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Soviet Trade of Weapons

Aug 17, 2007
Soviet battle equipment seems to be popping up all over the world, but by far the most concerning of USSR hardware, is the Short range SCUD missile and the SA-8 platform. What are the ranges of the weapons and what others types are there, this can include Warsaw pact and post-WSP weapons. How? Is it even possible for someone be able to obtain a compatible warhead or weapon and activate it with a ranged missile asset Directly from Russia or its military?

The SS-1c SCUD is a single-stage, short-range tactical ballistic missile, using storable liquid propellants. It is transported, and fired from a TEL based on a MAZ-543 wheeled (8 x 8) chassis. The SCUD was designed for targets such as marshaling areas, major storage dumps, and airfields. The SCUD, which has a maximum range of 300 km, has been deployed in three variants: (S-1b) SCUD A, (SS-1c) SCUD B, and SCUD D. The primary difference between each of these variants is their guidance system and resulting CEP.

The SCUD A and SCUB B have a rudimentary inertial guidance system using three gyroscopes and have a CEP of 450 meters. The SCUD D has an active radar terminal seeker to refine the aim point as the warhead approaches the target, and a CEP of 50 m. The warhead separates from the motor and fuel tank assembly following motor burn-out to increase warhead stability and accuracy. All of the SCUD variants are capable of delivering the same warheads: HE, chemical, and nuclear. The MAZ-543 TEL gives the SCUD missile system greater road mobility. It reduces the number of support vehicles required, and still preserves a great choice in selecting off-road firing positions.

The SA-8 GECKO is a single-stage, solid-fuel, short-range, low-altitude, all-weather SAM system. The TELAR (transporter erector launcher and radar) vehicle is a six-wheeled design designated BAZ-5937. The SA-8a (GECKO Mod 0) high acceleration missile (Factory Index number 9M33) has a launch weight of about 130 kg. Maximum speed is Mach 2.4; minimum altitude is 25 m, maximum effective altitude 5000 m. The minimum range is 1500 m and the maximum range 12000 m. Against an F-4 Phantom target the warhead's lethal radius at low altitude is 5 m and is fitted with proximity and contact fuses. In 1980 a newer missile, the SA-8b or GECKO Mod 1, was introduced into service. Contained in a rectangular launch box it has improved guidance and speed characteristics to give an increased maximum range of 15000 m.

The warhead weight of both missiles is 19 kg. The reloading time is five minutes. Combat deployment time is four minutes with system reaction 26 seconds.

The surveillance radar of the LAND ROLL operates in the H band and has an effective range of around 30 kilometers against a typical target. The tracking radar is of the pulsed type and it operates in the J band with a range of 20 to 25 kilometers. The two I-band guidance radars make it possible to launch two missiles at the same target, each one responding to a different frequency to frustrate ECM.

Mounted on the top of each missile guidance radar is an LLLTV/optical assist system for target tracking in low visibility and heavy ECM. LAND ROLL is also known to have a short-range target acquisition capability.

The vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two water jets at the rear of the hull. The vehicle is fitted with an air filtration and overpressure NBC system together with IR systems for the commander and driver.

There are at least three major families of SA-8 launch vehicles. The first has a very blunt nose, and may be a pre-series prototype. The standard production type for the SA-8a has a sharper nose, and there appear to be sub-variants of this vehicle with minor changes in the detail of hull fittings.

The SA-8b vehicle is basically similar to the SA-8a vehicle mentioned above aside from the launcher details to accommodate six missile canisters.

There are also indications that a distinctly different SA-8b launcher may exist, with a reconfigured rear end. In 1991 SA-8b TELs were seen with an additional small sized radar antenna fitted above the surveillance radar. It is possible that the antenna may be associated with a new IFF system.

The Russian military-industrial complex markets many of their weapon systems worldwide. Add to this the fact that many countries who have this equipment also sell some of their stocks leads to proliferation of many systems.

The SCUD Surface to surface missiles are of particular concern, mostly because a variety of countries, most notably North Korea have modified and improved them - and sell them to whomever has the money.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.CombatCloth.info/. CombatCloth.info carries the best selection of combat clothing, gear, and accessories on the market.
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