Military Review

Rocket complex 15P015 MR UR-100 with intercontinental rocket 15А15

In 1967, the strategic missile forces received a new UR-100 complex with an intercontinental ballistic missile 8K84. Due to its simplicity and comparative cheapness, such a rocket could be produced in large quantities. However, the simplification of the design and a number of other factors led to the fact that after a few years, the UR-100 complex became in need of replacement. This task was accomplished, and the MR UR-100 / 15P015 complex with the 15A15 rocket was adopted for the Strategic Missile Forces, a feature of which was the wide use of new technologies and design solutions.

In August, the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers, determining the further development of the Strategic Missile Forces weapons, was issued on 1970. In connection with the gradual obsolescence of the UR-100 complex, it was necessary to carry out its modernization aimed at improving the main tactical and technical characteristics. The development of the modernization project decided to involve two organizations at once - the Design Bureau Yuzhnoye (Dnepropetrovsk) and the Central Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (Reutov). It was believed that competition between the two bureaus would ensure the creation of an optimal project in all respects.

Rocket complex 15P015 MR UR-100 with intercontinental rocket 15А15
Rocket monument 15А15. Photo

In accordance with the requirements of the customer, it was necessary to develop a version of the deep modernization of the light rocket 8K84, which is notable for enhanced performance while maintaining an acceptable cost and production complexity. The new product was supposed to use existing mine launchers (silos) from the UR-100 complex. Flight design tests of the finished rocket were required to begin in the 1973 year.

Both organizations have launched the development of new projects. At the same time, the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, headed by M.K. Yangel had some advantages. Shortly before the start of the development of the new project 15P015, it was engaged in the creation of a promising complex with a heavy rocket - Р-36М. A number of decisions on this rocket could be used during the modernization of the UR-100. In addition, it was planned to explore and implement new ideas. The combination of existing units, borrowed ideas and completely new solutions ultimately provided the 15P015 project with a victory in the competition.

In accordance with the basic requirements of the customer, the updated MR UR-100 / 15P015 complex had to use existing launchers from the UR-100 system. Restructuring silos, command posts, etc. not required. However, a project was developed for the modernization of ground-based weapons, which was distinguished by increased combat stability and improved means of maintaining a microclimate. In particular, the new mine has received thermal insulation and seals, as well as passive air dehumidification equipment - thanks to this, it did not need climate systems that consume energy.

Missile complex 15P015 in transport-launch container. Photo by

Major changes to the new project affected the design of the ICBM itself. The new product with the index 15А15 was a two-stage rocket with a detachable head part. In both stages, liquid rocket engines (LRE) remained. The warhead could be monoblock or include several individual-directed warheads. From the point of view of the overall architecture, the MP UR-100 rocket complex was most similar to the MBMs from the UR-100 composition, but differed in the set of components and solutions of various design tasks.

The 15А15 rocket differed from its predecessor in increased dimensions. Its first stage had a cylindrical body with a diameter of 2,25 m, the second - 2,1 m. The steps between them were connected by a conical transitional compartment. Combat stage received conical fairing. Due to the increase in the dimensions of the rocket did not fit in the silo of limited depth. This problem was solved with the help of a special head fairing. Its front part was made in the form of a pair of half-shells. In the transport position, they lay on the sides of the fairing. After leaving the silo, the spring mechanisms folded them into a conical structure.

The casing steps were made in the form of wafer shells from aluminum and magnesium alloys. Such a decision was taken from the P-36M project. The hulls also functioned as fuel tanks: they used an architecture with single tanks separated by intermediate bottoms. In the tanks were elements of the fuel system. In particular, they used new intake devices with destratifiers, which ensured maximum extraction of fuel from the tank. The fuel system was fully ampu lated, which facilitated operation.

Product Scheme 15А15. Figure

The first stage of the rocket was equipped with a march single-chamber engine 15ДХNUMX and a four-chamber control 168Д15. The propulsion engine was borrowed from the second stage of the P-167M rocket. To reduce the length of the rocket, the first stage received a concave bottom of complex shape, in the niches of which were the units of the propulsion system. The controlled 36D15 engine of an open scheme without afterburning was responsible for maneuvering, and also provided the pressurization of the tanks with reducing gas. The main engine on the ground was 167 T, the steering was 117 T. The engines used a heptyl amyl fuel pair (asymmetric dimethyl hydrazine and diazoto tetraoxide).

The smaller second stage also received a concave bottom, on which the 15D169 engine was installed. A separate steering engine on the second stage was absent. For the management of the roll gas engines were used with the selection of the working fluid from the turbopump unit. There were also means of changing the thrust vector in the form of a system for injecting a generator gas into the supercritical part of the nozzle. Traction motor second stage in the void - 14,5 t.

Split head had its own power plant, built on the basis of a solid fuel engine 15D171. This product was also created on the basis of the units of the Р-36М rocket, but it differed in other sizes and, accordingly, in reduced characteristics.

The 15А15 rocket received an autonomous control system based on a central computer interfaced with other components. All instruments responsible for the control and guidance of the rocket were installed in a common container in the head compartment. This made it possible to get rid of additional compartments, and in addition, reduce the weight of the equipment, reduce the length of cables, etc. Finally, the unified control system was responsible for the flight of the rocket and for the breeding of warheads. The equipment of the rocket allowed to redirect to another object during the pre-launch preparation. The principle of automatic measurement of instrument errors with the subsequent introduction of corrections into the flight mission was also implemented.

Placement of the rocket in the silo. Figure

The combat stage of the 15А15 rocket could carry different equipment. An option with a monoblock warhead was proposed. In this case, a special warhead with a power of 3,4 MT was used. Also developed a separable warhead with four blocks of individual guidance, carrying a charge of 400 CT. In all cases, warheads had protection against the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion.

A new type of missile at the factory was to be placed in a transport and launch container with a diameter of about 2,5 m and a length of 20 m. This product was made of alloy AMg6 and had a cylindrical body with external ribs. On the outer surface of the TPK were placed various devices and devices. In the space between the tail end of the rocket and the bottom there was a powder accumulator of pressure for a mortar launch - this was one of the first instances of the use of such equipment on domestic rockets. TPK rocket complex 15P015 was the most unified with existing products, which facilitated the work with him.

Transportation of the rocket at all stages, from the factory to loading into the silo, did not require any new devices or equipment samples. The same was true of refueling missiles and installation of combat equipment. All such work could be carried out using standard equipment and equipment of the Strategic Missile Forces without the use of any new samples.

Rocket 15А15 without head. Photo by

In the flight configuration, the 15-15 rocket had a length of 22,5 m with a maximum diameter of 2,25 m. The launch weight was 71,2 t, of which 63,2 t was the fuel component. Payload - 2100 kg. The minimum firing range was determined at the level of 1000 km. The maximum range with the use of monoblock warheads - 10320 km; when using the split part - 10250 km. Warheads were divorced within the area of ​​size 200x100 km. The circular deviation did not exceed 500 m.


The widespread use of waste solutions and elements allowed to begin flight design tests ahead of schedule. The first launch launches of the 15А15 rocket took place as early as May 1971 of the year at the 5-m Research and Development Test Site (Baikonur). December 26 1972-th held the first test run under the LCI. The last of the test launches took place on December 14 1974 of the year.

During the LCI, 40 test runs were performed. In more than 30 cases, the conditional target was located at the Kura test site, which made it possible to test the rocket at maximum ranges. There was also one launch at the minimum range. During the tests, there were only 3 emergency start-ups, 2 was also recognized as partially successful. Thus, 35 launches ended in complete success.

December 30 The 1975 of the year issued a resolution by the Council of Ministers on adopting the new MR UR-100 / 15P015 missile system with an intercontinental ballistic missile 15А15. By this time, the plant "Yuzhmash" began to prepare the serial production of new components of the complex. To the release of missiles attracted some other enterprises. In particular, TPK of a new design was ordered to the Tyazhmash enterprise (Zhdanov).

The first stage of the rocket. Photo by

By the time of the official adoption of the first regiment, armed with 15A15 missiles, had already managed to step on combat duty. The first complexes of MR UR-100 served near the city of Bologoye. Until the end of the decade, a number of other compounds of the Strategic Missile Forces, previously using the UR-100 complexes, switched to a new weapon. According to known data, as part of the replacement of outdated weapons, a total of 130 15А15 missiles were put on duty. The overall release of serial products, apparently, was more.

In 1976, shortly after the official adoption of the MR UR-100 into service, the Council of Ministers ordered a new modernization of this complex. According to the results of the new works, in 1979, the deployment of the MP UR-100 UTTH / 15P016 complex with 15А16 missiles started. In connection with the launch of production of new rockets, the release of the previous ones was stopped. The 15А16 rockets became on duty instead of the existing 15А15 and gradually replaced them. The replacement process was completed in 1983, when the last MBR complex of the MR UR-100 complex was removed from the mine.

During the operation of the 15P015 complex, 27 combat training launches of missiles on targets at domestic land test sites were conducted. Only two of these starts ended in an accident and did not lead to the defeat of the assigned goal. Taking into account the launches at the testing stage, 67 rockets were used in all, and 60 coped with the assigned tasks. In general, the rockets showed high reliability and well proved themselves.

According to different sources, the 15А15 missiles, as they were replaced with new 15А16, went to the warehouses or were sent for disassembly. A number of such products remained available during the preparation of the Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Arms (START-I). Under this agreement, the Soviet ICBM was designated RS-16A. Its improved version of 15A16 was called PC-16B.

The layout of the 15P015 / MR UR-100 missile complex deployed near Kostroma. Figure

At the time of the signing of the START-I missiles RS-16А / 15А15 on duty were absent. In the silo missile parts were less than fifty newer 1516 / PC-16B. Shortly before it was decided to remove from service obsolete models of the UR-100 family, and the 15P015 complexes were to be written off. By the mid-nineties, all remaining PC-16 missiles were recycled or destroyed.


The 8K84 missiles of the UR-100 complex at one time showed themselves well and ensured the rapid rearmament of the strategic missile forces: almost a thousand of such items were on duty at the same time. However, over time, this weapon became in need of replacement, as a result of which an interesting project of deep modernization appeared. Based on 8K84 and using completely new solutions, the 15А15 rocket was created, which had improved characteristics.

However, the 15А15 MBR 15P015 complex did not become mass and could not completely replace the existing UR-100. In addition, she served not too long. Already in the late seventies, the first 15А16 came on duty, and after a few years 15А15 were removed from the watch. However, this did not prevent some samples of this type from lying in warehouses until the appearance of an arms reduction treaty.

Full operation of the 15P015 complex with the 15А15 rocket lasted only a few years, after which it was replaced with newer weapons. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a landmark development of the domestic defense industry and had a serious impact on the further development of the nuclear missile shield. In the design of the 15А15 and Р-36М rockets, a number of fundamentally new solutions were used, which were fully justified and found application in further projects. Thus, despite the short service and not the largest number, the complex 15P015 / MR UR-100 left its mark on stories our RVSN.

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  1. NF68
    NF68 6 December 2018 19: 18
    Interesting article.
  2. Old26
    Old26 6 December 2018 22: 30
    EMNIP Kirill was still a little mistaken, saying that the MR-UR-100 won the competition. As far as I remember everything written on this topic, in addition to the MP-UR-100, the UR-100N (Chelomei) also participated in the competition. And it was she who won the competition. Yangelevtsy won the competition for the heavy rocket R-36M. But as the "evil tongues" say, Leonid Ilyich noticed that the Yangelev team also worked hard and it would be necessary to put their rocket into service. And as a result, the Chelomeevskaya UR-100N was deployed in the amount of 360 units in 4 divisions, and the Yangelevskaya MR-UR-100 in the amount of 150 units in 2 divisions
    1. militarist63
      militarist63 7 December 2018 03: 23
      At the same time, the UR-100 MPs were removed from combat duty in the mid-90s, and the UR-100N is still in operation ....!
      1. 2 Level Advisor
        2 Level Advisor 10 March 2019 08: 21
        moreover, they are part of the Vanguard that will only be)
  3. andr327
    andr327 13 January 2019 17: 16
    The engine of the second stage will never rise to the first stage of the rocket (the degree of expansion varies greatly). At 15 there was one engine from 14 missiles without ears (four at 14 and 18 of these engines). The indices are different but the design is the same. Structurally very beautiful.