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RT-23 / SS-24 SCALPEL

Comparable in size and concept to the US Peacekeeper, the SS-24 is cold-launched with 10 warheads. The missile is deployed both as rail-mobile and silo-based. The silo-based SS-24 was intended to replace the SS-19 Stilletto in the Russian strategic inventory. The SS-24 rail missile systems is subject to elimination under the provisions of the START-II Treaty.

The RT-23UTTh is a solid-propellant missile with three stages within a constant diameter body. The first stage of the silo-based missile uses a rotating nozzle, whereas the railway–based version is equipped with a fixed nozzle partially inserted in the motor combustion chamber. The engines of the second and third stages deploy extendable nozzles during flight to increase the motor's specific impulse without the need to increase of the overall dimensions of the missile. During the first stage flight control is attained through deflection of the sustainer nozzle, and during the second and third stage by deflecting the combat stage and by fairing-mounted aerodynamic vanes.

Both silo-based and rail-mobile missiles have an autonomous inertial guidance system using an onboard digital computer. The silo-based system uses a two-package block of control instruments made of radiation-resistant electronic elements. The railway-based missile has only one-package block of control instruments.

A total of 10 warheads [each with a yield of 550 KT], a post-boost vehicle with a guidance/control system and a propulsion system are inside the nose cone. The guidance/control system provides a CEP of 500 meters according to unofficial Russian estimates, which gives the missile a hard-target-kill capability. The missile is deployed in a transport-launching canister from which it is launched through the mortar start technique. To conduct a railway launch the sliding roof of the car opens, the container is erected and the missile is launched with the help of a solid propellant gas generator. The missile can be launched from any point of the route.

The length of the two versions are the missile were determined by the dimensions of the silo or the railway launcher. The silo-based missile therefore has a nose cone tip flap that is activated when the launch is initiated while the railroad based missile has a folded nose cone that is extended when the launch is conducted.

The creation of the RT-23 UTTh was the culmination of a long-term effort to create a solid-propellant ICBM for multiple basing modes which was initiated on 13 January 1969.

The US Defense Department stated in September 1991 that production had ended with approximately 90 missiles deployed. A total of 46 silo-based RT-23UTTh missiles located in Ukraine were phased out and dismantled in compliance with the provisions of the START-1 treaty. They were denuclearised and their warheads have been transferred to Russia. By 1994 most of the rail-mobile systems remained in garrison due to lack of funding. By April 1997 10 silo-based and 36 railway based RT23-UTTh missiles were still deployed on Russian territory. Following Russian ratifiication of the START-2 treaty in early 2000, all RT-23 UTTh missiles are subject to dismantling.

With the breakupof the Soviet Union in 1991, most design and production facilities for the SS-24 belonged to Ukraine. Ukraine had no interest in continuing to produce these ICBMs, and the production line was closed in 1995.

It has been suggested that these rail-mobile land-based missiles, which have been parked in their garrisons, may be placed back on patrol in response to American missile defense and associated arms control initiatives.

Specifications

 

R & D

Mod-

Mod-2

Mod-1

DIA

SS-24
PL-04

SS-24

SS-24V

SS-24

NATO

Scalpel

Scalpel

Scalpel

Scalpel

Bilateral

 

RS-22B

RS-22A

RS-22V

Service

RT-23

RT-23

RT-23 UTTKh

RT-23 UTTKh

OKB/Industry

15Zh44

15Zh52

15Zh60

15Zh61

Design Bureau

SKB-586, NPO Yuzhynoy Acad. V. F. Utkin

SKB-586, NPO Yuzhnoye Acad. V. F. Utkin

SKB-586, NPO Yuzhnoye Acad. V. F. Utkin

SKB-586, NPO Yuzhnoye Acad. V. F. Utkin

Approved

7/23/1976

6/1/1979

8/9/1983

8/9/1983

Years of R&D

1/1969 ?3/1977

11/1982 - 1987

1983 - 1989

1983 - 1989

Engineering and Testing

1985-87

     

First Flight Test

10/26/82 Failure, 12/1982 Success

4/ /1984

7/31/1986

2/27/1985

IOC

canceled

10/20/87

8/19/1988

12/1987

Deployment Date

Canceled

11/ /1987

11/28/1989

11/28/1989

Type of Warhead

MIRV

MIRV

MIRV

MIRV

Warheads

10

10

10

10

Yield (Mt)

0.55

0.35 -0.55

0.35 -0.55

0.3 -0.55

Payload (t)

4.05

4.05

4.05

4.05

Total length (m)

23.3

23.4 - 23.8

18.8 - 23.4

23.3

Total length w/o warhead (m)

18.8, 19

19

19

19

Missile Diameter (m)

2.4

2.4

2.4

2.4

Launch Weight (t)

104.5

104.5

104.5

104.5

Range (km)

10,000

10,000 - 11,000

10,100 -11,000

10,100 - 10,450

CEP (m) (Russian Sources)

500

500

500

500

CEP (m) (Western Sources)

150-250

150-250

150-250

150-250

Basing Mode

 

Silo

Silo

Railroad

Number of Stages

3

Canister length (m)

21.0 - 22.4

Canister length w/o

Front meters (m)

19.4

Canister diameter (m)

2.7

Booster guidance system

Inertial autonomous

 

1 Stage

2nd Stage

3rd Stage

Bus Stage

Length (m) M1

9.7

4.8

3.6

 

Length (m) M2

9.5

     

Body diameter (m)

2.4

2.4

2.4

2.4

Fueled weight (t) M2

52.5

     

Fueled weight (t) M1

53.7

     

Dry weight (t)

       

Design Bureau

       

Solid Motor Designation

15D305

15D339

   

Propellants

Solid Propellant

Solid Propellant

Solid Propellant

 

Burning time (sec.)

       

Solid Motor Thrust Sea Level/Vacuum (Tonnes)

?/210

107

21

 

Specific Impulse (sec.)

       
         

Hardness

 

Launching Technique

Cold

Deployed boosters

56

Test Boosters

 

Warheads Deployed

560

Training Launchers

 

Space Booster Variant

Yes, concept only Space Clipper

Deployment Sites

START

Locale US-Designation

Kostroma

Kostroma

Pervomaysk

Pervomaysk

Tatishchevo

Tatishchevo

Bershet

Bershet

Krasnoyarsk

Krasnoyarsk


 
SS-24/RS-22 (silo)
Emplacement Equipment
SS-24/RS-22 (silo) in Launch Canister

SS-24/RS-22 (silo), Stage 1

SS-24/RS-22
(rail-mobile)
in Launch
Canister

S-24/RS-22
(rail-mobile),
Stage 1

SS-24/RS-22
Rail-Mobile Launcher 

SS-24/RS-22 Launch-
Associated
Railcar 1

Launch-
Associated
Railcar (1.1)

SS-24/RS-22 Launch-
Associated Railcar 2

SS-24/RS-22 Launch-
Associated Railcar 2.1

Fixed Structure
for Rail-Mobile
Launchers

Sources and Resources



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