Air Force Bases

RT-20P (SS-15 Scrooge) Russian Medium Range Ballistic Missile

First seen in the November 1965 Red Square parade, this is the largest mobile weapon system in the world to have been seen publicly. The tracked chassis, of IS-3 ancestry with 16 road wheels, carries a very large tubular container which elevates vertically but cannot open to release the missile. It is sized to fit a shortened SS-13, and most observers agree that this missile is the most likely answer, but how it is launched is unknown.

Cold launch is not possible, and the assumption is that the tube is used to protect the still-attached carrier and is not recovered after firing. With the carrier driven to a distance the tube would stand on the supporting surface and the efflux would all pass up the interior. Neither answer seems satisfactory, neither is the gross vehicle weight of some 132,275 pounds a happy situation. Another puzzle is why, after ten years as "SS-15", this system is now called "SS-XZ" in most American literature. Around 1970 it was accepted that this system was operational near the Chinese frontier around Buir Nor. Scrooges in the western Soviet Union may have been targeted throughout Western Europe and the UK, even if the first stage is shorter than that of SS-13.

Dimensions: Length estimated at about 60 feet; diameter of first stage assumed 5 feet 7 inches.
Launch weight: Probably about 61,828 pounds.
Range: Estimated at over 3,107 miles.

RT-20P (SS-15 Scrooge) Russian-Soviet Medium Range Ballistic Missile