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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

R-9 - SS-8 SASIN

The R-9 was the last cryogenically fueled rocket system rocket system and was (along with the R-8) was the first of the Soviet missiles to be deployed in mass. It was deployed in soft and semi-hardened sites. The launch vehicles were capable of delivering a 3,500 lb reentry vehicle with a maximum range of 6000 nm.

The proposal for a new LOX-kerosene fueled ICBM with an initial launch weight of 100 tons (2-3 times less than the R-7) was submitted by chief Soviet designers to the Soviet government in April 1958. The approval for the program was received a little more than a year later. Korolev was, as with the R-7, designated as the lead developer for the program. Flight tests originally began at the Baikonur cosmodrome but were moved to the experimental Dessna-N complex 20 months later. The ground-based tests where completed at the Soviet "valley" complex in early February 1963, while the silo tests were completed a year later. In all 54 tests were carried out (15 of the first 32 ended in engine failure).

The ICBM had sequential stages connected through a truss. It was also the first Soviet ICBM to use pressurized fuel tanks which lowered over all weight requirements by eliminating the special pressurized gas bottles. The first stage was a liquid cryogenic fueled, closed-cycle engine with four combustion chambers developed by OKB- headed by Glushko. The second stage utilized a KB Khimavtomakiki designed four chamber open cycle engine. A new system of gimbaled combustion chambers ws used for flight control during the first stage. The second chamber did not rely on gimbaled chambers, but rather control nozzles using exhaust case from the turbo pump. First stage separation occurred at an attitude required the use of stabilizers to control aerodynamic stability. To control this stability, four fins were placed on the aft bay of the second stage which opened after the first stage separated.

The R-9'orginial design used a combined command structure with engineer radio channels. Its inertial guidance system provided active trajectory flight control during all but the last ten seconds of flight which was controlled by a radio correction system. Later design models scrapped that system in favor of a design which allowed for the execution of autonomous flight parameter monitoring.

The missile was designed to carry two separate payloads depending on the size of warhead to be deployed. It could be deployed with either a 1.7 or 2.09 megaton warhead.

The original R-9 missile was designed for surface launch, but a silo-launched version entered development in 1960. In total three different launch complexes were developed: Two ground-launch complexes (Desna-N and "Valley") and a silo-launch complex ("Desna-V"). Two launchers, a command center, missile propellant depots and radio command guidance system formed the "Desna-N" launch complex. The "Valley" complex had a similar structure, but was equipped with an rapid response system that could carry out a launch within 20 minutes. Within the 20 minute time frame, the missile could be transported from the depot to the launch-complex, installed, fueled and targeted. The minimum interval for a subsequent launch was 9 minutes from another launcher or 2 hours from the same pad.

According to Western intelligence, initial operational launch capability was achieved at soft-sites in November, 1963, and in hard-sites the following April. In fact, Russian sources suggest that the first missile regiments equipped with missiles R-9A, These regiments were first put on alert in December 1964 (4 regiments with surface-based missiles and one regiment with missiles of silo basing). The maximum operational launcher inventory of 23 was reached in 1963 and 1964.

Deployment of the R-9 began in earnest on 21 July 1965. The R-9 system was deployed at both soft and hard "Valley" and Desna-V sites. Missiles were not deployed at the Desna-N, since launch preparation took at least 2 hours. According to Western assessments, the reaction time for soft systems in the normal readiness condition was one to three hours, and for 30 to 45 minutes for hard systems. As in the R-7 the cryogenic oxidizer used as propellant the R-9 was only allowed to hold for 60 minutes on high alert before seal failure. Soft-site phase out began in 1971 and by 1976 the R-9A missiles were phased out entirely.

Deployment Sites

START   Locale US-Designation
Kozel=sk   Kozelsk

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Page last modified: 28-05-2018 19:42:44 ZULU