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FROG-3 R-9, Luna
FROG-4 Luna
FROG-5 3R-10, Luna-1

The Russian FROG-3 [Free Rocket Over Ground], FROG-4, and FROG-5 are three variants of a single unguided, spin stabilized, solid fuel rocket. The 2K6 Luna (English: moon) is a Soviet short-range artillery rocket complex. Luna rockets were solid-fuel, unguided and spin-stabilized. "2K6" is its GRAU designation. Its NATO reporting names are FROG-3 (with 3R9 missile) and FROG-5 (with 3R10 missile). From 1965, the 2K6 Luna was replaced by the far more successful 9K52 Luna-M, which was known in the West as the FROG-7.

One of the first Soviet tactical missile systems with unguided missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. Intended for manning missile divisions of tank and motorized rifle divisions, was to be used as a means of clearing in the offensive zone of the compound. It has been developed since 1953, launched in full-scale design since 1956, and has been tested since 1958, and entered service in 1960. The developer was the Moscow NII-1 (now the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering, the creators of Topol, Yars and Maces).

The Luna system was developed in NII-1 from 1953, under the supervision of N. P. Mazurov. Luna followed the earlier designs 2K1 Mars and 2K4 Filin. While NII-1 was responsible for the rocket, the launch and transporter-loader vehicles were designed by TsNII-58. The initial system name was S-125A "Pion". In 1957 the prototypes of the launch vehicle (SPU S-123A on Ob'yekt 160 chassis), the transloader (TZM S-124A on Ob'yekt 161 chassis) and the 3R5 rocket were ready for evaluations. These were carried out in 1958 in Kapustin Yar and in 1959 in the Transbaikal Military District. As a result of these evaluations, it was decided to abandon the TZM, to improve the SPU and to redesign the rocket. This led to the development of the 3R9 and 3R10 rockets.

The decision to start series production was taken on 29 December 1959. The first 5 systems were ready in January 1960 after which the state acceptance trials were carried out until March of that same year. In 1960 the Luna system entered service with the Soviet Army where it remained until 1982. From 1960 till 1964, a total of 432 SPU 2P16s was produced. In the first year alone, 80 launch vehicles and 365 rockets were finished.

The missile complex consisted of

  1. the launch vehicle SPU 2P16 (Ob'yekt 160), based on a modified PT-76B chassis with return rollers and fitted with a launch rail, elevation mechanism, stabilizing jacks and a generator. Combat weight was 18 t;
  2. the rocket 3R9 with conventional HE warhead 3N15 and with a range of 12 to 44.6 km,
  3. the rocket 3R10 with a 400 kg nuclear warhead 3N14 and with a range of 10 to 32.1 km;
  4. a missile transporter 2U663 based on the ZiL-157V with 2 missiles;
  5. a vehicle 2U662 to transport and store nuclear warheads;
  6. a mobile crane ADK K52 (on MAZ-502), ADK K61 (on MAZ-200) or 9T31 (on Ural-375);
  7. sets of maintenance vehicles PRTB-1, 2U659 etc.;
  8. control and command vehicle PU-2 and
  9. a training set with training rocket PV-65 or 3R11 with training warhead 3N16.

The complex was based on a self-propelled caterpillar chassis made on the basis of the PT-76 tank. Designers studied options for wheeled chassis, but they did not go into the series. There have been a couple of variants of the launch vehicle, for example the 2P21 a.k.a. Br-226-II on ZiL-134 8x8 truck, but these never entered service. The FROG-6 was, according to Western sources the NATO designator for the truck-based training system PV-65. Russian sources however claim that this system is the prototype of the Br-226-I launch vehicle on KrAZ-214. In addition to the launch, the complex also included a transport vehicle for two spare missiles and a crane for reloading missiles.

Launch weight is 15.5 tons, the maximum speed on the ground is up to 40 km / h (with a nuclear missile installed, it was limited to 16-18 km / h in order to prevent overloads for the warhead). Missiles of the complex were indexes 3P9 and 3P10. Single-stage rockets, solid propellant, uncontrolled. Guidance was carried out by turning the launcher and lifting the rocket on the rocking part. The 3R9 was equipped with a high-explosive warhead, 3R10 - with a larger 10-kt super-caliber nuclear warhead. The mass of the missiles is about 2.3 tons, the range for 3P9 - from 12 to 44.5 km, for 3P10 - from 10 to 32 km.

The system required about 30-40 minutes to prepare missile for firing and about 60-70 minutes to reload. The rockets are transported on and launched from the same basic light-tracked chassis derived from the PT-76 tank. This chassis can be distinguished from that of the FROG-2 transport-launch vehicle by the presence of track support rollers. The rockets are identical, differing only in the size and shape of the warheads. Although still encountered in some armies, this series of FROGs was replaced by FROG-7 which is carried on and launched from a wheeled vehicle.

In 1962, 12 Luna missile systems with eight nuclear warheads for missiles were sent to Cuba, where they were to be used to defend the island from a possible American invasion. By 1982, the complex was finally withdrawn from service in the missile divisions of motorized rifle (tank) divisions in favor of guided tactical missiles of the Tochka family.

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Page last modified: 27-08-2019 13:24:40 ZULU