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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Temp-2S / RT-21 / SS-16 SINNER

The "Temp-2S" missile was the first attempt by the Soviets to develop a mobile ICBM. Designated the SS-X-16, Western assessments believe that the it was probably originally intended for both silo and mobile deployment, using equipment and a basing arrangements that were comparable to the SS-20. The development of the missile began with a decree of the Ministerial Council in July 1969. The main developer was the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology under its chief designer A. D. Nadiradzye. The flight tests of the "Temp- 2S" began in March 1972. Through the end of 1974 a total of 26 missile launches were conducted on the training site in Plesetsk. The last missile firing took place in April 1976 and ended in failure.

The Temp-2S was a three-stage solid-propellant missile with an autonomous inertial guidance/control system. It was started from a transport launch canister installed on the mobile launcher on a wheel landing gear. According to Russian sources the 65 ft long, 6 ft diameter Temp-2S had a launch weight of 44 tons and the rocket could deliver a payload of 940 kg to a maximum range of 9,000 km. It carried a single 0.65-1.5 Mt warhead with a CEP of 450 m to 1640 m. The missile was assessed by Western intelligence as being capable of delivering a throw-weight of about 2,100 lb at a range of 5,000 nm, with the PBV providing the capability for an additional range increment of about 500 nm for the 1,000-lb class reentry vehicle known to have been tested. The missile used an inertial guidance system providing a CEP assessed by Western intelligence to be about 0.4 nm.

The main unit of the complex was the rocket regiment. The regiment consisted of 3 divisions and a mobile command post of the regiment. In the structure of each division there are 9 cars: 2 self-propelled launchers on a 6-axle automobile chassis MAZ-547A, a machine for preparation and launch on the chassis MAZ-543A, 2 cars-diesel power plants (each with 4 diesel-power units on the chassis "MAZ-543A", 2 cars of household provision (car-dining room, hostel car) on the chassis "MAZ-543V", 2 security cars (the guard on duty guard change on the chassis "MAZ-543A" and the car fighting post on the basis of the BTR-60 chassis).

As part of the mobile command post of the regiment, there were also 9 machines: combat control vehicles and communication vehicles on the MAZ-543-A chassis, a troposphere communication vehicle on the MAZ-543V chassis, 2 diesel-electric power stations, 2 consumer appliances and 2 security cars. All the machines were developed within the framework of the unified experimental design work "Creation of the Temp-2S missile complex, passed joint flight tests in its composition and adopted a single decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The complex also included equipment that ensures the life cycle of rockets and aggregates of ground equipment: vehicles for transporting and reloading missiles, storing them in arsenals, and regulating and training facilities.

According Russian sources the SS-16 Temp-2S was never introduced into the operational inventory, though the first two rocket regiments equipped with the "Temp-2S" were put on alert on 21 February 1976. According to Western estimates, the SS-16 was deployed beginning in 1978. Reportedly, at the time of the signing of the SALT II Treaty in June 1979 as many as 200 Temp-2S missiles had been built, of which as many as 60 were stored on the test training site in Plesetsk. According to Western data by the middle of 1978 as many as 50 missiles could have been deployed in Plesetsk. As of 1983 the available information did not allow a conclusive judgment on whether the Soviets deployed the SS-16, but did indicate probable deployment.

The Soviet Union agreed in SALT II not to produce, test, or deploy ICBMs of the SS-16 type. Specifically the Soviets agreed not to produce the SS-16 third stage, the RV or the appropriate device for targeting the RV of that missile. The missile appeared to share a number of components with the Soviet SS-20, an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). Because the Parties had agreed that land-based of non-ICBM ballistic missiles launchers should not be converted into launchers of ICBMs, the United States sought a ban on the SS-16 and prevent the verification problems which might have arisen if the SS-16 program had gone forward. Distinguishing between SS-16 and SS-20 deployments would have been very difficult extremely difficult had the Soviets pursued an active SS-16 program. In 1985 the US government determined that somewhat ambiguous evidence indicated that the SS-16 activities at Plesetsk were a probable violation of SALT II, which banned SS-16 deployment. However, by 1985 all supporting equipment had been removed from the training sites and the INF-Treaty finally ruled out the deployment of the SS-X-16.

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Page last modified: 15-05-2018 18:31:20 ZULU