Ballistic missile submarines R-21




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    1,400 km.

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    ballistic missile submarines P-21 R-21 (index Main Missile and Artillery Directorate - 4K55, classification MO U.S. and NATO - SS-N-5 Serb) - single-stage liquid Soviet ballistic missile submarines. As part of the missile complex D-4 will join the armed missile submarines projects 629A (diesel-electric) and 658M (atomic). The decision to start work on the rocket R-21 - historically the first Soviet SLBM underwater launch - was made on 20 March 1958. Development was carried out by OKB-586 under the leadership of Yangel, which at the time also were working to establish missile submarine P-15 surface-launch, medium-range ballistic missile R-14 and intercontinental ballistic missile R-16 . The new missile was to significantly increase the survival of Soviet missile submarines, freeing them from having a relatively long-term presence on the surface of the ocean to launch rockets ammunition (eg, ships with RSM-13) - taking into account the short-range missiles and anti-NATO domination it could very likely lead to the loss of the ship and failure assigned mission. Upon review of the project P-15 RI-88, and institutions of the Navy, as well as the results of SKB-385 project ballistic missile submarines, P-13M with underwater launch was decided against the further continuation of these works. December 3, 1958 decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on the termination of the OKB-586 works on rocket R-15, and in return he was entrusted with the development of underwater launch missiles R-21. Draft design of the P-21 was created in conjunction with the Leningrad design bureau, develop, respectively, submarines (diesel-electric project 629, CDB-16, chief designer of NN Isanin; atomic project 658, CDB-18, chief designer S. H . Kovalev) and launchers (KB-1 CDB-34, chief designer Rudyak EG). In early 1959, the international situation has deteriorated as a result of so-called "Berlin crisis." The country's leadership has demanded the maximum acceleration of creating the most important at that time because of its promising performance characteristics of weapons - ballistic missiles R-14 and R-16: under the provisions of the Council of Ministers on May 13, 1959 accelerated work on the creation of R-14 and R-16 in OKB-586, and was at the same time decided to transfer all the work on marine topics in SKB-385 VP Makeev already proved himself working on the P-13 SLBM.

    should be noted that in the USSR, work on creating underwater launch SLBMs are not starting from scratch - study of issues related to the topic of underwater missile launch, was set in 1955. February 3, 1955 the Government issued a decree on early research on the underwater launch of the R-11FM. Work on the rocket were charged OKB-10 RI-88 under the direction of Chief Engineer EV Czarnkow. Development board, Metal and naval systems management was entrusted SKB-626, chief designer NA Semikhatov. Work by studying the physics of the phenomena taking place in the underwater launch, were divided into three stages. The first step is the throwing starts layouts that simulate missile R-11FM, of a fixed submerged mine. The second stage starts with moving layouts converted submarine. In the third and final stage, made sighting firing range with a full board the submarine. For throwing tests have been two types of layouts - with the solid and liquid rocket engines, respectively. January 23, 1958 the government issued a decree on redeveloping boat B-67 project PV-611 to launch ballistic missiles with advanced underwater launch. By July 1958 missile R-11FM was modified for underwater launch and received index S4.7. First launch S4.7 on board the B-67 took place in August 1959 in the White Sea. Start ended in failure. For starts were monitored using a vessel "aeronaut". From a boat on the surface of the cable wire going to the raft with the antenna. With the help of her and carried VHF communication with the Supervisory ship. Was given the signal to start. Apparatus boat signaled that the rocket went off. However, the board "aeronaut" start not observed. Boat surfaced, opened mine, and standing in it spontaneously launched missile. The next attempt was made (again unsuccessfully) August 14, 1960 - in the process of filling the mine with water because of a manufacturing fault in the system reset from the rocket launch site and was lost warhead. The USSR's first successful underwater launch ballistic missile S4.7 held September 10, 1960, 40 days after the first submarine-launched U.S. missile Polaris A-1 July 20, 1960.

    walked parallel work at the R-21 missile. Her test also came in three stages - the throwing test dummies from the stand and submarine and flight testing of missiles themselves. For throwing test was created layout received designation K1.1. Structurally, it was the prototype of the R-21 on which to reduce the time of the engine have been reduced volumes oxidizer and fuel tanks. Tests were carried out with fixed plavstenda PSD-4 at depths of 40-50 meters. To test the submarine was refitted submarine S-229 project 613-D4. By boat wheelhouse was running one missile silos, speaking from above the height of 6.8 meters above the deck and below 2 meters for a boat hull. To make room for missile silo had to dismantle part of the premises and the same group of submarine batteries. With immersion stand PSD-4 from May 15 to July 22, 1961 was made five starts layouts K1.1. From August 29 to September 11 was carried out starting from the board three C-229 with a depth of 40-50 meters and a speed boat 2.6-3.5 knots. Flight tests missiles were already continued launch of R-21 on board the submarine. Tests were conducted with the Northern Fleet in February 1962 on board the submarine K-142 converted the project and donated 629B fleet December 29, 1962. By boat from three mines two nasal were converted under the P-21, and the third was closed flap. It subsequently assumed installing solid-fuel missile complex D-6. In the mines under the R-21 missile launchers mounted CM-87 with fixed table design CDB-34. Underwater missile launch could be carried out at a depth of 30-50 meters from the bottom of the rocket at a speed of 2-4 boats node and sea state up to 5 points. The first launch was conducted February 24, 1962. In total during the flight tests were carried out 15 launches, of which 12 were found to be successful. Then start joint testing - rocket as part of the D-4, and a submarine. Was carried out 12 launches, all were successful. Complex D-4 missile R-21 was adopted by the Council of Ministers according to the decree of the USSR № 539-191 on May 15, 1963.

    ballistic missile submarines P-21

    In two experimental boats - C-229 Project 613-D4 and K-142 designed by 629B under missile complex D-4 were converted boat projects 629 and 658, respectively, project 629A and 658M. Decision of the Council of Ministers about remaking submarine project 629 project 629A came July 2, 1962. The project provides for the dismantling of three launchers SM-60 missiles R-13 (D-2 complex) and installation instead of three launchers SM-87, respectively. Due to the fact that the Navy has allocated the first two boats only in 1964, the modernization delayed. Headache submarine K-88 was held from remaking 30 August 1964 to 28 December 1966. Total 14 boats were converted (including K-142 Project 629B), 8 of them in the Northern Fleet at the shipyard "Zvezdochka" and 6 in the Pacific - SHA them. Lenin Komsomol. In 1967, over 3 missile modernization, in 1968 - 4, 1969 - one ship in 1971 - 3, and the last two completed modernization in 1972. Originally complex D-4 were armed boats Northern and Pacific fleets. The Northern Fleet Project 629A boats were in the 16th Division of the 12th submarine squadron, based at bay stag. Given the commissioning of new nuclear missile submarines, missile boats diesel from the Northern Fleet gradually transferred to other navies of the country - in September 1968, the Pacific Ocean left two boats from 1971 to 1974, 4 more.

    By the end of the 1970s the remaining missile project 629A Northern Fleet were transferred to the Baltic Fleet. Since the late 1980s, according to the letter of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions SALT-1 missiles on missile carriers of this project dismantled and boats incapacitate or converted to torpedo ships and towing. By late 1989, the Navy still had 6 boats of the project - four in the Baltic Fleet in the Pacific and 2, but for 1990 they were decommissioned Soviet Navy. Also diesel-electric submarines Project 629A complex D-4 received and nuclear submarines 658M project. Of the eight submarines of Project 658 missile system with the D-2 (R-13) in 1963-1967 under the new complex has been refurbished seven boats, including the head of K-19. The submarine K-145 modernization under D-4 did not pass and was subsequently converted to 701 project under the R-29 (Ammo - 6 SLBM). The first two submarines of Project 658 after the introduction of the Navy in 1961, based in the Northern Fleet and joined the 31st Division 1st Submarine Flotilla based at West Face. In 1964, the 31th Division became part of the 12th Squadron (later transformed into the third flotilla) submarine of the Northern Fleet, based in Gadzhiyevo, Saida Bay, Yagelnaya base. After joining the arms division SSBN 667A 658M missile project were transferred to the 18th Division, which was translated in the late 1970s to Gremikha. Two submarines of Project 658 - K-55 in 1968 and K-115 in 1963 - were transferred to the Pacific Ocean and were on active service on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the 45 th division of nuclear submarines. Feature of the transition K-55 was the presence on board full-time nuclear weapons. Under the agreement, SALT-1 in 1977 to start shooting missile submarine project 658M. In 1979, this procedure has been completed on the head boat. From 1983 to 1987, removal was conducted missile silos and other boats of this project. "Former" missile re-equipped in the torpedo or special vehicles. Finally, all of these boats were decommissioned in 1986-1991,. Due to the small range missile submarines 629A and 658M projects were active duty off the coast of the United States, in close range of the ASW forces of the Navy. Due to the proximity of these goals provides accommodation on missile missiles are small flying time, making it difficult for the enemy organization measures against missile attack.

    One of the "Pacific" diesel-electric submarines of Project 629A missile - K-129 - was lost during the operation in March 1968. The boat went on alert February 24, 1968, but to communicate the set time March 8, 1968 did not come out. She was lost in an area of about 1,400 km north-west of the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

    ballistic missile submarines P-21

    Rocket R-21 was in service for over 25 years - from 1963 to 1989. Total from 1963 to 1982, when they were held past launches were conducted 228 launches of missiles R-21, 193 of them - successful. For 19 failed launches were the refusals avionics missiles in 11 cases - providing equipment failures and human error causes of failures 5 starts has not been established. R-21 missile complex D-4 by its technical level was a significant step forward compared to its predecessor - the P-13. It is the first in the USSR has been worked underwater start, which greatly enhanced the stability of combat submarines. However, the complex D-4 range inferior American complexes Polaris A-1 (range 2,200 km) of adopting the 2.5 years before the Soviet and Polaris A-2 (2,800 km range) adopted a year earlier. Accuracy of U.S. missiles was also significantly higher. In addition, American missile could carry 16 missiles, three missiles against the Soviet ships. Very significant drawback was that the Soviet missile had to carry out costly mechanisms for resource 7-8-thousand-transitions in the areas of combat patrols and act in areas of the rule of the U.S. Navy antisubmarine forces and NATO at substantially worse acoustic signatures of our ships (not to mention the need to regularly podvsplyvat for a long time to recharge your batteries for the project DERPL 629A). This led to the fact that, despite comparable in the USSR and the United States the number of submarines, naval strategic nuclear forces of the United States possessed at that time substantially greater combat capability. Unlike American missiles with solid rocket motors, the Soviet missiles were equipped with liquid rocket engines. However, despite the more complex design LRE technical reliability of Soviet missiles was comparable with the reliability of American, and the power of thermonuclear warhead was more than that allowed to a certain extent neutralize lag accuracy characteristics. The R-21 became a landmark, and tested it on technical solutions allowed to start creating more sophisticated missiles with missiles R-27 and R-29. Despite all these shortcomings, created missile with a missile R-21 missile carriers allowed the Soviet Union to become full combat units and successfully solve their tasks. In the operation of submarines with missiles R-21 was obtained invaluable experience of combat patrols have allowed later to provide a high marine component of the strategic forces and, ultimately, to ensure nuclear parity with the United States in this class of weapons.


    ballistic missile submarines P-21 Structurally missile R-21 is a single-stage ballistic missile with liquid propellant, inertial control system and separating thermonuclear warhead. The missile is designed for combat use and storage conditions for the navigation of the submarine when possible concussion ship from the deep and the bombing of a nuclear explosion at a safe range. Specificity underwater launch demanded watertightness compartments missiles the connectors, cables, fluid fittings with external pressure of seawater. In this regard, the missile is made in a single welded structure and consists of four successive compartments: the instrument, the oxidizer tank, fuel tank, rear compartment stabilizers. Communication equipment management system, installed in the instrument compartment, with the executive bodies (steering machines) carried sealed cables coming out of the compartment through special grommets, which cavity to provide a robust, charge air tightness of the so-called. "Bell". Communication onboard equipment control system with the ship and test starting devices via two on-board special hermetic connector and replaceable cables. Oxidizer and fuel tanks are designed to accommodate components of fuel and power are both rocket body. Tanks are inter-tank section, which through the annular gap between the tunnel and the flow tube communicates with the tail section. This allowed by the hydrostatic pressure on the cut missile create overpressure in the cavity intertank and avoid weight gain. With the same purpose in the oxidizer and fuel tanks during prelaunch operations provided the necessary pressure of the environment by means of systems pre-launch and turbocharging.

    rocket engine - LRE C5.3-2 Design Bureau (Chief Designer - A. Isaev), four-chamber, with a central turbopump unit, an "open circuit". LRE worked on a couple of fuels: nitric acid oxidizer AK-27And (27% solution of nitrogen oxides in nitric acid) and TG-02 fuel. Engine with automatic control rods and fuel ratio of the components. When designing the engine a lot of attention was paid to the layout works to reduce the length of the engine compared to the R-13. As a result, at the same midship engine had a half times greater traction and more than half a shorter length. It was the first engine in which control points to create basic PTZ and not special steering. Suspension components cameras allow them to deviate by ± 9 °. To ensure the rational relation between the control moments on the pitch, yaw and roll swing axis camera shifted relative stabilization planes at an angle of 60 °. In contrast to the R-13 missiles, refueling which was carried out on board the boat, the R-21 missile dive in Wet. At the beginning of operation of the shelf life of seasoned rocket was six months, and then on the basis of operating systems and related research work was extended to two years. Constructive execution engine does not require any checks and settings during operation, tightness of external pressure and a wide range of adjustment provides reliable starting performance under water and automatic maintenance mode, as the submarine, and on a surface parts of the trajectory. Engine design provided it stop emergency shutdown with a tight dissociation of the fuel lines.

    ballistic missile submarines P-21

    Weight detachable warhead 1179 kg, it was performed by the scheme blunted cone field. Housing unit and the charge is not aligned. Resolution on the development of new thermonuclear warheads came January 28, 1960. Warhead was developed at SRI-1011 (Chelyabinsk-70) under the leadership of AD Zakharenkova (then it was replaced by LF Bedbugs). Creation of thermonuclear charge engaged KB-11 (Arzamas-16), development of the warhead shell engaged created SLBM - SKB-385 (Miass) radio sensors - SKB-885 system and shock sensors engaged in SRI-137. Power compared to a charge for P-13 was slightly lowered, but simultaneously it was reduced by a weight of 400 kg.

    To reduce overheating bow when passing atmospheric portion of the trajectory it had not pointed toe and a rounded shape. Design and layout of MS was significantly changed compared with the previous product for the R-13, and it already looked through advanced features for domestic SLBM warheads, namely:

    absence of joints along the outer surface of the housing;

    location of the main components of automation on the bottom, which could open without undocking electrical connections and automatic detonation charge;

    the possibility of finishing operations through hatches on the bottom;

    implementation of the maximum possible reduction in the weight and dimensions, including through the use of elements of the case for automation of the assembly.

    thermonuclear charge tested at the site "New Earth", and she fully warhead was tested in the Northern Fleet from March 1962 to March 1963 Presiding tests warheads members of the state commission on missile system YL Dmitrakov (SRI-1011) and EA Shitikov (Navy). Tests were completed and test complex warhead with a maximum range of fire. The starting position of the submarine was north of the North Cape, and battlegrounds, where arrive MS - around Halmer-U, north of Vorkuta. Missile tests lasted more than a year. However, shortly after their graduation charge developers offered to increase its capacity by design use tritium. Navy agreed to this proposal, but it was necessary to make a few extra rockets. Such tests have been organized the Northern Fleet Commander Admiral VA Kasatonov. This modification warheads and had adopted in 1963 in connection with the fact that the Navy had no experience operating the new thermonuclear weapons of the type introduced on the initiative of the Navy radiation control in missile silos, with appropriate equipment. Subsequently, as experience operating radiation monitoring in mines canceled.


    missiles R-21 missile complex D-4 were launchers SM-87, the system digi-ship fire control devices, equipment and systems of the submarine, providing training and start-up performance, in which, besides the development of CSC-385 participated OKB-2, CCB-34-137 Research Institute, PO "Arsenal". Using an underwater missile launch has led to a need for a special "containment systems", holding a boat in a given range of depths with missile launches. Without this system, after missile launch the boat podvsplyvala 16 meters, resulting in the need to return the boat to a predetermined depth for the next missile launch. Before the start of the annular gap between the missile and rocket mine filled seawater. To avoid creating an imbalance buoyancy submarine filling the annular gap of water was carried out pre-filled tanks special annular gap through pumping system. After the launching of the imbalance created buoyancy, which liquidated the adoption of about 15 cubic meters of water in a special equalization tank.

    launch of R-21 was carried out at a depth of 40-60 meters (measured from the base section missiles) at a rate of 2-4 knot boat and sea state up to 5 points. Time prelaunch first rocket to launch about 30 minutes. While firing three missiles no more than 10 minutes. Missile tubes have a diameter of 2150 mm, and is set on the sills of the pressure hull of the boat. The R-21 was suspended in the mine on special banners, shock absorbers, and tail-suspended mounted on a special launch pad. Ship navigation system "Sigma 658" tracks the angles and side of pitching, speed boat to make calculations, and provides continuous calculation of the current coordinates. During prelaunch missiles these data are transmitted to the computing devices "Stavropol-1" and "Emerald-1." On them, based on the data of the "Sigma 658" amendments to the rotation of the Earth and its non-sphericity, used for calculating the pointing angles onboard gyro missile relative to the plane of fire and the horizontal plane, the calculation of the current distance to the target, the development of a temporary installation integrator longitudinal accelerations and the issuance of such Data on board the rocket. When prelaunch missile R-21 carried out a preliminary charging tanks of fuel and oxidizer to a pressure of 2.4 atmospheres. Then mine filled with water from the tanks of the annular gap and boost pressure tanks lasted until 8.5 atmospheres. In this form the so-called "air bell" - a sealed air space formed by the lower bottom of the fuel tank missiles and launchers table. The presence of the "bell" allowed to dampen gas dynamic processes occurring at the start, which led to a reduction to allowable values of power and heat loads generated when starting from a remote mine without special gas outlet. Start on propulsion engines did not require the creation of special naval equipment necessary to ensure the rocket out of the mine and out of the water, and provide the ability to manage traffic on the underwater portion of the rocket trajectory. Unstressed output shaft of the moving missile submarine under the action of the perturbation caused by rough seas and rolling of the ship, ensure throttling circuit driving directions structurally designed as a rigid guide on mine and drags mounted on the body of the rocket. After filling the mine produced water pressure equalization in the mine with the outboard. Cover was opened mine. When issuing a command to run, run a rocket engine. Running with low thrust produced and the yield on the marching mode by special function sequence. Combustion products received in the "air" bell, which reduces water hammer. The pressure on the bottom slice increased rocket and ejected from the mine. Yoke mounted on the rocket slid on special guides, and rocket out of the mine. Missile silo lid closed. Containment system balancing tank filled to keep the boat at a given depth. Mine boats dried, and begins the next rocket. Underwater start using sustainer rocket motor did not require the creation of special devices made it possible to start and controlled movement of the missile from the submerged portion of the trajectory.


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    CWE km


    Dimensions, mm:
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    parameters of the rocket at start

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    trajectory parameters when firing at maximum range

    speed at shut down, m / s



    end of the active section, km


    Flight Time at the active site, with


    total flight time to the target, with



    head portion meeting the purpose, m / s



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