9P113 TEL with 9M21 rocket
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Wars||Soviet–Afghan War, Iran–Iraq War, Lebanese Civil War, Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, 2003 invasion of Iraq, Libyan Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)|
|Variants||9M21B (nuclear), 9M21F (HE) and 9M21G (chemical), Laith-90|
|Mass||2.2–2.5 t (350–390 st)|
|Length||9 m (30 ft)|
|Diameter||0.5 m (1 ft 8 in)|
|Maximum firing range||70 km (43 mi)|
|Warhead||High explosive, chemical, nuclear|
Nuclear-armed variant, fitted w/ 500 kg warhead9M21G: fitted w/ 390 kg warhead
|Maximum speed||Mach 3|
|8 x 8 ZIL-135 missile launcher|
The 9K52 Luna-M (Russian: Луна; English: moon, NATO reporting name FROG-7) is a Soviet short-range artillery rocket system. It fires unguided and spin-stabilized 9M21 rockets. "FROG" is a backronym for "Free Rocket Over Ground".
The 9M21 rockets are mounted on a wheeled 9P113 transporter erector launcher (TEL) based on the ZIL-135 8x8 army truck. The TEL features a large hydraulic crane used for reloading rockets from 9T29 transporters (also ZIL-135 based). The 9M21 has a range up to 70 km and a CEP (circular error probable) between 500 m and 700 m. The road mobile rocket has a 550 kg warhead and is capable of delivering high explosive, nuclear, or chemical warheads.
Six of the initial version of the 9M21 were in Cuba during the missile crisis in October 1962. These missiles, which were ready to fire, had nuclear warheads installed. A further 70 warheads were stockpiled on the island.[dubious ]
The Luna was later extensively deployed throughout some Soviet satellite states. The rocket has been widely exported and is now in the possession of a large number of countries.
In what became its first use in combat, Syrian forces fired a FROG-7 barrage at Galilee on 7 October and 8 October 1973, in the course of the Yom Kippur War. Although aimed at Israeli air bases such as Ramat David, the rockets struck several Israeli settlements. These inintended attacks on civilians gave Israel the justification to launch a sustained air campaign inside Syria itself.
Iraq made intensive use of FROG-7 rockets in the war with Iran (1980-88), with little accuracy. After the war with Iran, Iraq modified its stock of 9M21s by extending their range to 90 km and fitting a submunition-carrying warhead. The upgraded rocket was renamed Laith-90. On 21 February 1991, during operation Desert Storm, Senegalese troops were hit hard by a Laith-90. Eight Senegalese soldiers were wounded in action as a result.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Headquarters of the 2nd Brigade, US 3rd Infantry Division, Tactical Operations Center (TOC) of U.S Col. David Perkins, was targeted and struck by either an Iraqi FROG-7 rocket or an Ababil-100 SSM missile, killing three soldiers and two embedded journalists. Another 14 soldiers were injured, and 22 vehicles destroyed or seriously damaged, most of them Humvees.
In the course of the Yugoslav Wars, Serb forces launched FROG-7 rockets on a number of Croatian towns, like Orašje, in the outskirts of Zupanja, on 2 December 1992, where several civilians were killed, or the capital Zagreb, on 11 September 1993, while the battle of Medak Pocket was still going on.
- Nuclear-armed variant, fitted with a 500 kg (1,213-lb) warhead.
- This variant is fitted with a 390 kg (860-lb) warhead.
- Iraqi version with increased range (90 km) and submunition warhead.
- Algeria -24 – acquired between 1964 and 1974, 15 systems supposed to be decommissioned by 2014.
- Belarus - Some (36 units of 9K52 and Tochka)
- Egypt - 24 launchers acquired between 1960 and 1969, most likely decommissioned
- Libya - 45
- North Korea - units of 9K52 and 2K6 Luna, called Hwasong-3)
- Russia - Some in storage
- Syria - 30
- Ukraine - 50
- Yemen - 12
- East Germany
- Iraq: Destroyed during the 2003 invasion
- Kuwait: Captured by the Iraqi Army during the Gulf War
- Poland: 49 launchers in 1966-2001
- South Yemen
- Soviet Union
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- Županjac (2 December 2019). "Na današnji dan 2.12". Županjac.net (in Croatian). Retrieved 4 January 2020.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Robert Rochowicz (2018) (in Polish). Rakiety operacyjne i taktyczne w Siłach Zbrojnych PRL. „Poligon” No. 1/2018(62), p. 61-68, ISSN 1895-3344
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 9K52 Luna-M.|
- FAS – Military Analysis Network
- Profile of the Frog 7 from The Whirlwind War a publication of the United States Army Center of Military History