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9K52 Luna-M


NATO: FROG-7


Overview


9P113

9K52 Luna-M during a Soviet excersize in 1982.
Source: US DOD - © public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Tactical missile system
Entered service
1964
Status
Limited service
Development
1960 - 1964
Developer
Soviet Union - NII-1 MITT
Soviet Union - OKB-329 GKAT
Production
1964 - 1970's
Producer
Soviet Union - SKB-385 Votkinsk machine-building plant
Number produced
500 - 750 launch vehicles
Designations
FROG-7 (NATO reporting name)
9K52 (GRAU index)
Notable users
Soviet Union
Iraq

Description


Introduction

The 9K52 Luna-M is an early Cold War era artillery rocket system of Soviet origin. In the West the 9K52 Luna-M is known best by the NATO reporting name FROG-7. It was developed in the Soviet Union as a replacement for the earlier FROG series artillery rockets.

Design

The FROG-7 launch vehicle is based on the BAZ-135 8x8 truck chassis. It carries a single launch rail for the 9M21 rocket and is fitted with two outriggers. The 9M21 artillery rocket is unguided and features a solid propellant rocket motor. The 9T29 transloader vehicle is based on the same BAZ-135 chassis and carries three rockets. A fire direction vehicle based on the GAZ-66 tows a trailer-mounted meteorological radar.

Firepower

The FROG-7 fires the massive 9M21 artillery rockets with various types of warhead. These are unguided and spin stabilized. The range envelope is 12 to 68 km. The accuracy is limited with a CEP of 400 to 700 meters. Preparation time before firing is 15 to 30 minutes.

Protection

The FROG-7 is based on a softskin vehicle and during firing and reloading the crew is unprotected. There is no NBC system. Its main protection is that this system is to be employed 15 km or more behind the front line.

Mobility

The BAZ-135 8x8 vehicle allows for a reasonable cross country performance and good road speeds. Due the twin engine setup the BAZ-135 is complex to maintain and proved susceptible to breakdowns. The 9K52 Luna-M system can be airlifted using multiple Il-76 or An-22 transport aircraft.

Users

The FROG-7 was widely employed as a tactical weapon by the USSR and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. It was also exported to many allies of the USSR. Nowadays in Eastern Europe and Russia it is mostly phased out or replaced by the newer 9K79 Tochka (NATO: SS-21 Scarab). The FROG-7 remains in storage with several nations.

System composition


9P113 launch vehicle

Transporter, erector and launcher of the 9K52 Luna-M system based on the ZIL-135LM 8x8 truck chassis. A single 9M21 series artillery rocket is carried on the launch rail. A crane stowed on the right hand side of the launch rail is used for reloading.

9M21 family of artillery rockets

Family of unguided artillery rockets. Various warheads have been developed, ranging from conventional to cluster and from chemical to nuclear.

9T29 transloader

Resupply vehicle based on the ZIL-135LM 8x8 chassis. This truck can carry up to three 9M21 rockets. Since the tail fins are fixed the two outward rockets are carried at a steep angle and the center one more horizontally. The 9T29 cannot launch the 9M21 rockets and is not fitted with a crane.

Details


Facts 9P113
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Launch vehicle
Crew
7 (commander, driver, 5 operators)
3 crew in cab, 4 in other vehicle
Dimensions
Weight
17.6 t combat load
15 t unloaded
Length
10.69 m
Width
2.8 m
Height
2.86 m without rocket
3.35 m with rocket
Main armament
Type
Single rail launcher for 9M21 series of large artillery rockets
Ammunition
1 rocket carried and ready for launch
Elevation
+15° to +65°
Traverse
7° left to 7° right
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled chassis
8x8 and 8x4 drive
Tread
2.30 m
Wheelbase
6.3 m front to rear axle
Automotive
Engine model
2x ZIL-375Ya
Engine type
7-liter four-stroke V8 gasoline
Power output
2x 180 hp
360 hp combined
Transmission
Manual
Fuel
520 L
Mobility
Speed
65 km/h on road
Range
400 km on road
Turn radius
12.5 m
Power to weight ratio
20.5 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.48 m
Wall
0.7 m
Trench
2.6 m
Fording
1.2 m
Protection
Armor type
None, softskin vehicle
NBC system
No
Smoke system
No
Equipment
Night vision
No
Radio
Hydraulic crane for loading rocket onto launch rail
Crane
3 ton capacity

9M21 family of artillery rockets


9M21F
Rocket with unitary shaped charge HE-fragmentation warhead. Export designation R-65. Creates over 15.000 fragments and can penetrate concrete up to 2 m thick.
9M21F2
Rocket with airburst HE-fragmentation warhead. Also produces 15.000 fragments, but at a more optimal altitude due to radar proximity fuse.
9M21K
Rocket with air burst submunition warhead. Export designation R-70. Carries 42 munitions of 7.5 kg each. Airburst at 1.0 to 1.4 km. Introduced in 1969.
9M21B
Rocket with nuclear warhead. Warhead is stored in temperature regulated container until firing. The 9N32 warhead carries the AA-22 nuclear bomb. Features a selectable 3, 10 or 25 kT yield with airburst at 1.2 to 1.75 km altitude.
9M21B1
Rocket with improved warhead. The 9N32M warhead contains the AA-52 nuclear bomb. Features a selectable 5, 10, 20 or 200 kT yield with airburst at 1.2 to 1.75 km altitude.
9M21G
Rocket with chemical warhead. Explodes 1.5 to 2 km altitude spreading the 216 kg VX gas aerosol payload over a large area.
9M21D
Rocket with 9N18A container warhead for dispersal of pamphlets.
9M21E
Training rocket similar to 9M21B with inert warhead.

9M21F rocket

R-65 rocket, the export designation of 9M21F, seen on display in a museum.
Source: jens.lilienthal - © Copyright lies with original owner

Details of 9M21 rockets


Facts 9M21F 9M21K 9M21B1
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Artillery rocket
Dimensions
Length
8.96 m
Diameter
0.54 m
Wingspan
1.7 m
Weight
2.432 kg
Guidance
Guidance mode
None, ballistic flight path
Warhead
Type
9N18F unitary HE-fragmentation warhead with shaped charge
Weight
420 kg warhead including 200 kg explosive
Fuse
Impact and time delay fuses
Effect
Over 15.000 splinters
Penetrates 1 to 2 m concrete
3.5 m crater in soil with 12 m diameter
Engagement envelope
Propulsion
1x 9D19 single-stage solid propellant rocket motor
16x RSI-60 small booster rockets
Speed
1.200 m/s maximum
Range
65 km maximum
15 km minimum
Accuracy
700 m CEP in distance
500 m CEP in azimuth

Media


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The 9K52 Luna-M was developed as a successor for earlier systems such as the 2K6 Luna.