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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RT-15 / RT-2P

The RT-15 / SS-14 medium-range ballistic missile was a two-stage, tandem, solid-propellant missile capable of delivering a nominal reentry vehicle of the 1,200-lb class to a range of about 1,600 nm. Missile gross weight was estimated as about 35,800 lbs derived from the two upper stages of the SS-13 ICBM. It had an inertial guidance system that was estimated by Western intelligence to have a CEP (at 1500 nm) of about 0.5 nm.

The RT-15 [designated the RT-2P according to some sources] was the first Soviet attempt to develop a mobile intermediate range missile. The development of the RT-15 missile was approved in April 1961 and was included in the program of developing the RT-2 / SS-13 missile on whose second and third stages it was based. The missile was intended to be sea and ground launched and had a maximum range of 2000-2500 kms. The designer of the ground-launched RT-15 (8K96) was P.A. Tyurin from KB Arsenal.

Two-stage solid fuel missile was deployed on a transport-launching rack, which was placed on the mobile launcher. The launcher was built on the basis of a heavy tank. The SS-14 transporter-erector-launcher was first observed in May 1965, and designated SCAMP by NATO. The SS-14 system was first observed in a Moscow parade in November 1967. The missile inside the container was later seen separately and code named SCAPEGOAT in 1968. Subsequent analysis demonstrated that the SCAPEGOAT missile was carried by the SCAMP launcher.

In 1968 it was recommended for series production and experimental operation after passing successful tests. Nevertheless the Ministry of Defense refused to accept the deployment of this missile and the program was completely stopped in 1970 after 10 experimental launches were conducted in the years 1969 and 1970. The last flight test observed by Western intelligence was in March 1970, and the program was assumed by Western intelligence to have been cancelled. Less than 30 SS-14s were deployed, all in former Soviet Asia.

No permanent facilities other than a benchmark would be necessary at an SS-14 launch site. As a result, launch site preparation would be minimal and ground access would be by means of semi-improved or unimproved roads in extremely rough terrain or possibly no roads at all in fairly smooth terrain. Reaction time in the normal readiness condition (condition after arrival at site) would be 20 to 30 minutes. Hold time at peak readiness (reaction time of two to ten minutes) would be about a day.


The Nadiradze design bureau was absolutely not concerned with issues such as the life of the missile, absolutely not caring about that for parking the TEL ["SPU"] required a minimum of at least semi-permanent, unheated building, and preferably with a retractable roof. When the SMF management turned to Nadiradze with such an important issue - he simply sent them away explaining his refusal by the fact that he allegedly created a unique missile system on the principle of "take it and shoot". Nadiradze handed it to the troops, and the rest was not his concern. No arrangements were made, and threats did not work. So the command of the Strategic Missile Forces instructed the commander of the first division with the pioneers to build a host of primitive facilities for the TEL/SPU from any available material.

One can imagine what they looked like in appearance. The Americans saw these giant "sheds" from satellites and determined their destiny were stunned by a combination of such huge costs of creating the rocket with the poverty of its housing. Nadiradze himself was a smart chief designer, twice Hero of Socialist Labor. But he did not realize that even the most fancy military equipment (except tanks) can not stand all year round in the rain, wind and snow.

As a result, the Strategic Missile Forces command was forced from its own funds to start the construction of a pilot plant at Bryansk, which only later entered serial production. But this is half the battle. And how to make the moving roof coincide with the threshold of the second rocket stage? Initially, this was done manually by a winch, but this option was dangerous for staff. Then the relevant research institutes, whose leader, knowing the obstinacy of Naditradze in these matters, agreed to help missilemen and instructed developers on amendments to the sequence diagram Pioneers start when finding to PPD. So in the function sequence of the starting command is added to the countdown to the shift of the roof.

Therefore, with regard to such issues as comfort or alleviating conditions of combat operation, missilemen had to rely only on the creators of the Communist Party (CP), technology support staff, scientists of NII-4, operation service heads of departments missile voruzheniya RVSN (which is dispersed) and on the performance of the military acceptance crew.

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Page last modified: 02-10-2018 18:36:40 ZULU