The FROG-7 is the latest addition to the "Free Rocket Over Ground" family of unguided, spin-stabilized, short-range (battlefield support) artillery rockets. The rocket is of conventional single-stage design, with a cylindrical warhead of the same diameter as the rocket body, giving it a cleaner, more modern appearance than its predecessors. The FROG-7 has a range of 70 km and a 550 kg warhead, and an impact area of approximately 2.8 km long by 1.8 km wide. The FROG-7 is capable of delivering HE, nuclear, or chemical warheads. The FROG-7 gave the Soviet division commander a deep interdiction/penetration nuclear threat.
The FROG-7A was first introduced in 1965 as a replacement for earlier FROG variants, some of which had been in service since the mid-1950s. The FROG-1 and -2 are obsolete. The FROG-3, -4, and -5 variants, mounted on a non-amphibious version of the PT-76 light tank chassis, are obsolete in the USSR, but were still found in other Warsaw Pact armies at the end of the Cold War. The FROG-5 is still used as a training rocket, and the FROG-6 is a dummy rocket used for training purposes only. The FROG-7B, introduced in 1968, is essentially the same rocket as the FROG-7A but with a longer warhead section.
The FROG-7 was replaced by the SS-21 tactical ballistic missile which has greater range (120 km) as well as probable improvements in reaction time, missile reliability, accuracy, and handling characteristics. Since the SS-21 is mounted on a six-wheeled TEL similar to the SA-8/GECKO SAM system, it has improved cross-country capability and is probably amphibious. Like the SA-8, it probably has an air filtration and overpressure system for-collective chemical and biological protection. The SS-21 was first deployed in 1976 in the USSR and was reported in GSFG in 1981.
During the Cold War the most prominent short-range nuclear force [SNF] system at at the division level was the unguided free-rocket-over-ground (FROG), which in the Soviet Army was deployed in a battalion of four launchers. As of 1987 the Soviets were replacing FROGs with the more accurate, longer range SS-21s in some divisions opposite NATO. About 500 FROG and SS-21 launchers were opposite NATO. Another 215 FROG launchers were opposite China and in the Far East; some 100 were opposite Southwest Asia and eastern Turkey; and about 75 were in strategic reserve. Non-nuclear versions of the FROG-7 have been exported to both Warsaw Pact and some non-Warsaw Pact nations. The FROG-7 is deployed by Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen. Laith, an Iraqi improved version of the FROG-7, has a 90 km range.
The FROG-7 (9K52 Luna), the final version of the FROG family, is an unguided, spin-stabilized, short-range, battlefield support artillery rocket. The range of the FROG-7A rocket is 70 km with a CEP of 500 to 700 meters. It is fitted with either a 450 kg HE, 450 kg nuclear, or 36 kg chemical warheads. The improved FROG-7B carries a cargo warhead for delivering bomblets or mines.
In addition to improvements in the rocket which give it greater range, a new transport-launch vehicle using a wheeled chassis has been developed based on the ZIL-135 [BAZ-135] 8x8 truck. This wheeled transporter erector launcher (TEL) carries one rocket and a crane. It incorporates a number of improvements in rocket handling such as the on-board crane. Reload missiles are placed on the TEL by that vehicle’s own hydraulically operated crane on the right side of the launcher rail. A very similar vehicle is also used with the FROG-7 system to transport the reserve rockets. The earlier FROG'S used semitrailers towed by ZIL-157V tractor trucks, and needed crane trucks for reloading of the transport-launch vehicles. Preparation for firing can take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the situation. A typical FROG-7 battalion is equipped with two firing batteries each with two TELs and a D-band RMS (END TRAY) long-range meteorological radar. The cruising range of the transporter-erector-launcher vehicle is 400 km. The FROG-7 TEL vehicle provides no NBC protection for the crew. The single-rail launcher has limited traverse.
Contractor Entered Service Total length Diameter Wingspan Weight Warhead Weight 550 kg Propulsion Maximum Speed Maximum effective range 70 km Guidance mode ballistic Accuracy 145 It has an impact area of approximately 2.8 km long by 1.8 km wide Users CIS, Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen