Jeffrey LewisDIAC has a Scud!

Did you know there is a Scud missile in the lobby of the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center.  A colleague sent along this little video, noting that if you look closely, there it is at 0:13! (Apparently, they also use it as a rally point as in “meet by the Scud”.)

I know that the United States acquires foreign military equipment, including Scuds, on a fairly regular basis.  Still, I’d love to know the story on this one.  There has to be a plaque or something.

What amazing schwag!  This ranks right up there with the B61 in the Forrestal Lobby.

Speaking of which, I tried Googling “B61” and “Forrestal” just to make sure my memory was correct.  Nothing.  Nada.  Washington has all these buildings with military trophies and such — a Scud at DIAC, a B61 at Forrestal, the centrifuge casing Paula DeSutter tried to take home.  (Where is that, now?)

We really should compile an Arms Control Wonk Guide to these sorts of exhibits in the greater Washington DC area.


  1. russiannavyblog (History)
  2. Paula DeSutter (History)

    The P2 Centrifuge, which was removed from Libya and given to me by DoE, is still somewhere in the State Department in the Verification Bureau! These are not public spaces, but maybe the folks can get you a photo…

    While I was Assistant Secretary, I was reading Robert Norris’ excellent book “Racing for the Bomb.” That was how we discovered, and then confirmed, that the Bureau spaces were once the headquarters for the Manhattan Project. Together with Cynthia Kelly of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, we hosted a “Groves Day” to commemorate and mark that history. Hopefully the Groves plaque remains in his office as a testimonial.

    You might consider contacting Cynthia Kelly, who has worked to retain and mark these important historical elements.

  3. Ralph Hitchens (History)

    Ah, wartime souvenirs! Back in the day, Danang Air Base in the then-Republic of Vietnam was known by us imperialist running dogs as “Rocket City,” as the VC would frequently sneak in close enough to the perimeter to launch Soviet-made 122mm rockets — unguided and inaccurate, but they did occasionally hit something and kill someone. The detachment commander of my gunship squadron, a very unpopular fellow, had one of these rockets in his office, a gift from the local ARVN commander after one of our aircraft shot up a group of VC and disrupted a pending attack. Some months later we were all amused to hear that the rocket had never been disarmed. I’m sure DIA was a lot more careful.

  4. Stephen Schwartz (History)

    In the mid-1990s, there was a W62 or W78 warhead on display in the lobby at Langley (as part an exhibit on verification measures).

  5. Alex W. (History)

    I believe the B61 at Forrestal is just a trainer unit, not a casing of a once-bomb. Not a huge difference there, but you know, for the purists…

    I very recently had dinner with some Smithsonian admins who told me an interesting yarn about various official folks occasionally showing up in Entenmenn’s trucks when they want to appear discreet about picking up old bomb casings for further “sanitizing.” They weren’t 100% sure if it was true or not, but it’s apparently a story circulating amongst those folks.

  6. Philipp (History)

    If I recall correctly, I think the Forrestal casing is for a mod-11, although I don’t know whether there’s a helpful placard or I just inferred that from what appeared to be a depleted uranium (or tungsten?) tip.

  7. Allen Thomson (History)

    > I know that the United States acquires foreign military equipment, including Scuds, on a fairly regular basis. Still, I’d love to know the story on this one.

    I don’t know about this particular one, but the US acquired a brace of functional SCUDS from a former Warsaw Pact country back in the early ’90s and has been using them for BMD targets, training and static displays. Back around 1995 or 96 one was parked on its TEL in front of CIA HQ on the occasion of a counter-proliferation symposium.

    • W (History)

      The Ukraine reported in the UN register of conventional arms it had delivered
      4 9P117M1 ‘SKAD-B system launching equipment’ and 1 9K52 Luna (FROG-7) to the USA in 2005
      According to Jane’s defence weekly the US also bought 31 Scud-B + 4 TEL from ‘undisclosed governments in Eastern Europe’ in 1996 to be used for training/testing of ABM systems under Willow Sand’ programme; US did not notify MTCR members because MI not used for MTCR purposes.

      For the rest, the world is bigger than Washington…
      – There used to be a big chunk of an SA-2 engine which had been part of Irak’s al-Samud-II programme lurking around in the corridor of the arms control section of the Dutch MoFA.
      – rumours go that a colleague in the arms control field smuggled by plane a Chinese ballistic missile submarine stored in a fish tank out of China to a country in the Nordic hemisphere.

    • A Complete Stranger (History)

      I have a great picture of a scud on a tel parked in front of the US capital. But Allen brings up an interesting “Where is Question”. Where is that missile battalion now? It seems to have just disappeared.

  8. Steeljaw Scribe (History)

    Google Maps: 34.644413, -86.658759
    Checkout the SA-6’s and a few other interesting bits sitting outside soaking up some sun…
    w/r, SJS

  9. John (History)

    Which agency has the massive penetrator in its lobby? [not that size matters]

  10. Jim (History)

    The SCUD at DIAC may be one of the ones that was stored at DIA/MSIC in the 1990s. They conducted missile and TEL orientation courses there for people in the community, including the basics of operating the surveying and aiming equipment on the old MAZ-543 SCUD TEL. The practical exam in the afternoon was a team exercise to survey, dial in, and simulate firing on a trajectory from Huntsville to Auburn stadium.

  11. Gridlock (History)

    Is here the appropriate place to bring up the Soviet Embassy/nuke via diplomatic bag story again? 🙂

    • Jeffrey (History)

      Ha! Brilliant!

  12. aditya (History)

    Iam Outraged, at 1.50 sec the video shows Agni missile in the context of proliferation of WMD. :p

  13. abjectief (History)

    Though its not a weapon, and CERN is not even in the United States, I’ve always deemed their Shiva “The destroyer of worlds” statue somewhat sinister and provoking, no matter the good intentions of the gift, and the totally negligible the odds of a black hole.

  14. krepon (History)

    Ya gotta love ACW readers.