15Zh61 - SS-24 Mod-1 - Rail Mobile
In the conditions of improving missile technology, combat missiles themselves became the primary target for the enemy. The accuracy of firing missiles increased, and already in the silo launchers they could not be sufficiently protected. The mobile (mobile) missile system could be protected due to the uncertainty of its location. Various versions of ground and rail mobile missile systems were considered. The idea of transporting and launching missiles from specially equipped trains was not only formulated, but also worked through experiments both in the US and in the USSR.
Design works for the creation of a combat railway missile complex (BZHRK) were also conducted at the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau. In the 1960s. The project of the BZHRK with the rocket 15Zh41 (RT-21) was developed. The project of the railway complex with the 15Z41 missile showed the principal possibility of creating a mobile combat railway missile complex of intercontinental range and was a prototype of subsequent projects developed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau.
In the mobile missile complex, only a solid-fuel rocket could be used. While working on the creation of a new missile, the specialists of the Yuzhnoye SDO planned to use it both for a stationary complex and for a rolling railway complex. Full-scale development of a stationary missile system with a solid-fueled light rocket of the class 15Zh44 was launched in 1976. On the basis of this rocket, it was planned to create a rocket 15Zh52 for a mobile combat railway complex.
In 1989, a unique combat railway missile system was adopted, which became a unique technical and technological breakthrough in the world rocket engineering. US specialists, trying to create a railway complex for the Minuteman missile, refused further work, limiting themselves to making a prototype model. They encountered difficulties in transporting a heavy missile, and especially when launching a rocket from a platform.
The best scientific developments of engineers, designers and scientists of the design bureau "Yuzhnoye" and other research organizations of the Soviet Union were implemented in BZHRK. ICBM 15Zh61, together with the transport-launch container, were placed in a car of standard sizes. This car had eight axles, and with the help of unloading devices two neighboring cars partially carried its load. The train consisted of three starting units. On the route the train developed a speed of up to 80 km / h. After receiving the preparation for the start command for several minutes, the train had to stop, take aside the traction electrical network, open the car roof and push the rocket out with a special powder battery. At an altitude of 20-30 meters above the TPK, the rocket was inclined, and only after that the first-stage engine was launched.
The railway launcher was designed by the design bureau of special engineering, under the leadership of AF Utkin. Before the developers of the railway missile train there were new tasks. First of all, it was required to ensure the movement of the car, the mass of which together with the launcher and missile in the container was more than 200 tons. The load from the wheelset of the starting car was 1.5 times higher than the maximum permissible level established by the Ministry of Railways. As a result, an original solution was found: the axle of the launch car in which the missile was in the container was unloaded by transferring part of the load to adjacent front and rear cars using a special unloading device.
At the launch of the rocket, there was one more problem: when the first stage engine was started, a powerful jet of gases from the operating engine of the first stage overturned the car. It was necessary to ensure its stability. The Yuzhnoye Design Bureau found an original solution to this problem. The impact of the operating march engine on the wagon and the transport-launch container (TPK) was excluded due to the forced slope of the missile after exiting the TPK before launching the engine. The rocket was launched using a powder pressure accumulator. The rocket was raised 20-30 meters above the TPK cutoff. Already in the air the missile was swept with a special powder engine, and only after that the first-stage march engine was launched. The jet of gas and fire, produced by the rocket, was moving away from the launcher, without damaging it, the rocket was rising upwards.
The railway launcher 15P761 for the rocket 15?61 was developed on the basis of an eight-axle wagon. The designers considered variants of the combat use of the BMD with one and several launch modules. Optimal was the option with three launch modules. This option was the basis for further work. The composition of BZHRK included:
- three three-wave launch modules with ICBMs 15Zh61;
- a command module consisting of seven wagons; 3 tank-wagon with fuels and lubricants;
- three diesel locomotives.
The missile complex made it possible to carry out launches from any point of the route, including from electrified railways. To this end, BZHRK was equipped with a high-precision navigation system, and the wagon-launcher was equipped with an opening roof with a hydraulic drive and special devices for shorting and tapping the contact network. Each of the three launchers in the BZHRK could launch both as part of the train and autonomously.
The transport and launch container of the 15Z61 missile was equipped with a thermostating system and automatic preparation and launching of a missile. The lifting of the TPK to a vertical position was carried out by pneumatic drive with the help of powder pressure accumulators. The increased survivability of the missile system was achieved not only due to its mobility, but also due to the use as a shelter of the composition of railway tunnels on the routes of combat patrolling.
The high level of technical equipment allowed to apply BZHRK at any time of the year, in any conditions from the allowed parts of the route of combat patrolling. The unique solid-fuel rocket 15Zh61, which became the basis of BZHRK, had such high accuracy characteristics that the American military called it "Scalpel".
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