The 9K52 Luna-M (Russian: Луна; English: moon) is a Soviet short-range artillery rocket system. The 9M21 missiles are unguided and spin-stabilized. "9K52" is its GRAU designation. Its NATO reporting name is FROG-7. "FROG" is an acronym for "Free Rocket Over Ground".
The 9M21 rockets are mounted on a wheeled 9P113 transporter erector launcher (TEL) based on the ZIL-135 8x8 army truck. The TEL features a large hydraulic crane used for reloading rockets from 9T29 transporters (also ZIL-135 based). The 9M21 has a range up to 70 km and a CEP (circular error probable) between 500 m and 700 m. The road mobile rocket has a 550 kg warhead and is capable of delivering high explosive, nuclear, or chemical warheads. Six units of the initial version of 9M21 were present and ready to fire in Cuba during the missiles crisis in October 1962 with the presence of already installed nuclear warheads on them, with a total of 70 warheads already stockpiled also in the island, and the Luna was later extensively deployed throughout Soviet satellite states. The rocket has been widely exported and is now in the possession of a large number of countries. After the war with Iran, Iraq modified its stock of 9M21s by extending their range to 90 km and fitting a submunition-carrying warhead. The rocket was renamed Laith-90.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in the Battle of the Karbala Gap, the Headquarters of the 2nd Brigade, US 3rd Infantry Division, Tactical Operations Center (TOC) of U.S Col. David Perkins was targeted and struck by an Iraqi FROG-7 rocket or an Ababil-100 SSM missile, killing three soldiers and two embedded journalists. Another 14 soldiers were injured, and 22 vehicles destroyed or seriously damaged, most of them unarmored Humvees.
Variants[edit | edit source]
- Nuclear-armed variant, fitted with a 500 kg (1,213-lb) warhead.
- This variant is fitted with a 390 kg (860-lb) warhead.
- Iraqi version with increased range (90 km) and submunition warhead.
Operators[edit | edit source]
Current[edit | edit source]
- Belarus - Some (36 units of 9K52 and Tochka)
- Cuba - 65
- Egypt - 288 units
- Libya - 45
- North Korea - Some (24 units of 9K52 and 2K6 Luna)
- Russia - Some in storage
- Syria - 18
- Ukraine - 50
- Yemen - 12
Former[edit | edit source]
- East Germany
- Kuwait (Captured by Iraqi forces during the Gulf War)
- South Yemen
- Soviet Union
References[edit | edit source]
- Cordesman, Anthony: Iraq and the War of Sanctions. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. Page 453. ISBN 027596528
- UK MOD Operation Ellamy from Global Security website, 9 May 2011
- Military balance 2010
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 9K52 Luna-M.|
- FAS - Military Analysis Network
- Profile of the Frog 7 from The Whirlwind War a publication of the United States Army Center of Military History
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