The SS-21 SCARAB (9K79 Tochka) single-stage, short-range, tactical-ballistic missile is transported and fired from the 9P129 6x6 wheeled transporter erector launcher. It is supported by a tactical transloader (9T218) and a 9T238 missile transporter trailer towed by a ZIL-131 truck. The 9P129 TEL crew compartment is in the forward section and the missile compartment behind. During transport the missile is enclosed with the warhead in a temperature-controlled casing.
The SS-21 SCARAB missile (9M79) has a maximum range of 70 km and a CEP of 160 meters, while the improved composite propellant 9M79-1 (Tochka-U) has a maximum range of 120 km. The basic warhead is the 9N123F HE-Frag warhead which has 120 kg of high explosives. The 9N123K submunition warhead can probably carry either bomblets or mines. The SS-21 can also carry the AA60 tactical nuclear warhead. Other warheads are believed to include chemical, terminally guided warhead, and a smart-munition bomblet warhead. In 1981, the SS-21, a guided missile (providing improvement in both range and accuracy), began replacing the FROG in forward-deployed divisions, and 140 are were deployed as of 1988. Division-level SS-21 battalions were being consolidated into brigades in Soviet armies in East Germany.
On 21 October 1999 US satellites [reportedly the Defense Support Program] tracked two Russian short-range ballistic missile launched from the Russian city of Mozdok some 60 miles northeast of Grozny. The missiles slammed into a crowded Grozny marketplace and a maternity ward, killing at least 143 persons, according to reports from the region. The missiles are believed by intelligence analysts to have been SS-21s.
Neighboring Syria, meanwhile, first tested semi-modern SCUD-C missiles imported from North Korea as early as 1992. By June 2000, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz reported that, based on U.S. and Israeli intelligence, China was helping the Iranians and Syrians build a factory to manufacture missile engines, guidance systems and solid propellant.
Since then analysts say Damascus has not only been working to acquire better ballistic-missile technology, but is building the means to conceal and defend them from attack.
According to Tim Brown, an analyst for Global Security, recent satellite photographs show increased construction around sites thought to be military development centers or underground storage facilities for missiles, their components or chemical weapons.
"The Syrians are interested in solid [fuel] rocket motor technology and were trying to acquire that from Russia," but had no luck doing so, Brown told WorldNetDaily. Instead, he said, "Iran bought remnants of one of the Russian rocket-motor factories and then sold it to the Syrians."
Satellite photo of Al Safir SCUD-D missile base and weapons depot shows entrances to underground facilities that may be used to build missiles or house chemical agents. Photo used with permission of Digital Globe.
Regarding the recent satellite photos, "we simply do not know what's being produced" at many sites, said Brown. But, he added, there is much "circumstantial evidence that indicates" the construction is related to the building of "either chemical weapons or missiles and components."
Also, U.S. intelligence says, China has provided launchers for some missiles.
NO DONG 3 BALLISTIC MISSILE