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SS-21 Scarab: Russia's Forgotten (But Deadly) Ballistic Missile

September 12, 2016 Topic: Security Region: Eurasia Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: RussiaDefenseTechnologyBallistic MissilesWar

SS-21 Scarab: Russia's Forgotten (But Deadly) Ballistic Missile

While the world worries over other weapons platforms created by Moscow, this one is inflicting some serious battlefield losses.

Several other countries also maintain Tochkas. North Korea is believed to have an indigenously designed Tochka variant called the KN-2 Toksa. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan own small numbers, presumably ready for use against each other in their decades-long conflict over the Karabakh region. Belarus still maintains 36 launchers, Bulgaria 18, and Kazakhstan an unknown number.

The combat record of Tochka shows that even a Cold War-era tactical ballistic missile with a relatively short range is capable of wreaking considerable havoc—even against a force benefitting from air superiority and advanced air defenses.

Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

Image: An OTR-21 Tochka on parade in Yerevan, Armenia, May 7, 2015. Wikimedia Commons/Public domain