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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

GR-1 / SS-X-10 SCRAG

The 1961 Global Rocket 1 (GR-1) requirement chartered a competition for the development of a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. The Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers released an initiative in September of 1962 that called for the creation of a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) capable of sending a nuclear warhead into a 150 km high orbit around the Earth. The purpose in requesting such a system was to develop a warhead that could approach the enemy from any direction and below missile tracking radar. The enemy would not only be uncertain where the warhead was going to fall but, it would also have little or no warning as to when it was going to fall.

The GR-1 Fractional Orbital Bombardment System [FOBS] was intended to overcome the ABM-system that the USA was about to deploy in order to protect selective ICBM deployment sites from a Soviet nuclear strike. The GR-1 orbital missile was designed to place a warhead in a low earth orbit of 150 km and targeting the warhead on the earth surface following a break in its initial trajectory. The GR-1 was designed to have a 5 km (along range) and 3 km (on azimuth deviation at unlimited range) target accuracy.

Yangel offered the R-36. Korolev proposed the 8K713, which was cancelled in 1964 prior to flight testing due to engine delays. Chelomei proposed the UR-200, which was cancelled following the October 1964 ouster of downfall of Khrushchev, who had been Chelomey's political patron. Following repeated engine production delays, the GR-1 program was halted in favor of the R-36 missile (8K69).

Like other Korolev designed rockets, the 8K713 GR-1 was a liquid cryogenic propelled missile. It had a launch weight of 117 tons and carried was designed to carry a single warhead with a yield of 2.2 MT. Since the R-9A was reaching the end of its operational use, the GR-1 was designed to use its launch platform.

Despite never being flight tested, the GR-1 was paraded in Red Square (described as a sister to manned space launch vehicles) and received the US-designation SS-X-10 SCRAG. US intelligence correctly identified as being a FOBS design. However, sources incorrectly assumed that the GR-1 parading in Red Square and the FOBS undergoing flight tests (the UR-200) were the same system. Similar mistakes occurred during the R-36 orbital tests.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 12:13:23 ZULU