9K52 Luna-M

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9K52 Luna-M
Luna m frog 7 hameenlinna 1.jpg
9P113 TEL with 9M21 rocket
TypeArtillery rocket
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1964–present
WarsSoviet–Afghan War, Iran–Iraq War, Lebanese Civil War, Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, 2003 invasion of Iraq, Libyan Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Production history
Variants9M21B (nuclear), 9M21F (HE) and 9M21G (chemical), Laith-90
Specifications (9M21B)
Weight2.2–2.5 t (350–390 st)
Length9 m (30 ft)
Diameter0.5 m (1 ft 8 in)
Crew4

Maximum firing range70 km (43 mi)
WarheadHigh explosive, chemical, nuclear
Warhead weight9M21B:

Nuclear-armed variant, fitted w/ 500 kg warhead

9M21G: fitted w/ 390 kg warhead

SpeedMach 3
Launch
platform
8 x 8 ZIL-135 missile launcher

The 9K52 Luna-M (Russian: Луна; English: moon) is a Soviet short-range artillery rocket system. The 9M21 rockets are unguided and spin-stabilized. Its GRAU designation is 9K52, and its NATO reporting name is FROG-7. "FROG" is a backronym for "Free Rocket Over Ground".

Description[edit]

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.

History[edit]

Six of the initial version of the 9M21 were in Cuba during the missile crisis in October 1962.[citation needed] These missiles, which were ready to fire, had nuclear warheads installed.[citation needed] A further 70 warheads were stockpiled on the island.[dubious ]

The Luna was later extensively deployed throughout some 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 with a joint assistance programme with Egypt and Egyptian Army engineers[citation needed], by extending their range to 90 km and fitting a submunition-carrying warhead. The rocket was renamed Laith-90.[1]

In the course of the Yugoslav Wars, Serb forces launched FROG-7 rockets on a number of Croatian cities, like Zupanja,[2] on 12 December 1992, or the capital Zagreb, on 11 September 1993, while the battle of Medak Pocket was still ongoing.[3]

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, 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 either an Iraqi FROG-7[4] 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 Humvees.[5][6]

RAF jets targeted and destroyed FROG-7 launchers operated by Pro-Gaddafi forces south of Sirte in the 2011 Libyan civil war.[7]

Starting in 2012, during the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian Arab Army fired several FROG-7 rockets against different areas under control of different insurgent formations.[8]

9M21 missile (Luna M)
9T29 transporter carrying a 9M21 missile for a 9K52 Luna-M missile complex in Saint Petersburg Artillery museum
East German 9P113 TEL
9P113 TEL of the 9K52 system

Variants[edit]

9M21B
Nuclear-armed variant, fitted with a 500 kg (1,213-lb) warhead.
9M21G
This variant is fitted with a 390 kg (860-lb) warhead.
Laith-90
Iraqi version with increased range (90 km) and submunition warhead.

Operators[edit]

Map of 9K52 operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators[9][edit]

  •  Algeria -24 – acquired between 1964 and 1974, 15 systems supposed to be decommissioned by 2014.
  •  Afghanistan
  •  Belarus - Some (36 units of 9K52 and Tochka)
  •  Cuba - 200+ (active in : base militar del Estado Mayor del Ejercito Central in Matanzas Cuba, base de tanques de Managua Cuba, base de tropas especiales el Cacho Cuba, base de tropas especiales de Santiago de Cuba, and other places in the Island).
  •  Egypt - 24 launchers acquired between 1960 and 1969, most likely decommissioned
  •  Libya - 45
  •  North Korea - Some (300++ units of 9K52 and 2K6 Luna, called Hwasong-3)[10]
  •  Russia - Some in storage
  •  Syria - 30
  •  Ukraine - 50
  •  Yemen - 12

Former operators[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cordesman, Anthony: Iraq and the War of Sanctions. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. Page 453. ISBN 0275965287
  2. ^ "Serbs Fired Surface-to-Surface Missile at Zupanja". FBIS Daily Report: East Europe, Issues 241-252. The Service. 12 December 1992.
  3. ^ Wood, John (2003). The Chance of War: Canadian Soldiers in the Balkans, 1992–1995. Dundurn. p. 107. ISBN 1-55002-426-4.
  4. ^ "Engineers quietly do job, face deadly missile strike". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  5. ^ "He (Lt. Col. Wesley, second in command) had gotten only thirty feet from his vehicle when a powerful Abril (sic) missile hit it dead center." Lacey, Jim:Takedown: the 3rd Infantry Division's twenty-one day assault on Baghdad. Naval Institute Press, 2007, page 243. ISBN 1-59114-458-2
  6. ^ Zucchino, David (2004). Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. Grove Press. p. 162.
  7. ^ UK MOD Operation Ellamy from Global Security website, 9 May 2011
  8. ^ http://aoav.org.uk/2013/syrias-dirty-dozen-luna-mfrog-7/
  9. ^ Military balance 2010
  10. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/missile-designation.htm
  11. ^ Robert Rochowicz (2018) (in Polish). Rakiety operacyjne i taktyczne w Siłach Zbrojnych PRL. „Poligon” No. 1/2018(62), p. 61-68, ISSN 1895-3344

External links[edit]