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R-16 / SS-7 SADDLER

The R-16/SS-7 intercontinental ballistic missile is a two-stage, tandem, storable liquid-propellant missile capable of delivering a single 3500 lb reentry vehicle to a maximum operational range of 7000 nm,or a 4200 lb reentry vehicle to a range of 6000 nm. The SS-7 is about 100 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. The missile guidance system was inertial with a CEP estimated by the West at 1.0-1.25 nm.

The propulsion system of the first stage consists of three motors with two combustion chambers (similar to those used on the R-14 missile) and a four-chamber control engine. The pivoted combustion chambers of the control engine were placed on an external surface under fairings, which also served as aerodynamic stabilizers. The second stage had a two combustion chamber engine with that had a greater nozzle as the first stage and a four-chamber control engine. Dedicated retrorockets were used to separate the sustainer stages and the warhead. A novel and more reliable autonomous guidance control system that was protected from radio-jamming was designed for this missile.

Three versions of the R-16 missile were developed differing with regard to the number and the yield of warheads and the ensuing maximum range. Four variants of the reentry vehicle were detected by Western intelligence during the R&D program. Only the Mod 2 (ballistic coefficient equals 700 lb per sq ft; yield assesed by the West to be 2.0 to 3.5 MT) and the Mod 3 (ballistic coefficient equals 850 lb per sq ft; yield assessed by the West to be 3.0 to 5.0 MT) were deployed extensively.

The order to build an intercontinental ballistic missile designated as R-16 (8K64) was approved by the ministerial Council of the USSR on 17 December 1956. The developer was Yangel's OKB-586.

Test flights were to be started on 24 October 1960 at the Baikonur cosmodrome. However during preparation of a fueled rocket to resume a delayed launch there was an accidental engine ignition of the second stage. As a consequence of the ensuing explosion and fire about 100 people were killed, including Strategic Rocket Forces Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin. The incident was shrouded in mystery, and was first described in [not entirely correct] detail by James Oberg's books "Red Star in Orbit" and "Uncovering Soviet Disasters." Initially it was thought in the West that the disaster was associated with a failed attempt to launch a probe to Mars, and only subsequently was it understood to be a test of a new ICBM.

Flight tests resumed on 02 February 1961, and the SS-7's first successful flight test occurred on 02 April 1961. By late 1961 the first R-16 missile regiment was put on alert, though the system was not believed by Western intelligence to be operational until January 1962. The missile was fired from the surface launch complex "Desna-N", which consisted of two open launchers, a command center and a fuel depot.

In May 1960 the development of a missile designated as R-16U and its corresponding silo launch complex "Desna-V" began. The R-16U was to become the first silo launched ICBM but it also had a surface-launch capability. The launch complex consisted of three silos located in a straight line 60 meters away from each other, along with four underground command centers and fuel depots. The silo launchers had a depth of 45.6 m, a diameter of 8.3 m and a door diameter of 4.64 m.

The flight tests of the ground launched R-16U were conducted from 10 October 1961 through February 1962. The flight tests of the silo launched version began in January, 1962. The first surface-launched missile firing was conducted on 13 July1962, and this version was initially deployed on 15 June 1963. The silo launched version became operational on 15 July 1963 (simultaneously with the R-12U and R-14U missiles). The first three ground based R-16 regiments were put on alert on 01 November 1961, while the first regiment with silo based P-16U missiles was put on alert on 05 February 1963.

The system was deployed in both soft and hard sites. Between 1961 and 1965 a total of 186 mostly sufrace-based R-16 and R-16U were deployed. The SS-7 reaction time in the normal readiness condition is one to three hours for soft sites and five to fifteen minutes for hard sites. The allowable hold time in the highest alert condition (reaction time equals three to five minutes) is many hours for soft sites and days for hard sites. Maximum operational launcher inventory occurred in 1965 with some phase-out of both soft and hard sites occurring in 1971. Both missiles were phased out in 1976.

Specifications

 

Mod-1

Mod-2

Mod-3

DIA

SS-7

SS-7

SS-7

NATO

Saddler

Saddler

Saddler

Bilateral

R-16

R-16

R-16

Service

R-16(U) 1

R-16(U)1

R-16(U)

OKB/Industry

8K64(U)

8K64(U)

8K64(U)

Design Bureau

OKB-586

(Acad. M. K. Yangel)

OKB-586

(Acad. M. K. Yangel)

OKB-586

(Acad. M. K. Yangel)

Approved

12/17/1956

05/30/1960,

04/27/1961

Years of R&D

1956-1961

   

Engineering and Testing

1961-1962

1961-1963

 

First Flight Test

10/24/1960 failure

02/02/1961 success

10/10/1961

07/13/1962

11/22/1963

IOC

1961

1963

 

Deployment Date

11/__ /1961

02/05/1963, 6/15/1963 2

 

Type of Warhead

Single

Single

Single

Warheads

1

1

1

Yield (Mt)

3, 5-6

3, 5-6

3, 5-6

Payload (t)

1.475-1.5

2.175-2.2

2.175-2.2

Total length (m)

32.4 30.44/31

30.44/31

34.3

Total length

w/o warhead (m)

     

Missile Diameter (m)

3

3

3

Launch Weight (t)

140.6, 141.2

146.6

148

Fuel Weight (t)

130

130

130

Range (km)

13,000,

10,500 -11,000

11,000 -13,000

10,500

CEP (m) (Russian Sources)

2,700

2,700

2,700

CEP (m) (Western Sources)

2,750-2,800

2,750-2,800

2,750-2,800

Basing Mode

Soft site ground based

Silo based

Silo based

(12)

Number of Stages

2

Canister length w/o front meters (m)

N/A

Canister diameter (m)

Canister length (m)

   

Booster guidance system

Inertial autonomous

 

1st stage

2nd stage

Length (m)

14.5, 16.8

10.8 ~12.7

Body diameter (m)

3.0

2.4

Fueled weight (t)

 

Total 130.0

Dry weight (t)

 

Total 10.6

Engine Designation

Acad. V. P. Glushko, RD-218 (8D712)

Acad. V. P. Glushko,

RD-219 (8D713)

Configuration

Cluster of three engines + Yuzhnoy Vernier engine

RD 68 / RD-851

One engine + Yuzhnoy

Vernier engine

RD 69 / RD-852

Design Bureau

Acad. V. P. Glushko OKB-456

Acad. V. P. Glushko OKB-456

Years of R&D

1958-1961

1958-1961

Propellants

Liquid Storable

Liquid Storable

Fuel

UDMH (heptyl)

UDMH (heptyl)

Oxidizer

AK-27 I, ,= 73%HNO3 + 27% N204 (NTO), Nitrogen Tetroxide concentrated in Nitric Acid N02

AK-27 I,= 73%HNO3 + 27% N204 (NTO), Nitrogen Tetroxide concentrated in Nitric Acid N02

Burning time (sec.)

90

125

Verniers Thrust Sea Level/Vacuum (Tonnes)

28.850 / 38.7518

4.920 - 5.0173

Main engines Thrust Sea Level/Vacuum (Tonnes)

225.886 / 264.8379

90.1 Vacuum

Total Thrust Sea Level/Vacuum (Tonnes)

254.736 -255.4/ 303.5897 Altitude

95.02 95.1173 Vacuum

Specific Impulse Sea Level/Vacuum (sec.)

246-247/266 altitude 290 Vacuum

293 Vacuum

Hardness

 

Launching Technique

Soft site and silo

Deployed boosters

0

Test Boosters

 

Warheads Deployed

0

Training Launchers

 

Space Booster Variant

N/A

   

Deployment Sites

START

 

Locale US-Designation

Bershet=

 

Perm

Drovyanaya

 

Drovyanaya

   

Itatka

Kostroma

 

Kostroma

Kozel=sk

 

Kozelsk

Krasnoyarsk

 

Gladkaya

Nizhniy Tagil

 

Verknnyaya Salda

Novosibirsk

   

Svobodny

 

Svobodny

Teykovo

 

Teykovo

   

Tyumen

Vypolzovo

 

Yedrovo

Yasnaya

 

Olovyannaya

Yoshkar Ola

 

Yoshkar Ola

Yur=ya

 

Yurya

  1. The R-16U is almost identical to the R-16b ballistic missile except for its basing mode. It was deployed on above ground soft sites as well as in silos.
  2. This was the above ground soft site deployment date for the R-16U. The silo based version of the R-16U was deployed one month later.

Historical Review - Western Estimates

Flight testing
First successful attempt April 2, 1961
First Mod 2 reentry vehicle October 11, 1962
First Mod 3 reentry vehicle November 22, 1962
First Mod 4 reentry vehicle August 30, 1963
Initial operational capability
Soft sites, Mod 1 reentry vehicle January 1962
Hard sites December 1962
Mod 2 reentry vehicle 1962
Mod 3 reentry vehicle 1963
Maximum operational launcher inventory 1965
Phase-out began 1971

Sources and Resources



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