OTR-21 Tochka

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OTR-21 Tochka
SS-21 Scarab
OTR-21 Tochka during a parade in Kiev.jpg
Missiles systems Tochka-U during a parade rehearsal in Kiev
Type Tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1976–present (Scarab A)
1989–present (Scarab B)
1990–present (Scarab C)
Used by See Operators
Production history
Manufacturer KBM (Kolomna)
Produced 1973
Weight 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
Speed 1.8 km/s (1.1 mi/s; Mach 5.3)
Inertial guidance, Tochka-P added passive radar against radar installations
BAZ-5921 Mobile TEL

OTR-21 Tochka (Russian: оперативно-тактический ракетный комплекс (ОТР) «Точка»; English: Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka", "Point") 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 forward deployment to East Germany began in 1981, replacing the earlier FROG series of unguided artillery rockets.


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 have been created.

Scarab A[edit]

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]

The improved Scarab B (Tochka-U) was passed state tests from 1986 to 1988, 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]

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).

Use in combat[edit]


Map of OTR-21 operators in blue with former operators in red
Ukrainian OTR-21 Tochka missiles during the Independence Day parade in Kiev

Current operators[edit]

At least 8 launchers Tochka-U
3 launchers Tochka-U with 4 missiles
unknown number
 North Korea
unknown number of variant KN-02
220 launchers.[30] Missile systems have been upgraded since 2004 (replacing the onboard automated control systems)[31][32] It is planned to be replaced on 9K720 Iskander.[33][34]
unknown number
unknown number

Former operators[edit]

passed on to successor states.
 Czech Republic
inherited from Czechoslovakia, retired.
 East Germany
passed on to Germany.
4[36] retired in 2005, because of lack of rockets and service parts
small number, inherited from Czechoslovakia, all retired.
 Soviet Union
Passed on to successor states.


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  31. ^ "24.02.12 СМИ: Минобороны отказалось ремонтировать тактические ракеты «Точка-У»". militaryparitet.com. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  32. ^ The Military Balance 2010. P. 223.
  33. ^ "Великий воин и защитник «Искандер»". vpk.name. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  34. ^ Денис Тельманов. "Сухопутные войска теряют тактические ракеты". Известия. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  35. ^ Ground Forces Equipment - Ukraine
  36. ^ MILITARIUM - Wojsko Polskie - Uzbrojenie

External links[edit]