Monday, May 23, 2022

Russian Tochka-U ballistic missiles return to service amid Ukraine war

The Russian military forces’ Tochka-U ( NATO reporting name is SS-21 Scarab-B) tactical ballistic missiles are operational again, according to open-source-intelligence analysts who scrutinize photos and videos on social media.

Belarus-based analyst released Wednesday video footage reportedly showing a column of Russian military vehicles with “V” marks, which was moving from Rechitsa towards Gomel along the M10 highway.

“There were at least 8 Tochka-U, several BTR-82a, about 9 KamAZ trucks, some of which are carrying Tochka-U missiles, communication vehicle and a crane,” the MotolkoHelp said in a Twitter post.

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Russian Armed Forces are reportedly using Tochka-U to strike targets in Ukraine.

The Thocka-U is a mobile missile launch system, designed to be deployed along with other land combat units on the battlefield. The missile itself can be used for precise strikes on enemy tactical targets, such as control posts, bridges, storage facilities, troop concentrations and airfields. The fragmentation warhead can be replaced with a nuclear, biological or chemical warhead. The solid propellant makes the missile easy to maintain and deploy.

The missile launcher and TEL vehicle are based on unique BAZ-5921 6×6 amphibious wheeled chassis.

On 16 March, Russian officials assured in their letter to the UN Security Council and General Assembly that Tochka-U tactical missiles are not in service in the Russian Armed Forces.

“… it should be noted that Tochka-U tactical missiles are not in service in the Russian Armed Forces,” the letter says.

The Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile system was officially withdrawn from Russian Army service in 2019 (actually in 2021), but apparently, military necessity forced it to be returned to service again.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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