Artillery / Surface to surface missiles / OTR-21 Tochka

OTR-21 Tochka

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Tactical missile


    SS-21 Scarab (NATO reporting name)
    9K79 (industrial system designation)
    9M79 (rocket designation)
    9P129 (launch vehicle)
    Tochka, point (Russian nickname)

    1968 - 1975


    1975 -

    USSR - KBM



    Good accuracy
    Improved range over rocket artillery
    All terrain mobility
    Variety of warheads available


The OTR-21 Tochka is a Cold War era tactical rocket system of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1970's as a more capable alternative to the FROG-7. The name OTR stands for Operativno-Takticheskii Raketnyi kompleks, which translates to tactical operational missile complex.


The OTR-21 uses a solid propellant rocket with good accuracy and range compared to the FROG-7. Over time the rockets have been improved in range and accuracy. Inertial guidance is used, but the latest version also adds GLONASS guidances. The 9P129 launch vehicle carries a single rocket within the vehicle. In the firing position the rocket is raised and launched from the vehicle.


The OTR-21 carries a single rocket with good range and accuracy. The maximum range is 70 km for the original model and 120 km and 185 km for improved models. The warhead may be conventional high explosive, fragmentation, 100 kt nuclear, chemical, biological or reportedly EMP.


The launch vehicle is protected against small arms fire and an NBC system is fitted.


The ZIL-375 6x6 chassis provides a good all terrain mobility. The vehicle is fully amphibious and has a maximum speed of 60 km/h on roads.


The OTR-21 was used by the USSR in brigades of 18 vehicles. It was widely exported to Warsaw Pact nations and a number of other nations around the world with close ties to the USSR. The number of users has reduced but the OTR-21 remains in service. It has been employed in the Chechen wars and in the 2008 South Ossetia war.


OTR-21 Tochka

9M79 Tochka: Original model with 70 km range and 150 m CEP. Known in the West as SS-21 Scarab-A.
9M79M1 Tochka-U: Improved model introduced in 1989 with 120 km range and 95 m CEP. Known in the West as SS-21 Scarab-B.
9M79M2 Tochka-U: Further improved model introduced in the 1990's with 185 km range and further reduced CEP due to GLONASS guidance. Known in the West as SS-21 Scarab-C.
KN-02 Toksa: North Korean reverse engineered 9M79 obtained from Syria. The range is estimated at 120 to 140 km. Uses the MAZ-630308-224 6x6 truck which is not amphibious.

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