCOW: The SS-21 SCARAB short-range ballistic missile self-destructed on Thursday, October 30th shortly after a practice launch at training grounds in northwestern Russia, the Defense Ministry said. The accident occurred during life-firing drills at the Luga training grounds in the Leningrad Region. No casualties or damage have been reported. The missile self-destructed at the height about 1,000 meters. The official added that the missile was carrying a dummy warhead because its service life has expired and it was due for destruction. Nevertheless, an investigation into the accident will be launched. According to the official, the second SS-21 missile, which was launched during the same drills, hit the designated target. The SS-21 Scarab short-range tactical ballistic missile is a 1989 modification of the Tochka missile system that went into service with the Soviet military in 1976. It has an effective range of 120 km (70 miles). The SS-21 SCARAB (Tochka-U) is a high-precision weapon that can be used for strikes on enemy tactical targets, such as control posts, bridges, storage facilities, troop concentrations and airfields. It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads. At least 15 Tochka missile systems were reportedly deployed by Russia during the five-day war with Georgia in August 2008.