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SS-21 SCARAB (9K79 Tochka)

The SS-21 SCARAB (9K79 Tochka) single-stage, short-range, tactical-ballistic missile is transported and fired from the 9P129 6x6 wheeled transporter erector launcher. It is supported by a tactical transloader (9T218) and a 9T238 missile transporter trailer towed by a ZIL-131 truck. The 9P129 TEL crew compartment is in the forward section and the missile compartment behind. During transport the missile is enclosed with the warhead in a temperature-controlled casing.

The SS-21 SCARAB missile (9M79) had a maximum range of 70 km and a CEP of 160 meters, while the improved composite propellant 9M79-1 (Tochka-U) had a maximum range of 120 km. The basic warhead is the 9N123F HE-Frag warhead which has 120 kg of high explosives. The 9N123K submunition warhead can carry either bomblets or mines. The SS-21 can also carry the AA60 tactical nuclear warhead. Other warheads are believed to include chemical, terminally guided warhead, and a smart-munition bomblet warhead.

The development of the divisional missile complex "Tochka" was initiated by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of March 4, 1968. Kolomenskoye design bureau of machine-building was appointed the lead contractor on the topic, and the chief designer S.P. Invincible. The missile control system was developed at the Central Research Institute AG. The launcher was designed and mass-produced in the software "Barricades" in Volgograd. Serial production of rockets led Votkinsk engineering plant. Chassis for the launcher and transport-charging machines were made in Bryansk.

The Tochka complex was designed to hit a rocket launcher of ground-based reconnaissance-strike complexes, command posts of various types of troops, aircraft and helicopter stations, reserve groups of troops, ammunition, fuel and other materiel stores. The Tochka complex had a firing range of 15 to 70 km and an average circular deviation of 250 m. The first two launches of the Tochka guided missiles were made in 1971 during factory flight tests. Serial production of the rocket was launched in 1973, although the Tochka complex was officially adopted in 1976. In April 1971, the development of the modification Tochka-R began, with a passive homing system for radio-emitting targets (radar stations, radio stations, etc.). The guidance system provided a target acquisition distance of at least 15 km. In this case, the design of the rocket, with the exception of the warhead, remained unchanged. It was assumed that the accuracy of pointing "Point-P" to a continuously operating target does not exceed 45 m, and the affected area will be over two hectares. In 1970, the design of warheads with weapons of both monoblock and cluster design began.

In 1981, the SS-21, a guided missile (providing improvement in both range and accuracy), began replacing the FROG in forward-deployed divisions, and 140 were deployed as of 1988. Division-level SS-21 battalions were being consolidated into brigades in Soviet armies in East Germany.

In 1989, the modified 9K79 Tochka-U complex was put into service. The main difference is the long range and accuracy of shooting. The complex is armed with a 9M79 missile, which has versions 9M79F, 9M79K, etc., depending on the type of warhead. The head part can be nuclear AA-60, high-explosive 9N123F, cassette 9N123K and others. The cassette warhead contains a cassette with fifty submunition fragmentation.

The engine is a solid-fuel single-mode rocket. The rocket's head is inseparable. The rocket is controlled throughout the trajectory, which ensures high accuracy of impact. The launch of the rocket is carried out with an inclined guide, and after launch, the rocket produces a turn in the direction of the target. The direction of arrival of the launcher at the target for the "Point" is + - 15 degrees, which, when tracking the trajectory, reduces the probability of determining the launch point. At the end of the trajectory, the missile is turned around and a vertical dive is set on the target. To achieve the maximum damage area, an air blast of the warhead over the target is provided.

The rocket control system is autonomous, inertial, with an on-board digital computing complex. Its executive bodies are lattice aerodynamic rudders, placed on the tail section of the rocket and driven by steering machines. On the initial segment of the trajectory, when the rocket speed is insufficient for the effective action of the aerodynamic control surfaces, the control takes place with the help of gas-dynamic control surfaces. The on-board power consumers are powered by a generator, the turbine of which is driven by hot gas generated by the gas generator unit.

The main combat vehicles of the complex (the 9P129M-1 launcher and the 9T218-1 transport-loading vehicle) are mounted on the 5921 and 5922 wheeled chassis. The 5D20B-300 six-cylinder diesel engine is installed on both chassis. All-wheel drive chassis, tires with adjustable air pressure of 1200 x 500508. The chassis has a fairly large clearance of 400 mm. Water jet propulsion pumps of propeller type are provided for movement on water. On the water, the chassis is controlled by water jet valves and channels built into the hull.

Both vehicles are able to move on roads of all categories and beyond. No topographic and geodetic and engineering training. "Point" launching positions and meteorological support during the launch of missiles is not required. The equipment of the launcher itself solves all the problems of binding the starting point, calculating the flight task and aiming the rocket. If necessary, after 1620 minutes after the completion of the march and the arrival at the position, the rocket can launch to the target, and after another 1.5 minutes the launcher is able to leave this point to eliminate the possibility of its defeat by retaliation. During aiming, combat duty, and also when performing most of the operations of the launch cycle, the rocket is in a horizontal position and its rise begins only 15 seconds before the start. This ensures a high stealth preparation of the strike from the enemy tracking devices.

The transport-charging machine is the main means of operational support of launch batteries with ammunition for launching missile strikes. In its sealed compartment, two fully ready to launch missiles with docked warheads can be stored and transported in the combat area. Special equipment of the machine, including the hydraulic actuator, jib crane and some other systems, allow loading the launcher for approximately 19 minutes. This operation can be performed on any site unprepared in engineering respect, the dimensions of which allow to put a launcher and a transport-loading machine alongside. Missiles in metal containers can also be stored and transported on complex transport vehicles.

During the demonstration of the Point-U complex at the international exhibition IDEX-93 5 launches were performed, during which the minimum deviation was several meters and the maximum deviation was less than 50 meters.

The Tochka-U complex was actively used by federal forces to destroy military facilities in Chechnya. In particular, the complex was used by the 58th Combined Arms Army to strike at militant positions in the Bamut area. The targets were a large arms depot and a fortified camp of terrorists. Their exact location was revealed by means of space reconnaissance, which then tracked the ballistic flight path of the missiles until the moment of defeat.

In 1999, the "efforts" of the Ukrainian rocket engineers "Tochka-U" thundered to the whole world. On April 20, a rocket was launched from the Goncharovsky ground located 130 km north of Kiev, which then deviated from the course and at 15:05 landed in a residential building in Brovary, breaking through nine floors. The tragic incident killed 3 and injured 5 people. Fortunately, the rocket was not equipped with a warhead, otherwise there would have been much more casualties.

On 21 October 1999 US satellites [reportedly the Defense Support Program] tracked two Russian short-range ballistic missile launched from the Russian city of Mozdok some 60 miles northeast of Grozny. The missiles slammed into a crowded Grozny marketplace and a maternity ward, killing at least 143 persons, according to reports from the region. The missiles are believed by intelligence analysts to have been SS-21s.

In 2014-2015, the Tochka-U complexes were used by Ukrainian armed forces in combat operations against the armies of the DPR and the LPR. Information about the defeat of any goals single launches have been reported.

In Syria, "Points" began to be used in 2013. By 2018, several dozens of missiles had been launched, including the more modern U version. As a result, the terrorists suffered substantial losses, and serious damage was caused to their military infrastructure. It is known that in the eighties, the SAR received 18 launchers.

During the ongoing civil war in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, the Points of the Houthi rebels did considerable damage to the Saudi coalition forces.

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