Status: Cancelled 1966. Gross mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb).
This version of the Soyuz was equipped with rendezvous and docking equipment, including a hatch in the docking collar that allowed the cosmonauts to enter the station without donning space suits. Kozlov's design for the docking system provided the basis for the 7K-OKS Soyuz space station ferry put into development five years later. The launch vehicle for the 7K-TK would be the 11A511, in use to this day as the 'Soyuz' launch vehicle. The Soyuz 7K-TK was in development until March 1966 for the Soyuz-R station. This was then cancelled and replaced by Chelomei's Almaz station. In June 1970 Chelomei was able to obtain approval for development of his TKS manned ferry craft in replace of the Soyuz 7K-TK, which was finally and definitely cancelled.
Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomei headed a competing space design bureau OKB-52 and was Korolev's arch-rival. He had prospered in the early 1960's when he was backed by Khrushchev. On 12 October 1964, only two days before the overthrow of his patron, Chelomei obtained permission to begin development of a larger military space station, the Almaz. This 20 metric ton station would take three cosmonauts to orbit in a single launch of his UR-500K Proton rocket. Therefore in 1965 there were two competing projects in development for the same mission - Almaz and Soyuz-R.
In January 1966 Korolev died unexpectedly and OKB-1 was leaderless. Chelomei obtained a decision that the 11F71 Soyuz-R space station would be cancelled and the Almaz would be developed in its place. Almaz was assigned the 11F71 index number previously allocated to the Soyuz-R station, and Kozlov was ordered to hand over to Chelomei all of the work completed to that date. However at the same time the leadership directed that Kozlov's Soyuz-R 7K-TK ferry was to continue in development to transport crews to the Almaz. These decisions were formalized in the decree of the Ministry of General Machine-Building no. 145 of 30 March 1966. In Samara, work continued with release of the technical documentation of the 7K-TK. In decrees of the Presidium on 28 December 1966 and the Central Committee in June 1967 use of the 7K-TK with the Almaz continued to be mentioned. However due to delays in the Almaz all work on further development of the 7K-TK was suspended on 28 December 1966. In 1967 it was foreseen that the Almaz/Soyuz 7K-TK system would be tested in 1968 and enter service in 1969.
Chelomei, however, had other ideas. His draft project of 21 June 1967 showed the 11F71 Almaz station to consist of an 11F75 orbital block and an 11F74 VA landing apparatus (derived from the Apollo-type capsule he had designed for his LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft). The revised Almaz design would eliminate the need for the Soyuz 7K-TK By 1969, although the Almaz still had not flown, Chelomei went a step further and proposed replacement of the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK with his own transport-supply spacecraft 11F72 (transportniy korabl snabzheniya - TKS). This would consist of the 11F74 VA landing capsule and a new 11F77 Functional-Cargo Block (funktsionalno-gruzovoy blok, FGB). The TKS would transport three crew and sufficient supplies for 90 days of operation of the Almaz. On 16 June 1970 Kozlov's Soyuz 7K-TK was finally cancelled and replaced by the TKS as the resupply craft for Almaz under Central Party decree 437-160.
The Soyuz-R concept lived again briefly in 1969, but at OKB-1 Kaliningrad. In 1965-1967 Kozlov worked as well on another military Soyuz derivative, the Soyuz VI. However in December 1967 Mishin, Korolev's successor, wrested control of the Soyuz VI program from Kozlov. Kozlov's single-launch design was replaced by a two-launch system very similar to Kozlov's original Soyuz-R. Mishin's 11F730 Soyuz VI would consist of on orbital block 11F731 OB-VI and a transport spacecraft 11F732 7K-S. This project was in its turn cancelled in 1969 and replaced by the DOS Salyut space station.
Kozlov was out of the manned space business. However his bureau continued very successfully in development and production of the Zenit and Yantar photo-reconnaissance satellites. On 30 July 1974, after the fall of Mishin, Kozlov was offered the Chief Designer job. He rejected it and Glushko was made head of a reorganized NPO Energia. KB Kozlov itself was made a separate entity with the name of Central Specialized Construction Bureau.
KB Kozlov began active development of the military applied versions of the Soyuz. A new version of the R-7 launch vehicle, the 11A514, was put into development to support launch of the Soyuz-P, now designated the 7K-PPK (pilotiruemovo korablya-perekhvatchika, manned interceptor spacecraft). The Soyuz-R would include the small orbital station 11F71 with photo-reconnaissance and ELINT equipment. To dock with the 11F71 station Kuibishev developed the transport spacecraft 11F72 7K-TK. This version of the Soyuz was equipped with rendezvous, docking, and transition equipment, including an airlock, that allowed the two cosmonauts to enter the station without using EVA. The launch vehicle for the 7K-TK would be the 11A511, known today as the Soyuz.
Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 145ss 'On approval of the 7K-TK as transport for the Almaz station' was issued. It was decided that the 11F71 Soyuz-R space station would be cancelled and the Almaz would be developed in its place. Almaz was assigned the index number previously allocated to the Soyuz-R station, and Kozlov was ordered to hand over to Chelomei all of the work completed in relation to the station. However Kozlov's Soyuz 7K-TK ferry was to continue in development to transport crew to the Almaz.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On full approval of the Almaz and 7K-TK programs' was issued. Use of the 7K-TK ferry with the Almaz station continued as the project baseline. It was scheduled that the Almaz/Soyuz 7K-TK system would be tested in 1968 and enter service in 1969.
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On approval of the Almaz draft project' was issued. Chelomei's draft project showed the 11F71 Almaz station to consist of an 11F75 orbital block and an 11F74 VA landing apparatus (derived from the Apollo-type capsule he had designed for his LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft). Launch of the re-entry capsule with the cosmonauts would eliminate the need for the Soyuz 7K-TK ferry under development by Kozlov.
Decree 437-160 'On creation of the TKS and termination of the 7K-TK' was issued. In 1969 Chelomei proposed replacement of the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK with his own transport-supply spacecraft 11F72 (transportnovo korablya snabzheniya - TKS). This would consist of the same 11F74 VA landing capsule used on the Almaz station, together with a new 11F77 functional-cargo block (funktsionalno-gruzovovo blok, FGB). This would transport three crew and sufficient supplies for 90 day operation of the Almaz.