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Makeyev, Viktor Petrovich

ICBM-Derived LVs

ICBM-Derived LVs
The range of launch vehicles derived from decommissioned ballistic missiles offered for sale by Russia after the cold war.
Credit: © Mark Wade

Russian engineer. Chief Designer 1955-1985 of SKB-385. Leading designer of tactical and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Innovations included submerged engines, stellar-updated inertial navigation, and extendible nozzles.

Born: 1924-10-25. Died: 1985-10-25.

Chief Designer and General Designer 1955-1985 of SKB-385. Makeyev began as a young engineer at NII-88 just after the war and quickly came to Korolev's attention. However after several years at the bureau he left to go into Komsomol work. He became an instructor at the All-Union Komsomol Committee and went to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics as a political officer. At the end of 1953 Khrushchev and Ustinov decided to disperse the Soviet missile industry in order to reduce its vulnerability to attack by the United States. Two independent missile design bureaus and production facilities were to be built, one of them in the Urals. Makeyev was selected to head the Urals organization. His youth was not considered a handicap, although he was called ‘the Pioneer' behind his back.

Makeyev returned to work for Korolev in 1954 and was assigned to complete development of the R-11 storable propellant tactical missile. Following a difficult and protracted two-year test series, the design was finally accepted for military service. In June of 1955 Makeyev was made Chief Designer at SKB-385 in Zlatoust, responsible for production engineering of the R-11 and future small land and sea based ballistic missiles. SKB-385 was given complete responsibility for development of the sub-launched R-11FM in August 1955. SKB-385 was further expanded in 1958 when Plant 66 was incorporated into it.

The final refinement of the R-11 design was the R-17, to be exported and infamous around the world as the Scud-B. In 1958-1959 Makeyev designed and built the first mock-up of the new missile. But by then the decision was made to devote the bureau exclusively to submarine-launched missiles, and in 1959 the program was transferred to Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.

At the same time Makeyev's bureau was moved from Zlatoust to new facilities in Miass. There it became the sole source to the Russian Navy for design and production of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, a vital part of the Soviet nuclear deterrent. A large number of innovative technologies (submerged engines, stellar-updated inertial navigation, extendible nozzles) were developed under Makeyev's leadership before his death in 1985. In 1993 his enterprise was renamed the State Rocket Centre 'Makeyev Design Bureau'.


Makeyev bureau Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines, Kolomna, Russia.

Country: Russia. Bibliography: 47, 539, 5736.

1924 October 25 - .
End of 1953 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 2.
1985 October 25 - .

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