Military


S-25
SA-1 GUILD

Under the management of A.A. Raspletin in the period of 1951-55, and under the conditions of the increasing intensity of the "Cold War" and the real atomic threat, the first domestic zenith rocket air defense system was created. Development of the S-25 started at the Lavochkin OKB in 1951, expressly indended to defend Moscow from bomber attack. The system developed quickly, and was ready for initial operation in 1954.

The SA-1 Guild is the NATO reporting name for the S-25 Berkut surface-to-air guided missile, the first operational SAM deployed by the Soviet Union. Other names include the R-113 and V-300, S-25 is for Systema 25. The SA-1 was very large and expensive, but nevertheless had limited performance. It was used only to defend Moscow, while the more mobile SA-2 Guideline would be used in almost all other roles.

The S-25 SA-1 GUILD was the first surface-to-air strategic air defense system deployed by the Soviet Union. The S-25 was developed for the protection of the city of Moscow and Moscow industrial region.

It was intended for destruction of aerial targets at the heights to 35 km, which fly with speeds of up to 4300 km/h, at the distances to 58 km.

These R-113 missiles were deployed around Moscow in a dense complex of 56 sites arranged in two concentric rings. There were 22 sites in the inner ring at about 25 nm radius from the center of Moscow and 34 sites on the outer ring at about 45 nm radius. It simultaneously provided for the creation of the new infrastructure of the Moscow area - habitable towns, highways, lines of communications, power transmission, etc. A typical site had 60 launch positions joined by a road network.

According to the estimable Steve Zaloga, "Each launch site consisted of four distinct sections, a launch area, the guidance radar area, the administrative/housing/technical support area, and an electrical power transformer station. The launcher area was the largest and most distinctive area, covering some 360 acres, usually in forested regions around the city. Each launch area had a distinct herringbone appearance from its ten double rows of service roads, supporting a total of 60 missile launch pads per site. The launcher system itself was quite simple, consisting of a semi-trailer for transporting and erecting the missile, and a simple launch pad reminiscent of the German design used with the V-2 ballistic missile. About a mile from the launch area was the bunkered command center, located on about 50 acres of land and near the Moscow ring road. On the side of the bunker facing the launcher area was a pair of B-200 radar antennas, one providing azimuth coverage and one providing elevation coverage. The bunker contained the main BESM analog fire control computer, as well as twenty guidance consoles. Each regimental site was manned by about 30 officers and 450 enlisted men."

The V-301 missile, as originally designed for use with this system, was unboosted and employed a single liquid sustainer motor. Although its maximum speed was on the order of Mach 2.5, it had a low initial velocity which limited its engagement capability against supersonic targets. Its maximum intercept range varied depending upon the approach and type of target; for example, against a directly incoming, high-flying B-252 its range was on the order of 20 n.m. This missile ccould carry an HE or nuclear payload of 450-700 pounds and its CEP was estimated to be 65-120 feet. It was believed to be capable of interceptions from a minimum altitude of 3,000 feet up to 60,000 feet, with some additional capability up to about 80,000 feet, particularly if equipped with a nuclear warhead.

This system had the first in the world multichannel radar, which accomplishes work on the targets with timing separation. The B-200 guidance system at each site employed a track-while-scan radar (designated "Yo-Yo" by US intelligence) having about 54 coverage in both the vertical and horizontal planes. The system also incorporated fire control equipment which enabled each site to engage as many as 20 targets simultaneously. This capability, with the spacing of adjacent sites for mutual support and the inner ring of sites for backup, enables the system to direct an extremely high rate of fire against incoming targets.

Placed on stationary combat positions in the Moscow area system, the S-25 fulfilled its functions over the course of 30 years. The SA-1 system entered operational service in the late 1950s, and remained in service through the mid-1980s. Because of its' cost, immobility, and inflexibility, the SA-1 system was not deployed elsewhere in the Soviet Union apart from Moscow.



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