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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


R-39M / Grom [Bark] / RSM-52V / SS-N-28

Russia regarded the maintenance of its strategic nuclear capacity, which represents the base of its policy of deterrence as a top priority. With this in mind (along with the need to replace obsolete and treaty-restricted systems), the Russian government authorized the modernization of it's strategic nuclear systems and hardware. This modernization envisaged the development of the SS-27 missile as a successor of the SS-25, the development of the new SS-N-28 to be deployed on submarines, and the construction of a fourth generation of strategic missile submarines. Russia maintains a force of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines equipped with intercontinental range missiles. Although the number of Russian SSBNs has dropped considerably, Russia planned to modernize its force with the addition of the new SS-NX-28 and new Borei Class ballistic missile submarines.

At the end of the 1980s work on an improved version of the R-39 missile began. The improved R-39 was intended to be deployed on Typhoon submarines and new "Yurin Dolgorukiy" SSBNs. Work on the new missile lagged seriously behind the initial timetable. Flight testing began in 1996 and the first launches terminated in failures.

The new Grom SS-N-28 was designed to provide improved accuracy compared to the previous SS-N-20, but is otherwise apparently a straightforward development of this system. The SS-NX-28, unlike previous Russian SLBMs, was the first to be totally developed and manufactured within Russia's borders by the Makeyev Machine-Building Design Bureau.

The first version of the project assumed the use of the OTAG of the OTOG mixed-oxide solid fuel of the production of the NPO Altai (Biysk) in the solid propellant rocket, at the 2nd and 3rd stages fuel with aluminum hydride and the active binder TTF-56/3 Pavlograd Chemical Plant (Pavlograd, Ukraine).

In June 1992, the Council of Chief Designers decided to develop a supplement to the draft design with equipment of the 2 nd and 3 rd stages with fuel of the same fuel of the first stage (OPAL-MS-IIM with an octogen). This is caused by the conversion of the fuel producer in Ukraine - the Pavlograd Chemical Plant - into the production of household chemicals. The replacement of fuel reduced the energy of the rocket, which led to a reduction in the number of combat blocks from 10 to 8 pcs. From December 1993 to August 1996, four fire tests of the engines of the 2nd and 3rd stages on OPAL fuel were carried out, and a Conclusion on the admission to flight tests was issued. As of August 1996, the development and ground development of charges for engines of all three stages and 18 charges of control engines for the Bark SLBM was completed.

The test launch of a prototype SS-NX-28 (RSM-52V) SLBM on 19 November 1998 resulted in a catastrophic failure of the SLBM's booster. The missile exploded roughly 200 meters after take-off from its ground based launch station. The SS-NX-28 then proceeded to fail its next two test firings, after which the project was abandoned.

As of early 1999 it appeared that construction had ceased on the first unit of the Borei-class, pending a redesign of the ship to accommodate a different missile from the SS-N-28 for which the class was originally designed to carry.

The Typhoon submarines were initially intended to be retrofitted to carry the SS-N-28 missile. The lead unit of this class, the TK-208, had been in overhaul since 1992 with the intent of receiving these modifications. The Typhoon class submarines were slated to be withdrawn from service within a few years, and it is unlikely that other units of the class would be modified to accommodate new missiles.

In January 2000 Rear-Admiral Vladimir Makeev, the head of the Northern Fleet's rocket test site at Nenoksa, Arkhangelsk County, stated that a Typhoon submarine would be used to test the new Bark-class strategic missiles. Makeev also stated that Bark-class missiles were to be installed on the forth generation Borey-class submarines.

Project 955 Borei strategic underwater missile cruisers with the D-19M Bark missile system were supposed to replace Typhoon submarines. The navy designated Dmitry Donskoi NPS, which had spent 13 previous years in the repair docks of Severodvinsk, for this system to be tested. The Makeev Design Bureau was hastily developing Bark missile, which was promised to strike everybody by its cheapness, precision, speed, protection and other properties. After several years of work and investment of 10 billion rubles the missile proved to be 2 centimeters thicker than the previous one - the silos of Dmitri Donskoi had to be reconstructed.

Bark project was initially estimated at 6.5 billion rubles. By the performance specifications the range of the missile was to be 10,000-11,000 kilometers, weigh some 32-34 tons, up-to-date warheads and use new propellant. During almost two decades while the missile was developed, the Dmitri Donskoi cruiser was prepared by 73%, the missile - by 80%. Due to funding shortage, only three flight tests were conducted in 1994-2003, although seven rounds are commonly used.

The shock-absorbing launcher system was disengaged first; this followed by a failure in the control devices. During the third test the workers forgot to install the orifice molybdenum washers to the missile. The developers had to face the third phase of the testing when the government suddenly denied financing for the project any further and ordered a totally new missile system from the Moscow Institute of Heating Engineering (MIHE) by proposal of Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and Navy's Commander Vladimir Kuroyedov.

R-39UTTKk / 3M-91 "Bark-Ost" - 10 x ballistic high-speed MIRVs of medium power of RGCH-8 (power 200 kt - East - Zavyalov VS). The development of high-speed small-size combat units of the MIRVIS was conducted by SKB-385 in cooperation with the Research Institute of Instrument Engineering and the Zlatoust Machine-Building Plant from 1976 to 1985. The combat units are made with reduced visibility in the radar and infrared ranges. The draft version of the SLBM is reflected in the Program for the Development of the Armed Forces of the USSR for 1991-2000. Under the international agreement of 15.11.1990 (Geneva), the missiles of the D-19UTTX complex could be equipped with 8 MIRVS, which would ensure the non-violation of international agreements between the USSR and the United States to reduce strategic nuclear forces. The missile was equipped with a complex of anti-missile defense (CRMD). Combat units of SLBMs were tested in 19 launches of carrier K65MPfrom the Kapustin Yar test site (held until 1993). In June 1992, an addition was made to the draft project on replacing fuel at the 2 nd and 3 rd stages with less energy, which led to a reduction in the number of combat blocks from 10 to 8 pcs.

R-39UTTX / 3M-91 "Bark-West" - monoblock maneuvering high-speed warheads. The development of the SLBM version is reflected in the Program for the Development of the Armed Forces of the USSR for 1991-2000.

The design of the SLBM used an element of a new type - an aerodynamic carbon-fiber fairing with a flexible conical inflatable nozzle 1.7 m in length. The aerodynamic fairing is dropped and withdrawn at the end of the work of the second stage of the rocket.

Some people from MIT criticized the "Makeyevites" for non-optimal technical solutions on the R-39 rocket, although, for example, on the same "Topol", adopted for service in the a few years later, telescopic attachments on the upper stages were not used, but on P-39 they are. And on the R-39, like the 2nd stage, the nozzle was turning, and on the same "Topol" - all motionless.

The SS-N-28 Bark was already in the test stage when the Navy refused the missile in favor of the new designer, the Moscow Institute Thermotechnika. The institute was engaged in the ground-based Topol missiles and actively lobbied by the Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.




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