R-56, R-26, 63S1
From left to right, dynamic test models of: R-56 monster launch vehicle; R-26 ICBM; Kosmos 63S1 launch vehicle
Credit: © Mark Wade
Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. Two stage light ICBM developed 1960-1962, but cancelled so that Yangel could concentrate his efforts on the R-36. After project cancellation, a mock-up of this missile was shown in Moscow parades and misidentified for years by Western analysts as the 'SS-8'.
Development of the R-26 was begun by Yangel in accordance with a decree of 23 May 1960. This called for development of a silo-launched ICBM that could be stored for years as a sealed 'certified round' and then launched in minutes. The original decree optimistically called for flight trials to begin in December 1961, but by February 1962 the actual project had only reached the point of testing of an electrical mock-up of the missile. However by then Yangel's organisation was wholly occupied with getting the R-16 into service after the disastrous explosion of 24 October 1961. In April 1962 a decree was issued for Yangel to begin development of the R-36 heavy ICBM, and the leadership felt that all of his organisation's effort should be devoted to that project. Accordingly on 9 July 1962 all further work on the R-26 was stopped. LC-41A, which had been prepared for flight tests of the rocket, was converted to use as an alternate R-16 pad.
As a cancelled project the artefacts of the rather advanced development programme proved useful. A mock-up of this missile was shown in a Moscow parade on 7 November 1964 and misidentified for years by Western analysts as the 'SS-8 Sasin' (which was actually Korolev's R-9). A sectioned version of the missile was put on display at Orevo for instructional purposes. Models were displayed at the museum in Baikonur, but no completed flight-test missiles had been delivered there yet at the time of cancellation..
Standard warhead: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Maximum range: 12,000 km (7,000 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Warhead yield: 3,000 KT. CEP: 2.00 km (1.20 mi). Boost Propulsion: Nitric acid/UDMH. Cruise engine: U102-000.
Stage Data - R-26
- Stage 1. 1 x R-26 Stage 1. Gross Mass: 60,300 kg (132,900 lb). Empty Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,451.000 kN (326,197 lbf). Isp: 310 sec. Burn time: 160 sec. Isp(sl): 251 sec. Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 15.00 m (49.00 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-224. Other designations: 8K66. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Orevo has sectioned hardware. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. All figures accurate except empty mass estimated. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH, Orevo.
- Stage 2. 1 x R-26 Stage 2. Gross Mass: 25,200 kg (55,500 lb). Empty Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Thrust (vac): 428.060 kN (96,232 lbf). Isp: 308 sec. Burn time: 160 sec. Isp(sl): 252 sec. Diameter: 2.40 m (7.80 ft). Span: 8.73 m (28.64 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: U102-000. Other designations: 8K66. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Orevo has sectioned hardware. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. All figures accurate except empty mass estimated. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH, Orevo.
More... - Chronology...
Status: Cancelled 1962.
Gross mass: 85,500 kg (188,400 lb).
Payload: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb).
Height: 23.73 m (77.85 ft).
Diameter: 2.75 m (9.02 ft).
Thrust: 1,175.10 kN (264,173 lbf).
RD-224 Glushko Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 1778 kN. R-26 stage 1. Out of production. RD-224 is a block of 2 RD-225s. An upper stage thrust chamber was developed under designation U102-000. Isp=294s. First flight 1961. More...
U102-000 Glushko Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 468 kN. R-26 stage 2. Out of production. Isp=307s. More...
missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Yuzhnoye Ukrainian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Yangel Design Bureau, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. More...
Semenov, Yu. P., S P Korolev Space Corporation Energia, RKK Energia, 1994.
Placard, TsNIIMASH Museum,
Pervov, Mikhail, Raketnoye Oruzhiye RVSN, Violanta, Moscow, 1999..
Karpenko, A V, Utkin, A F and Popov,A D, Otechestvenniye strategischeskiye raketnoye kompleks, Sankt-Peterburg: Nevskii bastion; Gangut 1999..
R-26-1 Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 60,300/3,000 kg. Thrust 1,451.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 310 seconds. Orevo has sectioned hardware. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. All figures accurate except empty mass estimated. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH, Orevo. More...
R-26-2 Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 25,200/2,500 kg. Thrust 428.06 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 308 seconds. Orevo has sectioned hardware. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. All figures accurate except empty mass estimated. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH, Orevo. More...
February 1963 -
. Launch Vehicle
- Council of Fili - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Chelomei; Brezhnev; Kozlov. The Soviet leadership reviewed missile development since the Pitsunda meeting. Both the Yangel R-26 and Chelomei UR-100 were proposed as small ICBMís to be put into mass production as a counter to the American Minuteman. The UR-100 was an ampulised missile with a guaranteed ten-year storage life. Yangel had not solved the problems of long-term storage of corrosive storable fuel yet. Therefore Khrushchev, supported by Kozlov and Brezhnev, selected the UR-100. A decree for mass production was issued on 30 May 1963.
1964 September 24 -
. Launch Vehicle
- Khrushchev visits Baikonur - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Chelomei; Brezhnev; Smirnov; Ustinov; Korolev; Glushko; Gagarin; Belyayev; Leonov. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Berkut; LK-700. This was his last visit, just weeks before his overthrow. The Soviet leadership were shown the UR-100 and observed launches of the competing UR-200 and R-36. Khrushchev agreed with the decision to put the R-36 into production instead of Chelomeiís UR-200. He felt he couldnít turn down Yangel a third time after approving Korolevís N1 instead of Yangelís R-56 and Chelomeiís UR-100 instead of Yangelís R-26. Khrushchev decided to cancel Korolevís badly behind schedule R-9A, even though Smirnov and Ustinov insisted they wanted it in their arsenal (in May 1965, after Khrushchevís overthrow, this decision was reversed and the R-9A went into production).
Khrushchev also visited a secret space fair, with Korolev, Chelomei, Yangel, and Glushko presenting their rockets and spacecraft. Chelomei presented his UR-700 heavy lift design as an alternative to Korolevís N1. This presentation was a surprise to Ustinov and Dementiev. Khrushchev ordered Chelomei to prepare a draft proposal for the design. Chelomei hoped that 12 to 18 months later, when the UR-700 draft project would be completed, the fallacy of Korolevís N1 design would be apparent to all. Korolevís N1 plans were also reviewed and approved at the meeting.
Over the two days, Khruschev witnessed five launches of rockets by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei, all of them successful. Gagarin and Belyayev explained the Vykhod spacecraft to him, and Leonov donned a spacesuit and demonstrated how he would exit into open space form the inflatable airlock and return thereafter. All went very well.
This was the last time Khrushchev saw the chief designers of the Soviet rocket industry. Despite his support for them not one of them visited him in his retirement.
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