Short range ballistic missile

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Short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) were the first and still most common class of ballistic missiles, with a range between 150-799 km/94-499 mi. The class started with the German V-2 in the Second World War, which was cloned into the Soviet SS-1 SCUD series and derivatives, used by many nations.

V-2 and SCUD missiles were sufficiently inaccurate that they represented a primarily psychological threat if equipped with high-explosive warheads. Only if the SCUD had a nuclear warhead could it reliably destroy a specific target.

More modern SRBMs are smaller, more mobile, and much more accurate than their predecessors. One example, the U.S. MGM-140B ATACMS Block 1A is assigned to corps-level forces to give ground commanders a quick-response option, independent of air forces, to engage deep theater targets of opportunity, such as command posts.

SRBMs are relatively slow, and were the first type that could be engaged by theater anti-ballistic missiles. While later analysis showed that few if any Gulf War SCUDs and SCUD derivatives were actually hit by the first-generation U.S. MIM-104 Patriot missiles, current U.S. Patriot, THAAD and RIM-156 Standard SM-2; European Aster; Russian [[S-300 (missile)] and other missiles are a substantial defense. Defenses still can be overloaded, and the faster medium range ballistic missiles are harder to intercept.