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
AKA: 8K66. Status: Cancelled 1962. Payload: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Thrust: 1,175.10 kN (264,173 lbf). Gross mass: 85,500 kg (188,400 lb). Height: 23.73 m (77.85 ft). Diameter: 2.75 m (9.02 ft).
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 organization 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 organization'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 artifacts of the rather advanced development program 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..
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
The Soviet leadership reviewed missile development since the Pitsunda meeting. Both the Yangel R-26 and Chelomei UR-100 were proposed as small ICBM's 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.