Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
Post-war Russian version of German Taifun anti-aircraft barrage rocket. Developed and tested in 1947-1951 but abandoned in favour of the R-110.

In 1947 SKB 6 of NII-88 was formed with Pavel Ivanovich Kostin as Chief Designer. They were assigned further development of the German Taifun unguided barrage antiaircraft rocket with the objective of producing a missile that could reach targets at 15 km altitude. Components for 700 Taifun missiles had been fabricated by slave labour at Nordhausen, but only 15 were completed by war's end, and of these only five were fired from Peenemuende. The liquid propellant version of the missile never completed development. It fell upon NII-88 to complete development of this German missile. The resulting R-103 design (liquid propellant version with nitric acid / kerosene engine) was reviewed by a plenary session of NII-88 on 28 April 1947. The project described a 10 km range missile, variants to the basic design using the German Watzal engine, and a launcher based on the German 88 mm gun mount. The project was approved, and firing tests of 200 missiles using German components were conducted at Kapustin Yar beginning in December 1948. A further 202 were fired in the first quarter of 1950 with satisfactory results. June-July 1950 saw tests of both the all-Russian basic R-103 and lengthened R-103A. The latter reached altitudes of 15 km and slant ranges of 18 km. These tests confirmed the need for a larger calibre design to improve the missile's effectiveness, and further work on the R-103 was dropped in favour of the larger R-110.

Standard warhead: 1.05 kg (2.31 lb). Maximum range: 15 km (9 mi). Boost Propulsion: Storable liquid rocket, D1-75/M-10, 11.2 kg propellant, Isp=205 s, 2.92 sec burn time, 52 atm Pc. Maximum speed: 4,490 kph (2,780 mph).

Status: Cancelled 1952.
Gross mass: 24 kg (53 lb).
Payload: 1.05 kg (2.31 lb).
Height: 2.07 m (6.77 ft).
Diameter: 0.10 m (0.32 ft).
Span: 0.22 m (0.72 ft).
Thrust: 7.72 kN (1,735 lbf).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • R-103 Post-war Russian version of German Taifun anti-aircraft barrage rocket. Developed and tested in 1947-1951 but abandoned in favour of the R-110. More...
  • Russian SAMs and ABMs Perhaps no missiles ever produced had as much historical influence as the surface-to-air missiles of the Soviet Union. Originally conceived to provide a defence against the American bomber fleets of the early Cold War, they decisively affected the turn of events when they shot down American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft over Russia and Cuba. Soviet-provided missiles accounted for a hundred American aircraft over North Vietnam and set the terms of the air battle. A new generation of missiles presented a huge technological surprise and took an awful toll of Israeli aircraft in the 1973 war. To this day, Russian surface-to-air missiles provide the only defence available to most countries against American bombers, and Russian man-portable anti-aircraft missiles are a major part of the terrorist threat. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Kostin Russian manufacturer of rockets. Kostin Design Bureau, Korolev, Russia. More...

  • Yeftifyev, M D, Iz istorii sozdaniya zenito-raketnovo shchita rossii, Vuzovskaya kniga, Moscow, 2000. Web Address when accessed: here.

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