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Subject: What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?
rayott    10/26/2005 5:17:11 PM
What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do? I was young back then, but I remember that in GW1 everybody was really worried about a truck launched sort of cruise missile that the Iraqi?s had called a ?scud?. Didn?t they launch a few at Israel? Didn?t we deploy the patriot missile to Israel to protect them against the scud, but didn?t a few get through anyway? How many got through? How accurate were they? How much damage did they do? What was their range? Do any countries still use them? Are they considered a threat to America? Were they used in GW2? I ask because I am reading a book about terrorism and it says that a possible terrorist threat is someone smuggling in scud missile and launching them at our bases. The theory is that they disassemble them into small parts, smuggle them in, reassemble them and put the launcher inside of a international shipping container (the cargo box on those big 18 wheelers tractor trailers we all see out on the interstate) and then drive them out to a road a few miles away from a base, off load it, launch it, and then leave it and drive away. If they were able to smuggle the parts in and reassemble (technically difficult) how much of a threat could they be? Do modern military bases in the US have protections (like Ft. Jackson, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Benning, Ft. Bragg, 29 palms, etc.) against rocket launches from a few miles away? Are the rockets big enough to really do much damage to a whole base? Are there really many of them left, or other similar systems? Who has them and how many?
 
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Carl S    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/26/2005 6:21:27 PM
In simplistic terms the Scud is a 1950s or 60s version of the old German V2. The USSR built a ton of them in many variations and foisted them off on their client states during the Cold War. Since then the owners who have no use for them have happily traded them about to those who want them. Generally they have to upgraded with new guidance systems if they are to hit anything, and often the propulsions systems must be rebuilt, or the fuel replaced if a solid fuel model. The payload can be about anything. A HE charge, bomblets, chemicals, ground up Plutonium, a flag with 'BANG' printed on it. Even if the warhead is loaded with packing bubble wrap these things are dangerous as you have several thousand Kg of metal falling from the sky, with whatever flamable and toxic fuel residue there is. The Scuds of Desert Shield were launched by the dozens & did little damage. Realative to the cost to the Iraqi government they were a failure, except the panic over them constituted some sort of propaganda gain.
 
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Carl S    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/26/2005 9:32:29 PM
To answer the last question, truck bombs are cheaper, easier for attacks like you describe, and far more accurate and effective than the Scuds.
 
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rayott    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/27/2005 2:49:49 AM
Whats the difference between a scud and a tomahawk cruise missle? Could you launch a cruise missle from a truck the way you can scuds? Is the only advantage to a cruise missle that they are more accurate? (aside from launching them from ships/subs)
 
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In_tHe_EnD24    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/27/2005 6:56:03 AM
The Scud is a ballistic missile, not a cruise missile like the Tomahawk. A ballistic miisle works by flying a ballistic arc from the launch point to the target, it launches high into the atomosphere, the fule is cut off, and then it falls and hopefully hits is target, old Scuds had radiocontorled fuel cut off more morden ones had internal guidence. Iraqi scuds had half the warhead taken out to increase range, but this distablised the flight pattern so it was really inaccurate. Flight is not sustained as with a crusie missile which uses a boost rocket motor for lift off, then flight is sustained with a mini jet engine. Crusie missile also fly close to the ground. And yes the US did develop a Ground launch system for the Tomahawk but I believe it has been removed from service, not sure thoguh.
 
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In_tHe_EnD24    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/27/2005 6:58:03 AM
Oh and I think North Kores attached Scud launchers to flat deck cargo ships, I have no idea how affective they would be.
 
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Carl S    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/27/2005 8:07:30 PM
As with the original V2 ballisitc missles are usually equipped with gyroscopic based guidance systems. But the Scuds & many similar missles are often copies of the 1940s German technology. As they fall on the downside of the trajectory the speed is extreme, often above the sound barrier (which causes a unstable missle to disintigrate). The old style guidance systems cant provide pinpoint accuracy in this context. Of course there are much better guidance systems installed on the best US and Soviet ballisitc missles, but these are not availalbe to the average missle buyer. Crusie missles travel at realatively low speeds an have larger aircraft style wings. These two factors allow a much more precise control.
 
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neutralizer    RE:What were the scuds? Who has them, what do they do?   10/28/2005 4:29:22 AM
Ground Launched Cruise Missiles were operated by USAF from a couple of bases in UK (also Italy?) in the 1980s.
 
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