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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RT-2 - SS-13 SAVAGE - Western Estimates

The program was first detected by Western intelligence during an early 1900 km short-range flight test in late February 1966. According to Western estimates, the initial operational capability was probably achieved in 1969.

A National Security Agency history, "The Soviet Land-based Ballistic Missile Program, 1945-1972" An Historical Overview" [TOP SECRET UMBRA] noted that two missile research and development programs -- the SS-l3 and SS-X-15 ICBMs -- were undertaken at Plesetsk, both apparently with limited success. Only eight missiles were launched there in the SS-X-15 test and development program. The SS-13 program - which was moved to Plesetsk from Kapustin Yar in 1966, continued at a fairly slow rate, including one launch in 1966, ten launches in 1967, nine in 1968, six in 1969, and sixteen in 1970. The increase in 1970 was due to a series of firings of a modified SS-13, in addition to apparently routine -- possib1y troop-training -- firings of standard SS-13s. The development of these two missiles at Plesetsk - a range with presumably limited facilities compared to Tyuratam, implies that the Soviets expected neither program to become a large one.

According to the NSA, the SS-13 was the first solid-propellant ICBM to be deployed by the 8oviets. A three-stage missile, the 88-13 evolved' into a highly reliable system, one study showing a launch-reliability factor of 95 percent, and an in-flight reliability factor of 90 percent (on the basis of only seven failures of the first 55 missiles tested).

Flight tests of probable solid-propellant missiles were first noted in late 1965, when three were launched on the Kapustin.Yar range. The first, on 16 September, was given the arbitrary designator of KY-5 for identification purposes. Two more tests of KY-5 followed on 12 October and 16 November 1965. The impact area of the missile tested on 16 September could not be determined by Radint. A possible distance of between 130 and 150 nautical miles had been achieved.

Two impacts were revealed by Radint concerning the 12 October test. The first impact location, probably of the booster stage, was about 288 nautical miles down range. The other impact location, probably of the reentry vehicle, was about 197 nautical miles from the launch site. Radint showed a single impact for the 26 November launch of approximately 203 nautical miles down range.

On 26 February 1966, another test of a probable solid-fueled missile was seen on the Kapustin Yar range, to a distance of 1,050 nautical miles. Five more flights of this missile (given the designator KY-6) were noted to mid-1966 on the Kapustin Yar range. Although no firm relationship could be established at the time between the KY-5 and KY-6, it was speculated that they were the same program, the KY-6 having an additional upper stage. It would later be seen that the two programs were in fact related, the KY-5 being the forerunner of the SS-14 MRBM, and the KY-6 the forerunner of the SS-13 ICBM. The SS-14, essentially, consisted of the secopd and third stages of the SS-13.

NSA observation of tests on 26 February, 15 March, and 11 April 1966, further showed the KY-6 to be a three-stage tandem missile with the two upper stages using solid propellants. When compared to a three-stage solid-fueled ICBM which had been displayed, in a Moscow parade in May 1965, the one on disp1ay -- referred to as the Savage -- and the KY-6 were believed to be the same missile.

Resembling to a degree the U.S. Minuteman ICBM in design, the SS-13 was launched for the first time on the P1esetsk range on 4 November 1966, to a distance of 3,100 nautical miles. Following this transfer of the test and development program from Kapustin Yar to Plesetsk, the missile was subsequently noted being launched on the latter range to a variety of impact areas, including Kamchatka and the Pacific Ocean.

As was true of other ICBMs in the Soviet missile test programs, variants of the SS-13 evolved. Distinct test phases also characterized the missile's development. The first test phase (of feasibility aspects of the over-all missile system) began with the initial launch of the KY-6 on the Kapustin Yar range on 26 February 1966, continuing into July of that year. Six missiles were noted being launched in this test phase to distances of 1,050 nautical miles. The first launch on the P1esetsk range, on 4 November 1966, possibly also concerned feasibility tests of the missile.

Following the 4 November 1966 launch, a pause of five months occurred in the S8-13 test program. The lull ended when testing began in April 1967, this phase continuing to August 1968. Fifteen launches were noted on the P1esetsk range in this test phase, four of which were to 4,700-nautical mile distances. At least four other launches were seen in late-1968, and five launches between October 1968 and February 1968.

Two variants of the SS-l3 had been identified. The first, or Mod 1, probably achieved initial operational capability in 1969. It is capable of delivering a reentry vehicle of about 1,200 pounds to a maximum range of 5,500 nautical miles, with a CEP estimated at one nautical mile. Research and development tests of another version, the Mod 2, were essentially completed by 1971. Characterized by a change in reentry vehicle design and a CEP of about .7 nautical mile, the Mod 2, so far as is known, was not operationally deployed, and this aspect of the program has probably been terminated. Its maximum range, like the Mod I, was estimated at 5,500 nautical miles.

First-stage thrust of the SS-13 was about 210,000 pounds, second-stage thrust about 98,700 pounds; and third-stage thrust about 45,000 pounds. Gross weight of the missile was about 111,000 pounds, with an over-all length of 66.5 feet. First-stage diameter 1s 5.85 feet, second-stage 4.9 feet, and third-stage 3.3 feet. Approximate warhead yield is .6 to 1.5 megatons.

Inaddition to its being the first solid-fueled ICBM deployed by the Soviets, the SS-l3 test and development program was associated by other noteworthy happenings. Relocation of the program to Plesetsk in November 1966, for example, represented the first effort at that facility for missile test and development purposes. Of additional note were launches of SS-l3s in August 1970 to 1,000-nautical mile distances, suggesting a variable :role for the missile. These firings, on 7 and 29 August, were from Plesetsk to the Norilsk impactl\of the Northerj, Fleet Missile Complex. They further represented the first time missiles had been launched from P1esetsk to distances of less than 3,100 nautical miles.

Also, the display of a prototype of the missile in the Moscow parade in May 1975 - months before it was first f1ight-tested - represented a departure from normal Soviet practice. Public displays of missiles usually trail their operational deployment, if they are shown at all.

Deployment Sites

START Locale US-Designation
Yoshkar Ola Yoshkar Ola
The SS-13 was noted in "Evaluations of Soviet Surface-to-surface Missile Deployment 29th Revision" - A Report of the Deployment Working Group of the Guided Missile and Astronautics Intelligence Committee (GMAIC) - January 1969 [Approved For Release : CIA-RDP78TO4757A000300010027-7]. This report was the 29th Revision of Evaluations of Soviet Surface-to-Surface Missile Deployment, prepared by the Deployment Working Group (DWG) of the Guided Missile and Astronautics Intelligence Committee (GMAIC). This report is published periodically by the GMAIC DeploymentWorking Group (DWG) to provide a current evaluation of all Soviet ICBM, IRBM, and MRBM deployment, including numbers, types of site configurations, estimated construction and operational status, and other evaluations by the DWG. These data constitute the majorityview of the DWG membership, and may not correspond precisely to individual assessments by each member. The basic report, dated 1 January 1962 Control Number has been revised and updated on a periodic basis. Further updating was accomplished in reports prepared and published for GMAIC by the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC).

The 22 new, hard, single-silo launch sites identified at the Yoshkar-Ola ICBM Complex during the second half of 1967 and the first half of 1968 year were designated Type IIIE. The launchers and three launch control Centers were under construction in 1968. Construction techniques for the IIIE silos appeared similar to those at US Minuteman launch sites. Although the final launcher configuration is not certain, it was assessed that probably would be similar if not identical to that of the single silos in the east portion of the Plesetsk Missile and Space Center. The observed pace of construction indicated these sites probably would be completed by mid-1969.

It was assessed that the SS-13 (KY-6) solid propellant missile, which was being tested to ICBM ranges from Plesetsk, probably would be deployed in the IIIE sites. The number of launchers in a IIIE group had not been established. However, at least three launch groups were indicated by the fact that three dispersed launch control facilities had been identified. None of the launch control facilities was nearer than 1.5 nm to a launch silo. The limited deployment of the IIIE sites identified to date provides little indication of the extent of future deployment. In the past, the Soviets had deployed new systems at more than one complex within a relatively short time span. The fact that the IIIE silos had been identified at only one complex more than a year after deployment began suggested that deployment of the system may be limited. On the other hand, the presence of ten TypeIIIE silos at Plesetsk suggested a larger program which could appear at some or all of the seven ICBM complexes which do not have single silos. Perhaps additional fixed deployment would be deferred until the missile had been tested fully or the missile may be deployed in a mobile mode.

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Page last modified: 02-10-2018 18:36:41 ZULU