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Russian air defense intercepts Ukrainian Tochka-U missile attack

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had intercepted a Ukrainian Tochka-U tactical missile. This interception was made in the Belgorod Region, a border region of Ukraine. This event allows us to take a closer look at the specificities of this Ukrainian missile.
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9P129 launching vehicle of 9K79 Tochka missile system. (Picture source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

The missile attack is said to have taken place at 5:00 a.m. In a previous incident in mid-November, a Tochka-U missile had been launched near the village of Rovenki in Belgorod.

The Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab-B) is an improved variant of the Tochka missile, designed to increase the weapon's range and accuracy. This tactical ballistic missile was introduced into the military in 1989.

The Tochka-U has a maximum range of 120 kilometers, a notable improvement over its predecessors. This extended range allows it to reach distant targets, thus offering greater tactical flexibility to the armed forces. The minimum firing range is 20 kilometers, and the missile can cover this distance in just 55 seconds. To reach its maximum range of 120 kilometers, it takes no more than 4.5 minutes.

Ukraine's use of the Tochka-U was particularly notable in the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region. Ukrainian forces have used a number of these ballistic missiles, equipped with high explosive warheads, against military bases and industrial installations.

In 2022, the use of these missiles by Ukraine intensified against Russian forces. However, Russian air defense systems, more advanced than those of the Donbas separatists, managed to intercept many Ukrainian missiles before they reached their targets. Despite this, there have been several occasions where Ukraine has successfully used these missiles against Russian targets, including air bases, ammunition depots, railway facilities, and other strategic infrastructure.

Since April 11, 2022, the Belgorod Region has been placed on high alert (yellow level) due to increased terrorist threats. This decision was motivated by the escalation of the situation along the Ukrainian-Russian border and the increase in activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in border areas.


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