OTR-21 Tochka/SS-21 Scarab

So Jason and I discussed this bit of news while recording another podcast. A UAE Patriot battery successfully intercepted an SS-21 Scarab short range ballistic missile fired from Yemen by Houti rebels* at coalition forces in or near Saudi Arabia.

What is the SS-21 Scarab? The Russian designation is OTR-21 Tochka (Point). It’s a solid fuel guided short range missile. Depending on the variant, it has a range of from 40 miles to about 110 miles.  Doctrinally, a Soviet army commander would use these to attack deep behind our lines at key installations, such as supply or fuel depots, airfields, air defense installation, or key command and control nodes. It was, and is, a potent weapon.

Here’s Ukrainian forces launching a pair at Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcA3LtpiQOQ]

Not everything works all the time.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1KQGEuFM0E]

*Which we suspect are really Iranians from the Quds Force or IRGC.

1 thought on “OTR-21 Tochka/SS-21 Scarab”

  1. According to Ted Postol (MIT) this couldn’t have possibly happened. (But anthropomorphic global warming is a fact.)

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