ICBMs family Atlas



    Mine PU, PU Surface

    management system:

    management software








    14000 km.

    year development:


    intercontinental ballistic missiles family atlas The history of the family of an ICBM "Atlas" is traced to the post-war period, when in 1946 the U.S. Army Air Forces signed with the corporation "Consolidated Vultee Aircraft" (later called "Convair") contract to build experimental single-stage rocket MX-774 for testing promising technologies ICBM with a range of 9300km. Focused on mining propulsion, control systems and guidance systems, aerodynamics, flight path and separating warhead. Despite the hard work, all three conducted in 1948 tested a new missile ended in failure, mainly because of problems with the propulsion system. This significantly dampened the interest of American military to a new type of weapon, especially when compared with the strategic bombers of the time, whose range, speed and destructive force grew at an impressive pace. However, tests have confirmed the fundamental operation of most missile systems. Successfully proven elements of MX-774 missiles have been applied in the project MX-1593, in 1951 became known as "Atlas". By 1955 the company was "Convair" IDB has prepared a draft, which had a range of 8800 km at 3.2 throws weight at the same time, however, that the new missile was to have an impressive size and weight - length 32 m, diameter of 3.6 m and a weight of 297 ie technical complexity of creating such striking power questioned the possibility of their successful development in a given time frame with a reasonable level of costs. The problem was resolved with time due to the progress in the creation of compact thermonuclear charge high power density, thus reducing the weight of the warhead, and, consequently, the whole weight of ICBMs.

    Production units

    new ICBM began in 1955 at the factory of the company "Convair" in San Diego (CA). Pace of work was high - in the summer of 1956 began bench testing of the propulsion system. The first launch of a prototype of a new ICBM, called "Atlas-A", held airbase Patrick (Florida) in June 1957 and was unsuccessful. Rockets in this embodiment equipped with dummies and start steering LRE undetached mock warhead and a lot of control and recording equipment. Range does not exceed 960 km. Of the eight successful launches were only two.

    next version of the missile was named "Atlas-B". Powerplant that ICBM was already fully staffed engines and the head part is a detachable gooseneck prototype thermonuclear warhead warhead Mk2, which was built using the principle of "heat sink" and is made from special alloys and ceramics with high melting point. This option IDB 1958-1959, used for complex testing of the entire system, including control and shooting on the estimated range. In addition, the missile was used to output the payload into orbit satellites (first start as such - December 1958).


    intercontinental ballistic missiles family atlas ICBM "Atlas-D" (SM-65) was intended to deliver a thermonuclear warhead monobloc (MS) mass (in the future), about 1.5 m at a distance of up to 14,000 km. Starting weight first model ICBM "Atlas-D", which has stood on alert, was 118.6t 22.1 m in length and a diameter of 3.05 m

    power plant, called MA-2, was developed by "North American Rocketdyne" and consisted of a total of five LRE: two starting LRE LR-89-NA-3, one sustainer rocket engine LR-105-NA- 3 and two steering rocket engine LR-101-NA-7. All motors are used as the exclusive fuel rocket kerosene RP-1, and as an oxidizing agent - liquid oxygen used in the installation turbopump feed system components without the reburning fuel gas generator gas. Marching, starting and steering motors were mounted in a special gimbal suspension to control the missile in the boost phase of flight. Starter motors, used for pitch control, yaw and roll, could deviate suspensions at an angle of 5 °, and the main engine that was used to control pitch and yaw channels - up to 3 °. All engines except the power plant at the start of steering included simultaneously. Steering engine starts after 2.5 seconds after the rocket launch. Design feature missiles "Atlas" was reset tail skirts (the first stage) with start LRE after about 2 minutes after the start (after 3s after their thrust cutoff). Such, so called. "Polutorastupenchataya" scheme was adopted by American designers were forced, because of the lack of data on the launch rocket engine in a vacuum, in conditions of weightlessness and alternating loads. Missile control via heel after the separation was carried out only starting LRE LRE steering (which during the flight were also used to accurately control pitch and yaw channels). They also produce the exact speed correction before separating warhead ICBMs after work sustainer rocket engine (for about 40s). Disposed of rocket warhead was carried out using a block of 2-SRBs.

    Rockets first series (up to "Atlas-D"), equipped with a control system radioinertsialnoy production companies "General Electric" and "Burroughs". Basic electronic equipment missiles (block analog calculators gyroplatform, antennas and receivers) housed in two streamlined fairings, diametrically opposed to the tanks compartment.

    High constructive perfection ICBMs dry weight without MS which was about 6.4 m (for "Atlas-D"), provided the carrier walled tanks. Fuel compartment length of 18m was the main structural components. IDB specifically for this family was developed austenitic stainless steel AISI-301 with a tensile strength of 14,060 kg/cm2. Its technological and strength characteristics allow to reduce the wall thickness at the bottom of the fuel compartment to 1mm, while the upper part and up to 0.1 mm. Assembling ICBM made by welding individual sections of height 0.9 m To avoid distortion of the section, and then the entire tank mounted in a special harness. Oxidizer and fuel tanks had combined bottom, curved upward toward the oxidizer tank. Oxidizer tank capacity - 71m3, fuel tank - 43.7 m3. Lower bottom of the last of a truncated cone, which is a steel frame propulsion engines. Bilateral lower bottom welding operation is the final assembly of the fuel compartment. When it is executed for 16 hours inside the tank were two workers who ran the welder (change of operator group to avoid claustrophobia made through a manhole in the floor every two hours). After completing the assembly compartment is a technological boost its nitrogen tanks, which was maintained at all subsequent stages of the assembly and operation of the rocket. Excessive pressure of 0.35 kg/cm2 gave such stability to the tank walls, which, in the words of American technicians' body without any damage tanks could withstand the impact of a hammer. " Despite all giperbolizirovannost this statement in one of the test runs after the failure in flight propulsion rocket performed a complete "loop", while maintaining structural integrity.


    ICBM "Atlas-D" were staffed warheads Mk2 2.5t weight (designed "General Electric Corporation"), equipped with a thermonuclear warhead W-49 capacity of 1.45 Mt, that at about 2.8 km CWE provided areal defeat smarter strategic objectives (major cities and military bases) opponent. Firing range was 10,300 km. On duty at Vandenberg Air Force Base (Calif.) since September 1959 there were no more than 3 ICBM "Atlas-D", located on the open launch sites in the upright position. A little over a year and entered into service rocket "Atlas-D", equipped with new combat unit Mk3 with W-49 warhead, which was equipped with thermal protection ablative type. BB Mk3 weight was 1.34 t Significantly smaller mass of payload allowed to significantly increase the range (in the limit up to 14480km), which, however, accompanied by an increase to 3.7 km CWE.


    increased protection missile system to the effects of a nuclear explosion - the rocket began to be placed in a horizontal position in the above-ground reinforced concrete hangars with sliding roof to withstand overpressure in the shock front to 0.35 kg/cm2 (see diagram). Dimensions of the tank - 31.4 * 40.5 m underground (with the roof at ground level) two-storey building command post, made of reinforced concrete, had dimensions of 22.25 * 23.78 m Single storey (partially ground) building, which housed radar and computers radioinertsialnoy guidance system (item control and guidance), has dimensions of 22.86 * 64.62 m Auxiliary power supplies (3 powerful diesel generator) are placed in a one-story concrete building size 19.2 * 19.8 m Only before filling the hangar roof Spreads and rocket rose with the help of jacks in the vertical position. In such an ICBM "Atlas-D" were deployed at Vandenberg Air Force Base (IDB 3), FE Warren (Wyoming, 15 ICBM), Offutt (Nebraska, 9 ICBM).

    first rockets, embarking on alert, had a manual for a group of three CP and one point of control and guidance for 3 or 6 and PU. Later he was selected placement method, in which a group of 3 PU had one point combined with manual control and guidance (partially above-ground structures of concrete / concrete dimensions 32.6 * 36.9 m). To avoid mass destruction such groups with a single blow, they were divided in 32,2-48,3 km distances. In 1962. modification ICBM "Atlas-D" for starts with open areas were designated PGM-16D, and to start from protected PU - CGM-16D. Immediately after the start of the mass deployment of ICBMs CGM-16D was decided to lift the first three PGM-16D ICBMs with warheads Mk2, stationed in vulnerable areas, alerting (completed by the beginning of 1963). All other missiles of this modification were removed from combat duty in 1964.


    test purposes were launched in different years 49 ICBM "Atlas-D". Completely successful were found 35 runs. Full deployment of ICBMs this modification was completed in May 1961.

    intercontinental ballistic missiles family atlas

    following modification ICBM family - "Atlas-E" (SM-65E, since 1962. CGM-16E), a modified power plant MA-3 (two starting LRE LR-89-NA-5, one sustainer rocket engine LR- 105-NA-5, two steering LRE LR-101-NA-7), a more powerful warheads with high accuracy BB (manufactured by AVCO), an inertial management company "American Bosch Arma". On the new launch by increasing packaging density managed to increase slightly and the number of fuel components, hosted on board. Using autonomous inertial control system allowed the group to abandon the construction of starting positions (previously dictated by the necessity of flight radio correction IDB). Use single launch pads launch provided increased survival missile complex in the case of pre-emptive strike potential enemy. Rocket housed in an underground concrete bunkers size 32 * 30.5 m, a retractable roof, which was on the ground level (see diagram). This provided an increased level of resistance to PFYAV complex and allowed to withstand overpressure in the shock front to 1.76 kg/cm2. Command post of the concrete was also carried out underground (with the roof at ground level) size 16.46 * 27.43 m and was connected to the IP tunnel. The distance between adjacent PU was not less than 32.2 km.

    New BB Mk4 (weight 1.74 m) was equipped with a more powerful thermonuclear warhead W-38 capacity of 4.5 Mt and had CWE equal 2.7 km. However, this was achieved in part by reducing the firing range, which amounted to the value of this modification in 12100km. Developing ICBM "Atlas-E" began in April 1958. New ICBMs were deployed in relatively large numbers on the Vandenberg Air Force Base (1 ICBM), Fairchild (Washington, 9 ICBM), Forbes (Kansas, 9 ICBM), FE Warren (9 ICBM). First IDB stood on combat duty in October 1961. Last ICBM this modification has been removed from combat duty in 1965.

    In November 1959, work began on creating the most perfect modification ICBM family - rocket "Atlas-F" (SM-65F, with in 1962 - HGM-16F). Fuel system underwent modernization and missile launch facility, which significantly accelerate the process of charging and starting (from start to start refueling took place 17 minutes). In addition, increasing the reliability of nodes allowed ICBM long enough to store ICBMs in a partially filled state in increased readiness for launch (from start to start refueling took place 5 minutes). The second and equally important asset of the new missile was a new method of deployment - vertically in underground silos single launch (MSE OS) size 53 * 15.85 m (see diagram), made of heavy concrete that kept the excess pressure in the shock front to 7 kgf/cm2. Immediately before the start of the rocket in already Wet rose from the mine to the surface using a special lift, thereby reducing its vulnerability to a sudden attack of the enemy (see photo). The mine was closed a couple of reinforced doors each weighing 45t. KP cylindrical shape measuring 8.23 * 12.2 m, which is located near each silo OS was also made of heavy reinforced concrete underground and was connected with an underground tunnel silo OS 15.2 m and a diameter of 2.5 m New ICBMs were deployed at Vandenberg Air Force Base (IDB 2), Schilling (Kansas, 12 ICBM), Lincoln (Nebraska, 12 ICBM), Altus (Oklahoma, 12 ICBM) Dayess (Texas, 12 ICBM), Walker (New Mexico, 12 IDB) and Plattsburgh (New York, 12 ICBM). The distance between adjacent silos OS ranged 32,2-48,3 km. ICBM "Atlas-F" were on duty since 1962. by 1965.

    Among U.S. ICBM missile family "Atlas" is nicknamed the Beast, ie, "The Beast." Maximum number of deployed family "Atlas" had at the beginning of 1963 - 30 was deployed ICBM "Atlas-D" (including 3 PGM-16D outdoors), 28 ICBM "Atlas-E" and 74 ICBM "Atlas -F ". Given that, along with the family ICBM "Atlas" by the end of 1963 another 54 were deployed ICBM "Titan-I" 5 airbases, and began (in 1962 - 1963 years) is much more effective deployment of ICBMs second generation - "Titan-II" and "Minuteman-I", about any "missile gap" of the U.S. from the Soviet Union could not walk and talk, although this topic is very frequently raised in the United States of that time period in order to justify fuel an arms race .

    ICBM family "Atlas", as well as other first-generation ICBMs were not safe to use - at different times during refueling procedures explosions destroyed four starting positions. Only due to the high degree of automation processes prelaunch failed in all cases to avoid the dead, wounded was only one man.

    In addition, construction and operation of all relevant structures only one launcher rocket "Atlas-F" dispensed, according to U.S. data, in as much, how much cost the construction and operation of one link (10 missiles) ICBM "Minuteman- I ". Successful testing and deployment of ICBMs second generation led to the fact that in May 1963 the Air Force Headquarters approved the removal from duty ICBM "Atlas-D", "Atlas-E" and "Titan-I" in January 1965. to December 1968. Later it was decided to accelerate the process and ICBM "Atlas-D" have been removed from duty from May to October 1964. At the same time, the Secretary of Defense McNamara announced a plan (known as "Project Added Efforts"), according to which all ICBM "Atlas-E" and "Titan-I" were removed from combat duty by December 1965. In November of the same year plan "Project Added Efforts" has been extended to all remaining first-generation ICBM, which had to be withdrawn from combat duty no later than June 1965. ICBM "Atlas-F" have been removed from duty in December 1964. to April 1965., and "Atlas-E" from January to March 1965. Thus, by the end of June 1965 SAC USAF officially inactivated all units armed with the first generation of ICBMs. However, the history of ICBM "Atlas" did not end there - all decommissioned missiles were impounded at Norton Air Force Base (CA), and subsequently extensively used as boosters in the various programs of space exploration. During 1968-1995, the city of 136 ICBM "Atlas-E" and "Atlas-F" as an RN has been used 46 at 91% reliability. Besides, missiles and used in a number of research programs, for example, when testing for BB SLBM "Trident-I" C-4. Left ICBM "Atlas" his mark in manned space exploration by man - a modified version of "Atlas-Mercury" in 1962 - 1963 years orbited satellites four single manned space ship "Mercury". Further development of the concept of "Atlas" has led to the creation of a whole family of rockets of various carrying capacity ("Atlas-2AS", "Atlas-3", "Atlas-5", etc.) that are used and currently , including a Russian-made rocket engines.

    Estimating project as a whole, it can be noted that the end of the 50s, the Americans managed to create quite a perfect first-generation ICBM capable of striking the entire range of strategic targets in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. However, the missile (ICBM like any first generation) was complex and capricious in service required extremely costly infrastructure. Her statement in such a relatively massive (together with Titan I - about 190 pieces in a little over 3 years) the number of combat duty was possible only because of the opportunities of American industry of the period and height of the "Cold War." Historical fairness it should be noted that Soviet designers, military and political figures not addicted creating the first generation of ICBMs, knowing their limitations and potential of our industry: R-7/R-7A missiles and R-9A were deployed in relatively small quantities - not more than 35 pieces. Same rocket "Atlas" is much more effective proved already as booster spacecraft for various purposes.




    firing range, km


    12 100

    CWE km



    Power warhead, Mt



    apogee trajectory MS, km



    length assembly, m


    25,1 (with an adapter for the new BB)

    length assembly of the first and second stages, m



    diameter fairings for boosters of the first stage, m



    diameter of the second stage, m



    Mass, m:

    - fully kitted rocket



    - empty first stage



    - empty second stage



    - curb second stage



    - military equipment




    starting engine

    - at sea level, kN



    - in vacuo, kN



    Specific impulse

    ligament 2 boosters

    - at sea level, with



    - in vacuo to



    Hours boosters, with



    Link sustainer engine

    - at sea level, kN



    - in vacuo, kN



    specific impulse propulsion engine

    - at sea level, with



    - in vacuo to



    Hours sustainer engine, with



    Link steering engine at sea level, kN



    Hours steering engines, with




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