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Short-Range Ballistic Missile

OTR - 23 "Oka"

NATO Designation SS-23 "Spider"

The OTR-23 (SS-23 "Spider") short range ballistic missiles

Entered service in 1980
Range 50 - 400 km
Weight 4 500 - 5 000 kg
Weight of warhead 455 - 715 kg
Type of warhead nuclear (100 - 500ktons), high-explosion, cluster
Guidance inertial + radiolocation
Number of stages 1
Deflection from the target 10 m
Length 7.5 m
Diameter 0.9 m
Carried by BAZ-6944 high-mobility amphibious vehicle
Characteristics of the launching vehicle
Weight (empty) 24.7 t
Weight in combat order 29 t
Length 11 760 mm
Width 3 130 mm
Height in march position 3 000 mm
Engine power 400 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Maximum amphibious speed on water 10 km/h

   In the middle of 1970s in the Kolomna machine-building design bureau, under the leadership of S.P.Nepobedimij began development of an OTR-23 "Oka" short-range ballistic missile. It was intended to replace the 9K72 "Elbrus" ( known as "Scud") "The OTR-23 entered service in 1980. Missiles were manufactured at Botkinsk machine-building plant, while launching vehicles at Petropavlovsk heavy machine-building plant (Kazakhstan). This missile complex was designated as SS-23 "Spider" by NATO.

   The 9M714 "Oka" is a single stage, solid fuel ballistic missile. It is completed with inertial guidance system with a radiolocation correction on a final stage of the flight, providing high fire accuracy. 9K714 "Spider" has a range of fire in 50 - 400 kilometers and is intended to defeat the most important enemy targets, such as command posts, anti-aircraft defense batteries, missile launching grounds, airfields, means of communication.

   Missile complex uses various types of warheads including the 9M714V nuclear (100 - 500 ktons), 9M714F high-explosion, and 9M714K cluster. Missiles with the nuclear warheads were used only by Soviet strategic missile forces. Missiles with cluster warheads had a warhead weight in 715 kg and featured 95 charges. Charges were spread in the altitude of 3 000 m and covered square in 80 - 100 000 mē. It had a range of fire up to 300 kilometers.

   Missile is carried and launched from the BAZ-6944 high-mobility amphibious 8 x 8 vehicle, built in Briansk. Vehicle is powered by the UTD-25 engine, reaching 400 hp. The BAZ-6944 reaches it's maximum road speed in 70 km/h and fords water obstacles in 8 - 10 km/h. The same vehicle is used as a the 9T230 transport-reloading vehicle for the SS-23 missile complex. Reloading vehicle features nearly the same characteristics.

   Launching vehicle prepares missile for launch and calculates or changes in-flight trajectory by itself. Vehicle's crew prepares ballistic missile for launch from the inside of the vehicle and has no need to step outside it The BAZ-6944 has a nuclear, biological, chemical protection system with a pressurized compartments. The OTR-23 complex is prepared to fire in less than 10 minutes.

   In November 1987 presidents of the Soviet Union and the United States of America signed an agreement due to limitation of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles elimination (INF Treaty). M.Gorbachiov without consultancy with the military head staff decided to include the OTR-23 "Oka" into the list of elimination as a sign of a good will. However the SS-23 "Spider" had a range of fire in 400 kilometers and the shortest range for the INF Treaty missile elimination was 500 kilometers. Executing it's part of the agreement in 1990 the Soviet Union destroyed all OTR-22 "Temp-S" (SS-22 "Scaleboard" medium range ballistic missile) and OTR-23 "Oka" missiles and launching vehicles.

   After the INF Treaty the operators of the SS-23 "Spider" remained Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Bulgaria. All countries operated 72 missiles bought from the Soviet Union. East Germany refused and eliminated these missiles at the beginning of 1990s. After the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia the OTR-23 missiles were divided in proportions 2:1 between Czech Republic and Slovakia, and launching vehicles 1:1 respectively. Czech Republic decided to eliminate these missiles in a short time after they were received. Slovakia eliminated it's "Spiders" in 1997 however it still left one launching vehicle and one hollow missile of each type for museum purposes.

   Some years ago the only operator of the SS-23 "Spider" was Bulgaria. However in this country missiles were also planned to be eliminated.

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