On September 16, 1955 for the first time in the world the R-11FM ballistic missile was launched from a submarine. The launch of this missile designed at S.Korolyov OKB-1 laid the foundation for the development of sea-based missile nuclear forces of the USSR.
In 1959-1960 test launching of the R-13 missile (complex D-2) was made from a submarine and in 1962-1963 flight tests of the R-21 (complex D-4), the first underwater-launch ballistic missile, were performed. The D-2 and D-4 missile complexes demonstrated attainability of enemy’s territory and targets with ballistic missiles that was of significant importance for the strategic balance in the 1960's.
Development and commissioning to the Navy of the D-5 complex with a R-27 single reentry vehicle (SRV) missile (1968) and advanced D-5U missile with SRV and MIRV (3 warheads) (1974) laid the foundation for modern sea-based rocketry. In this complex a number of pioneer designs were realized: fuel-submerged engine, on-plant fueling, new type of launcher with elastomeric cushioning, automatic on-pad procedures, etc.
Commissioning of the D-9 (1974) and D-9К (1977) complexes and modifications far more increased the combat capabilities of the Navy weapons. The intercontinental range of firing was achieved with an increased payload mass, the firing accuracy was improved and independent and any-weather firing of missiles was asured.
In 1983 the Navy put into service the D-19 complex with the first submarine-launched three-stage solid-fuel R-39 missile. It has a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) with ten warheads and intercontinental range of firing.
Development of the D-9RM complex with the R-29RM missile having four middle-class warheads (1987) became the consequent continuation of the work on updating the naval strategic weapons that substantially improved the capabilities due to increase in number and power of warheads, extended the maximum range of firing, improved the firing accuracy and made the reentry vehicles independently targetable within an arbitrary shaped zone.
Among the measures for further improvement of the performance of the missile complexes a task to fire missiles from high latitudes was set and successfully implemented. To confirm this in 1985 two R-29R missiles were fired from a “Kalmar” submarine from a polar region and in 1987 two R-29RMU missiles were fired from the North Pole. In September, 2006, within the framework of the maneuvers of the naval strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation, the R-29РMU missile was successfully launched from the “Ekaterinburg” submarine cruiser from the North Pole. According to the Decree dated October 3, 2007 a team of GRTs specialists were awarded Orders of Services for Motherland.
In August 1991 for the first time in the world salvo firing of sixteen intercontinental ballistic missiles (full ammunition load) was made from a submerged submarine.
At present the GRTs contribute to further development of sea-launched missiles, participating in creation of new rocket complexes and improving the operational ones. In the middle of 2004 governmental flight tests of the “Sineva” submarine-launched missile, RSM-54 modification, was successfully carried out and in 2007 it was adopted by the Navy. The “Sineva” missile is of great potentials and it will remain effective for many years.
For more than sixty years the GRTs and cooperating enterprises have developed three generations of rocket complexes, eight base missiles and sixteen modifications which formed and form the basis of the strategic nuclear forces of the USSR and Russia. In all there have been manufactured about 4000 up-to-date serial submarine-launched missiles and more than 1200 of them have been fired.
Basic characteristics of missile complexes
|Takeoff mass, t
|Length х diameter, m
|Number of stages
|Type of reentry vehicle
||single reentry vehicle (SRV)
||single & multiple
||SRV & MIRV (3; 7)
|Firing range, km
||up to 3000
|Force of sea
||up to 4-5
||up to 5
|Number of missiles aboard submarine