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Medvedev observes missile test-launch in Urals

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev observed the test launch of a tactical missile in a command and staff exercise in the southern Urals on Friday, a senior military commander said.
MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev observed the test launch of a tactical missile in a command and staff exercise in the southern Urals on Friday, a senior military commander said.

A Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) short-range tactical ballistic missile was launched at 3:10 p.m. Moscow time (11:10 GMT) at the Donguz proving ground in the Orenburg Region as part of a 74-day exercise, Ground Forces Commander Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev said.

He said a total of 40,000 servicemen were taking part in the exercise in the Volga-Urals Military District, named Tsentr-2008, and that it was the largest exercise of its kind in 20 years.

The drills involve motorized rifle, tank, artillery, antiaircraft, missile, and support units with over 700 armored vehicles (tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and self-propelled artillery systems) and more than 40 combat aircraft and helicopters.

The Tochka-U is a 1989 modification of the Tochka missile system that went into service with the Soviet military in 1976. It has an effective range of 120 km.

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