Saturday, November 7, 2009

Russian Tochka-U Missile Accidentally Self-Destructs During Exercises

Via -

The Russian Defence Ministry has revealed that an army OTR-21 Tochka-U (SS-21 'Scarab B') ballistic missile accidentally self-destructed during live-firing exercises on 28 October in the northwest of the country.

The incident took place at the Luga training area close to the Estonian and Latvian borders, just outside the missile's 120 km maximum effective range.

The exercise was carried out by the Russian Army's 26th Missile Brigade, based at the Luga Training Centre in the Leningrad Military District.

The firing follows the launch of another Tochka-U missile on 8 October from the Pavenkovo test site in the nearby Kaliningrad enclave during the final stages of Baltic Fleet coastal defence exercises.

Explaining that "the missile self-destructed at the height of 1000 m [3,000 ft]", spokesman Colonel Alexei Kuznetsov said that the weapon was already past the end of its service life and due for destruction. An accident investigation will take place.

Russia reportedly possesses 140 Tochka-U systems. Some 15 are said to have been deployed during the Georgian conflict with five attacks confirmed in addition to other missile attacks. The system's missiles can carry nuclear or conventional warheads.


OTR-21 Tochka is a Soviet short-range tactical ballistic missile. Its GRAU designation is 9K79; its NATO reporting name is SS-21 Scarab. It is transported in a 9P129 vehicle, then erected vertically prior to launch. The improved Scarab B (Tochka-U) was introduced in 1989. Improved propellant increased the range to 120 km (75 mi). CEP (Circular Error Probable) significantly improved, to less than 95 m (310 ft).

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