| OTR-21 Tochka |
|Type||Tactical ballistic missile|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|In service||1976–present (Scarab A) |
1989–present (Scarab B)
1990–present (Scarab C)
|Used by||See Operators|
|Wars||Yemeni Civil War (1994)|
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
|Mass||2,000 kg (4,400 lb) Scarab A |
2,010 kg (4,430 lb) Scarab B
1,800 kg (4,000 lb) Scarab C
|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-fuel rocket|
|70 km (43 mi) Scarab A |
120 km (75 mi) Scarab B
185 km (115 mi) Scarab C
|Maximum speed||1.8 km/s (1.1 mi/s; Mach 5.3)|
|Inertial guidance, Tochka-P added passive radar against radar installations|
|Accuracy||150 m (Scarab A)|
|BAZ-5921 Mobile TEL|
OTR-21 Tochka (Russian: оперативно-тактический ракетный комплекс (ОТР) «Точка» ("point"); English: Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka") is a Soviet 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 is a mobile missile launch system, designed to be deployed along with other land combat units on the battlefield. While the 9K52 Luna-M 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 were developed.
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)
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).
The improved Scarab B (Tochka-U) passed state tests from 1986 to 1988 and introduced in 1989. Improved propellant increased the range to 120 km (75 mi). CEP significantly improved, to less than 95 m (312 ft).
A third variant, Scarab C, was developed in the 1990s. Again, range increased (185 km (115 mi)), and CEP decreased to less than 70 m (229 ft). Scarab C weighs 1,800 kg (4,000 lb).
- 9M79 missiles with various types of warheads (-9M79-1 for Tochika U Complex).
- Launcher 9P129 or 9P129-1M (SPU);
- Transport and loading machine 9T218 or 9T128-1 (TZM);
- Transport vehicle 9T222 or 9T238 (TM);
- Automatic testing machine 9V819 or 9V819-1 (AKIM);
- Technical service vehicle 9V844 or 9V844M (MTO).
- Set of weapon equipment 9F370-1 (KAO);
- Simulator 9F625M;
- Missile overall weight model (such as 9M79K-GVM).
- 9M79-UT training missile and 9N123F (K) -UT, 9N39-UT warhead. 9H123F-R UT;
- 9M79-RM missile and 9N123K-RM missile split training model.
Use in combat
- In 1994 the Yemeni government used Tochka missiles against southern forces during the 1994 Yemen civil war.
- In 1999 Russia used the missiles in the Second Chechen War.
- At least 15 Tochka missiles were deployed by Russian forces from 8 to 11 August 2008 during the 2008 South Ossetia war.
- CNN reported that at least one has been used near Donetsk during the War in Donbass by either the Ukrainian army or the Russian-backed separatist forces. The Ukrainian army issued a statement in which they denied the use of the ballistic missile. The Ukrainian Army continued to use ballistic missiles throughout the conflict, until February 2015 when the second Minsk Accords were signed. In total, no less than 43 missiles were launched, with both fragmentation and cluster warheads, only two of the latter achieving hits on military targets.
- In early December 2014, the Syrian Army fired at least one Tochka against Syrian rebels during the Siege of Wadi al-Deif (near Maarat al-Numan, in Idlib province) .
- On 20 August 2015, during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, Republican Guard (Yemen) loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh fired a Tochka targeting a Saudi base.
- On 4 September 2015 Houthi forces fired a Tochka missile at Safir base in Marib killing over 100 Saudi-led coalition personnel.
- On 14 December 2015 Houthi forces fired another Tochka missile at Bab Al Mandab base killing over 150 Saudi-led coalition personnel stationed there.
- On 16 January 2016 Houthi forces fired a Tochka at Al Bairaq base in Marib killing dozens of Saudi-led coalition personnel 
- On 31 January 2016 Houthi forces fired a Tochka at Al Anad base in Lahj killing and wounding over 200 Saudi-led coalition personnel
- On 26 April 2016 the Syrian Army fired a Tochka at Syrian rebels in the Syrian Civil Defense Center in west Aleppo
- On 14 June 2016 the Syrian Army fired a Tochka at Syrian rebel groups Al-Rahman Legion and Jaysh Al-Fustat in Eastern Ghouta, killing several fighters.
- On 20 March 2018 the Syrian Army fired a Tochka towards the Turkish Hatay province, which fell in the border district of Yayladağı without causing any casualties or damage.
- On 23 July 2018 Syrian Army fired two Tochka missiles near the Israeli border. Initially thought to be inbound to Israel near the Sea of Galilee, two David's Sling interceptors were fired by Israel. A few moments later it became clear they were going to strike within Syria, as such one interceptor was detonated over Israel while the other one fell inside Syria. One Tochka missile landed 1 kilometer inside Syria.
- Azerbaijan claimed Armenia fired Tochka-U rockets at its territory during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Armenia denied this, stating that Azerbaijan is making "disinformation to justify the use of a similar system or a system of a higher caliber."
- On 5 March 2021 Syrian Arab Army reportedly fired a KN-02 Toksa solid fuelled short ranged missile against a major oil facility in the country’s Idlib governorate, which is currently under the control of Turkish-backed insurgents. The strike near oil facilities ignited major blazes and killed one and wounded 11 people.
- At least 4 Tochka launchers
- 3 Tochka launchers with 4 missiles
- unknown number
- North Korea
- unknown number of variant Hwasong-11
- 220 launchers. Missile systems have been upgraded since 2004 (replacing the onboard automated control systems) and are scheduled to be replaced by the 9K720 Iskander missiles by 2020.
- North-Korea supplied, unknown numbers
- large numbers
- Passed on to successor states.
- Czech Republic
- Inherited from Czechoslovakia, retired.
- East Germany
- Passed on to Germany.
- 4 retired in 2005, because of lack of rockets and service parts
- North Yemen Ordered a number of scarab missiles and launchers and used them during the 1994 civil war and were passed on to unified Yemen after. Have seen action during the ongoing civil war.
- a small number, inherited from Czechoslovakia, all retired.
- Soviet Union
- Passed on to successor states.
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In a burned field south of Ilovaisk, on what was the frontline of combat a few days ago, we found a large green tube amid bushes and trees. Military experts have identified it as the rocket motor section of a Russian-made SS-21 "Scarab" ballistic missile. But both the Ukrainian and Russian militaries have the SS-21.
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