Analysis Syrian Scud tactical missiles could be a threat for Turkey TASS 11902161

The conflict in Syria
 
Analysis: Syrian Scud tactical missiles could be a threat for Turkey.
Missile complex 9K72 Elbrus classified by NATO as SS-1C Scud-B is a dinosaur among operational and tactical missiles. However despite the age it can pose a serious threat to air and naval bases. At present the Syrian army is armed with Elbrus which was used during the civil war and in repelling the aggression of international terrorists.
     
Missile complex 9K72 Elbrus classified by NATO as SS-1C Scud-B is a dinosaur among operational and tactical missiles. However despite the age it can pose a serious threat to air and naval bases. At present the Syrian army is armed with Elbrus which was used during the civil war and in repelling the aggression of international terrorists. Militant Islamist fighters in military vehicles parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province on Monday, showing off weapons, including a captured Scud missile that experts say appears inoperable. (Image July 2014)
     
The Soviet Union began to supply the missiles to its ally 40 years ago. The Syrian army received a total of 18 launchers and close to two hundred missiles. Elbrus is mounted on cross-country MAZ-543M trucks. The liquid-fuel missile can deliver the warhead weighing close to one ton at a distance of 300 kilometers. Precision is 450 meters.

It was reported that Syria in cooperation with North Korea and Iran obtained several hundred modernized missiles with a range of 700 kilometers. The range was increased due to lower weight of the warhead and higher precision. The first six 9K72 missiles were reportedly fired in December 2012.

Since then it has been regularly reported that the missiles were being used against terrorists which caused nervous reaction of the United States and its allies.

Military experts believe the Syrians have preserved most of the relatively new missiles supplied by North Korea and Iran. They are kept in underground shelters in safe places of the country.

Modernized Scud missiles pose a major threat to military facilities of potential aggressors. At present the Syrians have demolition and cluster warheads which can deliver efficient strikes at airbases. Even if the strike is not very precise military experts agree the objects of attack will no longer be operational.

A major drawback of the complex is the long time required for launch preparation. However developments in Yemen where Houthi rebels use the missiles against Saudi armed forces demonstrated that even the modern and powerful air force of the kingdom is incapable of detecting the launchers on the ground.

As for intercepting the missiles, Turkey at present has no modern air defenses with a potential of non-strategic missile defense while NATO is unlikely to support Turkish aggression in Syria.

According military sources, Syria has a total of 26 Scud missile launchers including Scud-B and Scud-C. The Scud-B and the Scud-C, both could carry either a conventional HE (high-explosive), a 5- to 80-kiloton thermonuclear, or chemical warhead. The Scud-B has a maximum range of 300 km while the Scud-C has a maximum range of 550 km.

In July 2014, a picture was released on Internet showing Militant Islamist fighters parade including a captured Scud missile that experts say appears inoperable.
     
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