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OTR-21 Tochka
SS-21 Scarab
Tochka-U rep parad Yekat.jpg
Type Tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1976 – present (Scarab A)
1986 – present (Scarab B)
Used by See operators
Production history
Manufacturer KBM (Kolomna)
Specifications
Weight 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) Scarab A
2,010 kg (4,430 lb) Scarab B
Length 6.4 m (21 ft)
Diameter 0.65 m (2 ft 2 in)

Warhead Chemical, 100 kt nuclear warhead, EMP, or fragmentation filling

Engine Single-stage solid propellant
Operational
range
70 km (43 mi) Scarab A
120 km (75 mi) Scarab B
Speed 1.8 km/s (1.1 mi/s)
Guidance
system
Inertial with GLONASS
Launch
platform
BAZ-5921 Mobile TEL

OTR-21 Tochka (Russian: оперативно-тактический ракетный комплекс (ОТР) «Точка»; English: Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka", "Point") is a Soviet short-range tactical ballistic missile. Its GRAU designation is 9K79; its NATO reporting name is SS-21 Scarab. It is transported in a 9P129 vehicle and raised prior to launch. It uses an inertial guidance system. The OTR-21 forward deployment to the German Democratic Republic began in 1981, replacing the earlier FROG series of unguided ballistic missiles.

Description[edit | edit source]

The OTR-21 is a mobile missile launch system, designed to be deployed along with other land combat units on the battlefield. While the FROG-7 is large and relatively inaccurate, the OTR-21 is much smaller. The missile itself can be used for precise strikes on enemy tactical targets, such as control posts, bridges, storage facilities, troop concentrations and airfields. The fragmentation warhead can be replaced with a nuclear, biological or chemical warhead. The solid propellant makes the missile easy to maintain and deploy. OTR-21 units are usually managed in a brigade structure. There are 18 launchers in a brigade; each launcher is provided with 2 or 3 missiles. The vehicle is completely amphibious, with a maximum road speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) and 8 km/h (5.0 mph) in water. It is NBC-protected. The system has been in development since 1968. Three variants have been created.

Scarab A[edit | edit source]

The initial Scarab A entered service with the Soviet Army in 1975. It carries one of three types of warhead:

  • 482 kg (1,063 lb) of conventional HE
  • fragmentation (lethal radius more than 200 m (660 ft)
  • nuclear

The minimal range is about 15 km (9.3 mi), maximum range is 70 km (43 mi); its Circular Error Probable (CEP) is estimated to be about 150 m (490 ft).

Scarab B[edit | edit source]

The improved Scarab B (Tochka-U) was introduced in 1989. Improved propellant increased the range to 120 km (75 mi). CEP significantly improved, to less than 95 m (312 ft).

Scarab C[edit | edit source]

A third variant, Scarab C, was developed in the 1990s. Again, range increased (185 km (115 mi)), and CEP decreased[citation needed]. Scarab C weighs 1,800 kg (4,000 lb).

Others[edit | edit source]

North Korea has developed a local variant, the KN-02 Toksa (Viper), by reverse-engineering Syrian-supplied Scarab A missiles.[1] The Toksa has a range of 120-140 kilometers, and it is the most accurate ballistic missile in KPA's inventory to date. The KN-02 uses a MAZ-630308-224 truck instead of the 9P129.

Use in combat[edit | edit source]

Russia used the missiles in the Chechen Wars.[2]

At least 15 Tochka missiles were deployed by Russian forces from August 8–11 during the 2008 South Ossetia war.[3]

In April 2013 about 14 Tochka missiles were fired into the contested district of Barzeh on the northeastern edge of Damascus.[4]

Operators[edit | edit source]

 Armenia
At least 8 launchers Tochka-U
 Azerbaijan
3 launchers Tochka-U with 4 missiles
 Belarus
36 [5]
 Bulgaria
8 launchers and 21 missiles (Scarab-A)
 Kazakhstan
unknown number
 Russia
96 launchers.[6] Missile systems have been upgraded since 2004 (replacing the onboard automated control systems), in 2011 there were 40 launchers unfit for combat, in 2012 the number of unfit for combat could rise to 80, after the modernization of the Tochka was refused.[7][8]
 Ukraine
90 [9]
 Syria
1 brigade plus at least 36 missiles
 Yemen
10
 North Korea
unknown number of variant KN-02

Former operators[edit | edit source]

 Czechoslovakia
passed on to successor states.
 Czech Republic
inherited from Czechoslovakia, retired.
 East Germany 
retired
 Hungary
less than 10, retired
 Poland
4 [10] retired in 2005, because of lack of rockets and service parts
 Slovakia
small number, inherited from Czechoslovakia, all retired.
 Soviet Union
Passed on to successor states.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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