R-39 missile

From Academic Kids

The R-39 was a Russian submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM). It had the NATO reporting name of SS-N-20 Sturgeon and the bilateral designation RSM-52. It was carried on board submarines of the Typhoon class from 1983 until it was withdrawn from service in 2004.

The R-39 was an intercontinental missile, it had a three stage solid-fuel (ammonium perchlorate) boost design with a liquid-fuel post-boost unit carrying up to ten MIRV warheads. Like other SLBMs the initial launch was powered by a gas generator in the bottom of the firing tube, during the missile's passage through the water additional motors produce a gaseous wall around the missile, reducing hydrodynamic resistance. The launch system was designated D-19.

Development work began at NII Mashinostroyeniya in 1971 and the design gained official approval in 1973. Initial test flights from 1979 found problems in the solid-fuel boost engines, over half of the early flights failed. Later tests aboard a modified Typhoon class submarine were more successful and deployment began in May 1983, with 20 missiles in each submarine. At full deployment, 120 missiles were deployed with 1200 total warheads.

Under the terms of the Start I and Start II treaties, from 1996 a number of R-39 missiles were destroyed. Throughout the 1990s, Typhoon class submarines and the R-39 missiles they carried were gradually withdrawn from service. All the missiles were decomissioned by 2004 and all the Typhoon class submarines have been retired, except for one which is to be used as a test platform for the next generation Bulava missile.

A successor design, R-39M/Grom (Bark)/RSM-52V/SS-N-28, suffered a succession of testing failures and was cancelled.

External links

Specifications

  • Total length: 8.4 m
  • Length with warhead section: 16 m
  • Diameter: 2.4 m
  • Weight: 90 tonnes
  • Payload: 2550 kg
  • Warheads: 10 of 100 Kt each
  • Range: 8,250 km
  • CEP: 500 m


See also: List of missilesru:Р-39

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