OTR-21 Tochka-U Tactical Operational Missile Complex is a Soviet tactical ballistic missile. Its GRAU designation is 9K79; its NATO reporting name is SS-21 Scarab B. It is transported in a 9P129 vehicle and raised prior to launch and 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 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).
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.
The Tochka-U high-precision missile system is intended for effective destruction of priority smalls-size and area targets in the tactical depth of enemy formations round the clock, in any weather and season:
– large command centres and control posts;
– communications centres;
– electronic warfare units;
– air defence, ATBM and Air Force assets;
– major concentration of enemy troops