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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RT-20P / SS-15 SCROOGE - Program

The development of a mobile ground-based missile complex equipped with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) began at the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau (Dnepropetrovsk) in 1964. The first variant of the RT-20 ICBM (8K99) was a three-stage solid-propellant rocket. During the next stage of design work to reduce the launch weight of the rocket, it was decided to develop a two-stage RT-20P with a first stage equipped with a solid-propellant rocket engine and a second stage with a liquid rocket engine. This decision was made because the missile was placed on a mobile caterpillar self-propelled unit based on the T-10M tank (Object 821), which could not transport a missile weighing more than 30 tons.

The first design studies at KB Yuzhnoye (OKB-586) showed that without conducting a deep scientific research work, including with experimental confirmation, one can not even estimate the possibility of creating a rocket of this class. It was necessary to weigh the real state of the domestic industry for the production of solid rocket fuels and materials for rocket propellants, the elemental base of the control system, the expected level of characteristics of special combat weapons and so on.

To address this problem, Government Decision No. 316-137 of April 4, 1961 was sent, in which OKB-586 was proposed during 1961-1962. together with related organizations, to carry out the corresponding research work with its subsequent transfer to the ROC. The basis of the research was the TTZ of the Ministry of Defense, in accordance with which it was required to create a small-size ICBM on solid fuel with a starting mass of about 25 tons.

Research on the given topic lasted about two years. A large volume of calculation and theoretical studies, design and development work was carried out, the experience of the organizations of the industry in the design and experimental development of solid propellant rocket engines was mastered and generalized. At the same time, two model engines were made and a series of experiments were conducted to test the fire resistance of a number of materials. As a result of the research carried out, OKB-586 specialists became aware of many specific aspects of the design of the solid-propellant rocket engine, a close relationship was established with NII-9 (Altai Research and Production Association), NII-125 (LNPO Soyuz), and others.

The specificity of experimental development of rocket engines on solid fuel was mastered. During the research, they provided the production and bench tests of model engines on which the formulations of fuels were processed, materials and structures of RTDT elements. It was at this time that the teams of the design department 31 and the branch No. 2 of the OKB laid the foundations for a new, solid-fueled theme at the enterprise.

However, the required result was not achieved. The conducted research showed that taking into account all factors, the starting mass of a small-size ICBM on solid fuel can be realized only at a level 1.5 times higher than the preset level.

It would seem that the transfer of research into ROC is postponed indefinitely. However, the output was found: the designers proposed to create a two-stage small-sized ICBM of a combined type - with a solid-propellant rocket at the first stage and a liquid-fuel engine at the second stage. The use of the ampulized liquid second stage allowed to preserve all the main operational advantages of the solid propellant rocket and at the same time to introduce the launch mass of the rocket to the acceptable limits.

By the Government Decision No. 565-197 of May 22, 1963, the SRW on the subject of RT-20P was transferred to the ROC. OKB-586 ordered the development of a pre-project combined missile project with a starting mass of not more than 30 tons. The rocket was assigned the index 8K99, the first stage marching rocket - the index 15D15, the marching rocket of the second stage - the index 15D12.

Based on the positive results of the project and experimental work carried out, the leadership of the OKB and the plant in November 1963 came out to the government with the proposal to create a mobile crawler missile system with a combined two-stage ICBM. This proposal was considered as the first stage of creating this type of complex with the subsequent, as the characteristics of the solid fuel of materials and the design of the solid propellant as a whole improve, replacing the liquid second stage with solid fuel.

In December 1963, by order No. 778 of GKOT on the basis of branch No. 2 of OKB-586, a specialized production facility of plant No. 586 for the manufacture of solid fuel engines and fire test tests for RDTT was established. Design departments of the former branch remained in the OKB.

By the order of Chief Designer No. 2 of January 24, 1964, reorganization of design and engineering units working on solid-fuel topics is being carried out. To develop the engine of the first stage, a specialized complex No. 9 was created under the supervision of Deputy Chief Designer MB Dvinin. The project department 31 (head - BE Andreev, who at the same time became deputy head of the complex) and the design bureau 5 (KB-5), which was organized on the basis of the design department of the former branch No. 2, entered the structure of the complex. G. D Khorolsky. On the basis of the design department located on the Pavlodar territory, two departments were organized - 551 - engine design (ND Modestov) and 552 - by bench tests (A.A. Spivak). The total number of KB-5 at the time of creation was 130 people.

Soon the oral approval of the military-industrial complex was reinforced by Decision No. 113 of April 15, 1964, on the work of the first stage of the 8K99 complex with the first stage engine on solid mixture fuel and LPRE in the second stage, on the actually achieved level of characteristics for solid fuel, control system and special order.

During the development of the RT-20P three different basing modes were considered: road-mobile, railway and silo, with road-mobile basing system being actually developed. The missile was placed in a transport-launch canister and fired from a motorized launcher derived from the heavy T-YUM tank. The missile was launched from its canister using the mortar launch technique.

KB Yuzhnoye (OKB-586) completing the design in December 1964 and officially, the development of the complex was set by the decision of the USSR Council of Ministers of August 24, 1965. In 1966, the preliminary design of the mobile complex 15P699 was completed.

The developer of the self-propelled launcher - KIBSM (gl.konstruktor BGBochkov), the solid-propellant engine of the first stage was developed in design bureau of mechanical engineering (gl.konstruktor M. Tsiryulnikov), the developer of the charge - NII-130 (gl. Kozlov). In parallel to the main variant of the missile deployment, several mine variants of the RT-20P ICBM basing were worked out in the KBSM.

Flight tests of the rocket began in October 1967 in Plesetsk (technical supervisor of the tests of VS Budnik).

To eliminate the malfunctions detected in 1968 in the first and second stage engines, on-board and ground equipment of the control system produced the necessary improvements.

However, by decree of the government # 12-6 of January 6, 1969 serial production of the rockets and technological equipment of the complex was discontinued. It was allowed only during the first half of 1969 to hold rocket launches from the existing test in-kind conditions technical solutions that could be used in prospective developments. Twelve test launches were carried out after which in October 1969 the USSR Council of Ministers issued a decree on the termination of work. The reason for the termination of work was the difficulty of operating a mobile complex with a liquid rocket engine at the second stage, as well as the absence of a state program for its deployment in the country.

This decision was taken on the proposal of the Ministry of Defence, which throughout the development was "wary" of the combined missile, considering that the parallel complex "Temp-2c " should be successfully developed to solve all the tasks assigned to complexes with missiles 8k99 and 8k98. Official version of the reasons for this solution was "Due to the large number of failed launches Rockets... ". In fact this was due to the reluctance of the military to exploit the mobile Combat missile complex with liquid fuel on board, as well as the unavailability of missile Troops to the deployment of positional areas (PGRK locations, military routes Storage, repair and technical bases, communication, protection, social Sphere, etc.).

In July-August 1969, successful missile launches were conducted at the Kapustin Yar test range 16L, 12L, and 13L. There was a real possibility to complete flight tests in 1970 with the 19 remaining missiles, three were assembled and the remainder were in different manufacturing stages.

Taking into account the customer's concerns regarding the operation of the combined rocket with the Self-propelled lacunh unit, M.K.Yangel sent proposals on the use of 8K99 missiles in silo launchers instead. However, these proposals were rejected. Resolution of the Government of October 6, 1969 development of the missile complex of the RT-20p (8k 99) ceased.The reason for the termination of work was the difficulty of operating a mobile complex with a liquid rocket engine at the second stage, as well as the absence of a state program for its deployment in the country. All design documentation for the complex was transferred to the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering.

In the report on the results of work for 1963-1968 biennium, M.K.Yangel listed among the reasons behind the development of the RT-20p complex, along with shortcomings in the processing of solid motors, the first and second stagess, management system, noted the inadequate experience of the executor and insufficient attention to the missile development by the leading developers of the design bureau and personally the chief designer.

But the main reason, apparently, were not technical difficulties of working out, and a huge concentration of the best forces of the OKB on the problem of creating the most important missile complexes with liquid rockets R-36 with modifications, R-36M and periodic Distraction of the same forces to solve many other problems (lunar ship, MPYPL 00, 11k 67, 11k 69, 11k 68 and others).

Summing dramatic pages of the development history of the first solid (combined) rocket RT-20P, the first mobile combat missile complex development of design bureau-586, it can safely be assumed that its development played a significant role not only in terms of acquiring experience in the design bureau-586, but also in the development all combat missile equipment in the country. The development of this complex not only raised and approved the right to independent life solid subjects in the design bureau-586. The design and technological solutions of the OKB were tested in the natural conditions in the development of new generations of combat missiles with solid fuel, some of them even became the classics of world missiles, much ahead of their time.

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Page last modified: 13-05-2018 17:54:29 ZULU