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The SS-21 (NATO designation: Scarab), or the 9K79 Tochka, is a solid-fuel, single-stage, short-range ballistic missile widely deployed by the Soviet army among its frontline brigades in the 1980's. Designed as a replacement for the FROG-7 missile system, it normally carried a 120-kg HE warhead, although it has been armed with bomblets, mines, chemical agents, and the AA60 tactical nuclear warhead.

It initially had a range of 70 km, although the improved Tochka-U increased this to 120 km. As of 1988, around 140 SS-21s were deployed in the frontline divisions, most notably in those stationed in East Germany. It is launched and fired from the ZIL-131 missile truck.

All nuclear-armed SS-21s have been rendered illegal by the 1987 INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty, although the non-nuclear versions are still widely deployed.

On October 21, 1999, two SS-21 missiles were reportedly launched from Mozdok, a city 60 miles northeast of Grozny, in Chechnya. Positively identified by US satellite data, the missiles hit a hospital and marketplace in Grozny, killing at least 143 Chechens, including some within the hospital's maternity ward.

Data taken from www.fas.org.

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