Encyclopedia Astronautica
RT-2P


Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. Development of the improved RT-2P version of the basic missile was authorised by decree 1004-365 of 18 December 1968. The overriding concern was imminent deployment by the Americans of the Safeguard anti-ballistic missile system, and the need for the missile to have the necessary countermeasures to defeat those defences.

This was a considerable challenge given the marginal payload available in the original design. Performance of the missile would be improved using new solid rocket motors with lighter high strength steel casings. All stages would now use the T9-BK-4 propellant using ammonium perchlorate oxidiser and butyl rubber binder. These would allow the missile to have 70 kg greater payload, increased range by 400 km, provide a wider firing corridor, improve accuracy by 20%, and provide the ability to carry countermeasures. A new fail-safe launch system prevented unauthorised launch of the missile.

Trials flights were conducted from December 1969 to 14 January 1972 and consisted of 15 launches, of which 2 were unsuccessful. The missile was accepted for military service on 28 December 1972, but series production did not begin until 1974 and continued to 1982. The missile had a guranteed storage life of 15 years and served at 60 silos at Yoshkar-Ola from February 1976 to September 1988. The original design service life of the missile was seven years, but this was increased several times as verified by service tests. By 1990 the number of operational silos had declined to 40, and from 1992-1995 all silos were demolished in accordance with agreements between Russia and the United States. Tests of decommissioned missiles showed the motors still functiioned well after 18.5 years of storage.

The missile was equipped with the Berez countermeasures suite by Vitaliy Gerasimenko at TsNIRTI. This consisted of noise and deception jammers to spoof enemy radar; stealth coatings on the warhead to reduce its radar signature; and unfolding decoys to provide false targets. Some RT-2P's were equipped with special command and control payloads which would be launched into space to provide emergency communications and relay missile-launch orders in the event of nuclear war.

Mishin led the design team at OKB-1, with Tyurin at TsKB-7 Arsenal being the primary subcontractor for production. Arsenal would take over full engineering responsibility for the missile in 1973 after development was completed. The new compact warhead was designed by Samuel Kocharyants at Arazamas-16. Motors were produced at the PZKhO chemical products factory in Perm.

Standard warhead: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Maximum range: 10,200 km (6,300 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Warhead yield: 750 KT. CEP: 1.50 km (0.90 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid. Cruise Thrust: 437.300 kN (98,309 lbf). Cruise Thrust: 44,600 kgf. Cruise engine: 15D24P. Stage 3 Thrust: 176.000 kN (39,566 lbf). Stage 3 Thrust: 18,000 kgf. Initial Operational Capability: 1973. Total Number Built: 90.

AKA: RS-12UTTKh; RT-2P; SS-13 Mod.2; 8K98P; Savage; 15P098P.
Gross mass: 51,900 kg (114,400 lb).
Payload: 470 kg (1,030 lb).
Height: 21.27 m (69.77 ft).
Diameter: 1.84 m (6.03 ft).
Span: 3.62 m (11.87 ft).
Thrust: 980.00 kN (220,310 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1969.12.01.
Last Launch: 1972.01.01.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • 15D23P TsKB-7 solid rocket engine. 980 kN. RT-2P Stage 1. Out of Production. Three gimballed nozzles for steering. Ammonium perchlorate/ammonium butyl propellant. Chamber pressure 56 kgf/cm2. More...
  • 15D24P TsKB-7 solid rocket engine. 437.3 kN. RT-2P Stage 2. Out of Production. Three gimballed nozzles for steering. Ammonium perchlorate/ammonium butyl propellant. Chamber pressure 48 kgf/cm2. More...
  • 15D94 TsKB-7 solid rocket engine. 180.4 kN. RT-2P Stage 3. Out of Production. Three gimballed nozzles for steering. Ammonium perchlorate/ammonium butyl propellant. Chamber pressure 48 kgf/cm2. More...

See also
  • RT-2 Development of the RT-2, the Soviet Union's first solid propellant ICBM, was undertaken by Sergei Korolev and his successor from 1961-1968. It was a huge technical challenge, involving technology in which the Russians had no prior experience. The high-priority RT-2 preoccupied Korolev and his team throughout the period of the moon race, and could be considered a factor in the loss of that race to the Americans. In the end only sixty were deployed, but these provided the technical basis for Russian ballistic missiles of the 1980's and beyond. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...

Associated Stages
  • 15D23P Solid rocket stage. 980.00 kN (220,313 lbf) thrust. Mass 34,550 kg (76,170 lb). More...
  • 15D27 Solid rocket stage. 432.00 kN (97,117 lbf) thrust. Mass 11,300 kg (24,912 lb). More...
  • 15D94 Solid rocket stage. 180.40 kN (40,556 lbf) thrust. Mass 4,640 kg (10,229 lb). More...

RT-2P Chronology


December 1969 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: RT-2. Launch Vehicle: RT-2P.
  • First launch of RT-2P ICBM. - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN.

1970 January 16 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC161. Launch Pad: LC161/ShPU-2. LV Family: RT-2. Launch Vehicle: RT-2P.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1972 January 1 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: RT-2. Launch Vehicle: RT-2P.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

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