Strategic Weapons: August 6, 2002


Syria has begun series production of a new version of the Scud missile with a longer range (700km). The Israelis refer to this as the Scud-D, but the US says that designation has already been given to a North Korean variant unrelated to the Syrian program. The new Syrian variant of the Scud uses the Scud-C engine, but has a larger diameter to carry more fuel for a longer range and bigger warhead (700kg). The warhead, like those of all Scuds, separates from the missile body at the top of the trajectory and is spin-stabilized for its descent. This provides a more accurate warhead and the missile body is a handy decoy (as was proven in the Gulf War when Patriots hit several of them after passing by the warhead). The Syrians are using the Scud-C assembly line for the new missile and can probably build about 30 each year.--Stephen V Cole




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