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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Golem SLBM

Not having accurate data and necessary information on research conducted in the Soviet Union on marine ballistic missiles, the Western experts assumed that in the late 1940s and early 1950s, work on the development of marine ballistic missiles was conducted under a scheme that received in NATO countries the designation "Golem series".

According to this Western analysis, one of the Soviet naval ballistic missile was a German V-2 with a range up to 1,000 nautical miles, which was supposed to be towed behind a submarine, the similar project was created in 1944 in Germany. Another version of the "Golem series" was reported to be a rocket with a shorter range, having solid-fuel accelerators was probably tested at the start with a depth of up to 195 meters.

According to Western analysis, the concept was proven sound by the Soviets in the 1950s. Using captured plans and German engineering assistance they produced the "Golem" submarine-towed missile launcher. Western sources frequently reported that Soviet missile-carrying submarines are fitted with GOLEM-class missiles. GOLEM I and GOLEM II were said to bwe direct descendants of the German V-2.

In view of the complexity of implementing these submarine systems, they were not implemented. In domestic Soviet archival materials, such missile systems did not occur. And judging by the directions of the development of rocket technology, at that time they hardly could be. Today, this can be treated as an incident, and all write off to closure of the USSR and the "secrecy" of works in this direction.

In fact, they only dreamed about the underwater launch of ballistic missiles. In 1948-1949, NII-88 considered variants of missiles for underwater launches. But seriously began to work only when a letter from the Deputy Naval Minister to the Ministry of Armaments to the MinisterDF Ustinov of 1950 referred to the need for further technical elaboration on this topic.

The development of a sea-based missile system for the destruction of stationary terrestrial targets (the complex is sometimes referred to as the D-1) began at OKB-1 NII-88 (Chief Designer S.P.Korolev, lead designer I.Popkov) in accordance with the Resolution Government of January 25, 1954 # 136-75 "On the conduct of design and experimental work on the armament of submarines with long-range ballistic missiles and on the basis of these works, the technical design of a large submarine."

To carry out the specified work was entrusted to collectives of the chief designer of SDB-16 NN Isanin and Chief Designer OKB-1 SRI-88 SPKorolev, at the suggestion which as a prototype for the creation of a marine ballistic missile was chosen the land rocket R-11, which was in service with the Soviet Army. During a year the rocket was modernized, and by April 1955 the first experimental samples of the R-11FM sea-launched missile. In 1955, the Navy to design for this missile offered a submarine with six missiles on board. The first launch of the missile from the upper section of the silo of the converted V-611 submarine (tactical number B-67) was held on September 16, 1955. In 1959 the first combination of missile carriers of 39 Brigade of the Northern Fleet was created, consisting of four submarines of the project AB-611. In 1958 the flight tests of R-11FM were completed.


The Golem was a surface-to-surface weapon designed for use from submarines. It has a range of about 400 miles. So far as was known, it can only be fired from the surface. German engineers also conceived of placing a V-2 missile inside a watertight tube that could be towed by submarine to a location near the U.S. coast. The tubes could then be trimmed to a vertical position and the missiles launched. The submarine would have to remain on the surface, however. The war ended before the concept could be tested, but the Soviet Union’s Golem submarine-towed missile launcher, produced in the 1950s, was based on captured German plans of this system.
Golem 1

Service: Navy; Type: Underwater-to-Surface; Status: Operational; Length: 53.8 ft; Diameter 5.5 ft, 11.2 ft fin span; Weight: 33,125 lb; Powerplant: Liquid engine, 121,200-lb thrust; Warhead: 2000 lb high-explosive or nuclear; Guidance: Programmed. Range 395 mi at Mach 7.0. Two or three towed behind submerged submarine, Missiel stands upright in water by flooding ballast chamber in tail.
Golem 2

Service: Navy; Type: Underwater-to-Surface IRBM; Status: Operational; Length: 56.9 ft; Diameter: 7.2 ft, 13.2 ft fin span; Weight: 74.800 lb; Booster Liquid engine. 242,000-lb thrust; Sustainer Liquid engine. 71,500-lb thrust; Warhead: 1430 lb high-explosive or nuclear. Range 1240 mi at Mach 11.4. Three missiles towed behind submerged submarine. Missile stands up right in water by flooding ballast chamber in tail.

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Page last modified: 09-02-2018 18:54:06 ZULU