OTR-21 Tochka

Last updated
OTR-21 Tochka
SS-21 Scarab
Tochka-U rep parad Yekat.jpg
Missiles systems Tochka-U at a Russian Federation rehearsal for the parade in Yekaterinburg
Type Tactical ballistic missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1976–present (Scarab A)
1989–present (Scarab B)
1990–present (Scarab C)
Used bySee 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
Production history
Manufacturer KBM (Kolomna)
Mass2,000 kg (4,400 lb) Scarab A
2,010 kg (4,430 lb) Scarab B
1,800 kg (4,000 lb) Scarab C
Length6.4 m (21 ft)
Diameter0.65 m (2 ft 2 in)
WarheadChemical, 100  kt nuclear warhead, EMP, or fragmentation filling

EngineSingle-stage Solid-fuel rocket
96kN [1]
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
Accuracy150 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 forward deployment to East Germany began in 1981, replacing the earlier Luna-M 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 were developed.

Scarab A

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

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).

9M79K missile for 9K79 Tochka missile system SpB-Museum-artillery-100.jpg
9M79K missile for 9K79 Tochka missile system

Scarab B

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).

Scarab C

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).


Educational means

Use in combat


Map of OTR-21 operators in blue with former operators in red OTR-21 operators.png
Map of OTR-21 operators in blue with former operators in red
Armenian OTR-21 during the Independence Day parade in Yerevan, 2016 Tochka-yerevanska.jpeg
Armenian OTR-21 during the Independence Day parade in Yerevan, 2016
Ukrainian OTR-21 Tochka missiles during the Independence Day parade in Kyiv, 2008 OTR-21 Tochka missiles of the Ukrainian Military.JPG
Ukrainian OTR-21 Tochka missiles during the Independence Day parade in Kyiv, 2008

Current operators

Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
At least 4 Tochka launchers
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
3 Tochka launchers with 4 missiles
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
36 [29]
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
18 [30]
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
unknown number
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
unknown number of variant Hwasong-11
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
220 launchers. [31] Missile systems have been upgraded since 2004 (replacing the onboard automated control systems) [32] [33] and are scheduled to be replaced by the 9K720 Iskander missiles [34] [35] by 2020. [36]
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
90 [37]
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
North-Korea supplied, [27] unknown numbers
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
large numbers

Former operators

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia
Passed on to successor states.
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Inherited from Czechoslovakia, retired.
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Passed on to Germany.
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
4 [38] retired in 2005, because of lack of rockets and service parts
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
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.
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
a small number, inherited from Czechoslovakia, all retired.
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Passed on to successor states.

See also

Comparable missiles

Related Research Articles

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