Artillery: The Twin Grandsons of SCUD

August 5, 2007: Both China and Russia began developing, in the 1990s, another successor to the SCUD. Actually, the Russians wanted a replacement for the SS-23 (which did replace the SCUD in the 1970s). Russia came up with the SS-26, a two ton missile with a half ton warhead and a range of 280 kilometers. The SS-26 completed testing in 2004, and now Russia is trying to find export customers for it. Iran is interested.

China developed a similar missile, the B611. The first version had a range of 150 kilometers and a .3 ton warhead. The most recent version has a range of 250 kilometers, and a more accurate guidance system (using GPS, and possibly terminal guidance.) The B611 and SS-26 both use large trucks to haul them around (some with two missiles per truck), and to launch from. China wants to use the B611 as mobile heavy artillery in any attack on Taiwan. The missiles would be aimed at air bases, naval bases, and other high-value military targets.

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