Military Review

ICBM launch vehicles: it’s more profitable to launch rather than cut

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22 on August at the Yasny missile base (Orenburg Region) the next launch of the Dnepr carrier rocket took place. The launch was aimed at launching the South Korean satellite KompSat-5 into orbit. This spacecraft will carry out remote sensing of the Earth and collect the information necessary for science. However, this launch was useful not only for South Korean scientists, but also for the Russian strategic missile forces and industry.


ICBM launch vehicles: it’s more profitable to launch rather than cut


The fact is that the Dnepr launch vehicle is a slightly modified intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) of the Р-36М family. These munitions are also known under the names PC-20 (used in several international treaties regarding strategic weapons) and SS-18 Satan (NATO code). The P-36M missiles can be considered the most powerful component of Russian strategic nuclear forces. Each of the fifty rockets in service is capable of delivering ten warheads with 800 kiloton capacity to targets. Thanks to this, the P-36M ICBMs can effectively fulfill the tasks of nuclear deterrence.

With all the advantages of the P-36M family of missiles, their use has several ambiguous features. Production of these missiles ceased after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The division of the country put an end to the cooperation of the mass of enterprises scattered throughout its territory. Because of this, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces had to operate only those missiles that were produced before the collapse of the USSR. In addition, over time, another serious problem emerged. Warranty period for missiles made a few years ago began to come to an end. With the help of a number of works and control launches, it was possible to gradually increase the warranty period of the ICBMs of the P-36M family. By now, this parameter has been brought to the 31 year.

Infographics http://ria.ru


Given the timing of production of rockets of a particular model of the P-36M family, it is easy to calculate that they will be removed from combat duty in the early twenties. Thus, on the agenda of the day there is the question of disposal of the ammunition removed from duty. Before cutting steel structures directly, it is necessary to drain and recycle the aggressive fuel and oxidizer, and cutting the missiles itself is a complex technological task. As a result, the removal of the rocket from duty turns into a mass of additional costs. Our country has already faced similar problems, fulfilling the conditions of some international treaties.

Back in the early nineties, there was a proposal not to cut the decommissioned missiles, but to use them for peaceful purposes. The result of this proposal was the emergence of the international space company Kosmotras, organized by the space agencies of Russia and Ukraine. Later, Kazakhstan joined them. The space industry experts of the three countries have created a project to refine the intercontinental ballistic missiles into launch vehicles. The project was named "Dnepr". Later, the project was updated to improve the performance of the launch vehicle. This project was named Dnepr-M.

The first launch of the R-36M converted ICBM with a satellite instead of combat units took place on 21 on April 1999 of the year at the Baikonur cosmodrome. After that, Kosmotras conducted another 17 launches, only one of which (July 26 2006) was unsuccessful. An interesting feature of the Dnepr launch vehicle is the possibility of a so-called. cluster starts. This means that the rocket carries several relatively small spacecraft. So, during the only emergency launch, the rocket had a payload in the form of 18 satellites for various purposes. During successful launches, the Dnepr rocket twice launched eight vehicles into orbit (29 June 2004 and 17 August 2011).

The cost of launching one Dnepr launch vehicle is within 30-32 of millions of American dollars. At the same time, the payload, including the installation systems of the devices being put into orbit, is equal to 3700 kilograms. Thus, the cost of output per kilogram of cargo is noticeably less than that of other existing launch vehicles. This fact attracts customers, but a relatively small payload imposes corresponding restrictions. Dnepr or P-36М with a starting weight of about 210 tons is heavy only in terms of the classification of ballistic missiles. Booster rockets with such characteristics fall into the category of lungs.

It is worth noting that the idea of ​​using intercontinental ballistic missiles to launch spacecraft was not new even in the early nineties. Prerequisites for such use of strategic ammunition appeared in the late sixties, when the Cyclone booster was created based on the R-36orb rocket project. In 1975, the first model of the Cyclone rocket was put into service. The updated versions of the Cyclone are still used to launch various spacecraft.



In the late eighties on the basis of the ICBM UR-100N UTTH, a new rocket carrier rocket was created. With a starting weight of less than 110 tons, this rocket, using the upper stage “Breeze-KS”, can put a kilogram of payload into low reference orbit up to 2300. From 1990 to 2013, X-NUMX Rokot launches were made, only one of which ended in an accident (October 19 of 8).

In March, the first rocket, launched on the basis of the Topol complex, was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. This solid propellant booster is maximally unified with strategic ammunition, and not only in components and systems. The launch of the "Start" is made from a mobile soil launcher, also borrowed from the complex "Topol". "Start" has the most modest weight parameters. With its own launch mass of less than 1993-48 tons, this booster takes into a low reference orbit no more than 50-400 kg of payload.

Infographics http://ria.ru


In 2003, a trial launch of the Strela launch vehicle took place, the basis for which was again the ICBM UR-100N UTTH. The characteristics of the Arrow are markedly different from the capabilities of the Rokot. With a slightly smaller (about 105 tons) starting weight, the new carrier has a payload of no more than 1,7 tons. It is probably because of such low characteristics that the Strela rocket was launched only twice, in 2003 and 2013.

Of all the available launch vehicles created on the basis of the ICBMs, it is at the present time that the most actively used are the Dnipro. However, with all the advantages available, these missiles will be used in the near future with limited use. The reason for this is the relatively small number of available ICBMs of the P-36M family and the terms of their service at the end. Thus, over the next 8-10 years no more than two or three dozen launches can be made using Dnepr missiles. As for the alternative uses of intercontinental ballistic missiles for launching spacecraft, the Rokot carrier is currently the most promising. In the missile units, there still remains a sufficiently large number of UR-100H UTTH missiles with expiring warranty periods. Other projects, such as Start, are still irrelevant due to the remaining service life of the Topol base missiles.

Regardless of the number of remaining ICBMs of a particular model and the available stock of the useful life, the chosen method of "disposal" looks interesting and promising. The conversion of a ballistic missile into a launch vehicle saves a significant amount of fuel utilization and cutting of the ammunition itself. In addition, a commercial approach to launching spacecraft leads to a full payback of the project and even some benefits. Thus, we managed to find the most profitable way to dispose of rockets, and in the future it is better to reduce the rate of rockets cutting into scrap metal, using old ammunition as a means of delivering spacecraft to orbit.

Start RN "Rokot". The moment of launch of the carrier rocket from TPK


On the materials of the sites:
http://ria.ru/
http://lenta.ru/
http://rus.ruvr.ru/
http://kosmotras.ru/
http://khrunichev.ru/
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  1. svp67
    svp67 30 August 2013 08: 50 New
    10
    ICBM launch vehicles: it’s more profitable to launch rather than cut
    But is this thesis can be disputed by someone?
    1. Civil
      Civil 30 August 2013 12: 21 New
      10
      Quote: svp67
      ICBM launch vehicles: it’s more profitable to launch rather than cut
      But is this thesis can be disputed by someone?


      one damned secretary general did not think so.
    2. AVV
      AVV 31 August 2013 15: 53 New
      0
      The economy must be economical !!!
      1. Misantrop
        Misantrop 4 September 2013 14: 43 New
        0
        Quote: AVV
        The economy must be economical !!!

        When this phrase hung everywhere on posters, we often painted over the last word. The phrase was much more meaningful lol
    3. Siberian German
      Siberian German 1 September 2013 05: 45 New
      0
      I agree - Amers didn’t blow up any of their mines, but redo them, and we blew them up and to hell
  2. Denis
    Denis 30 August 2013 09: 03 New
    +8
    At last! Better late than never
    Although a lot will scream what is better to make from them and instead of them saucepans
    Alas, it was already like that
    Yes, and this argument should not be discounted.
  3. Very old
    Very old 30 August 2013 09: 03 New
    +2
    So what? Who is against? Or are we very rich?
  4. Paul
    Paul 30 August 2013 10: 56 New
    +5
    ICBM-based launch vehicles:
    more profitable to run, rather than cut

    1. military practice
    2. system reliability test
    3. disposal without material costs (painfully toxic rocket fuel)
    4. commercial profit from the launch is many times greater than the profit from pots obtained from processing
    1. postman
      postman 31 August 2013 01: 58 New
      0
      Quote: Pavel
      ICBM-based launch vehicles:
      more profitable to run, rather than cut

      Not always, but vice versa is often not profitable:
      1. Under the rocket launchers are used ICBMs whose warranty period has expired and are removed from the database - to test, prepare, retool (CS) = costs
      2.Up.1. the likelihood of an emergency and the likelihood of damage (destruction) of the pad and are dangerous for personnel
      3.ch. 1,2,3, XNUMX, XNUMX the probability of loss of payload (cost more than LV)
      4. it is necessary to adapt the PN to the specific launch mode of the Russian Federation and dimensions = costs
      5. limited mass or height + inclination of the orbit
      6.a combustion product that dissipates in the atmosphere is no less toxic, and is not localized + steps with residues of the fuel cell (ALWAYS) - fall on our territory
      Quote: Pavel
      painfully poisonous rocket fuel

      7. In connection with the listed risks (1,2,3) they pay significantly less for such launches
      1. studentmati
        studentmati 31 August 2013 02: 01 New
        +1
        But an alternative launch is always creativity! This alone is already pleasing !?
        1. postman
          postman 1 September 2013 21: 31 New
          +1
          Quote: studentmati
          This alone is already pleasing !?

          it certainly is.
          but study on kerosene-oxygen, and on specialized launch vehicles.
          And the ICBMs that have served their term are:
          -valuable chemical raw materials (TC)
          -valuable and precious metals, rare earth in tc and gold
          study guides for military and civilian universities
          == this is recycling
          - how many test ground bench launches can be done: multi-mode, nozzles, etc.
          1. studentmati
            studentmati 1 September 2013 21: 42 New
            0
            Quote: Postman
            Quote: studentmati
            This alone is already pleasing !?

            it certainly is.
            but study on kerosene-oxygen, and on specialized launch vehicles.
            And the ICBMs that have served their term are:
            -valuable chemical raw materials (TC)
            -valuable and precious metals, rare earth in tc and gold
            study guides for military and civilian universities
            == this is recycling
            - how many test ground bench launches can be done: multi-mode, nozzles, etc.


            It turns out that a double-edged sword?
            1. postman
              postman 4 September 2013 14: 32 New
              0
              Well yes..
              Especially considering toxic TCs and relatively limited MO
  5. deman73
    deman73 30 August 2013 11: 15 New
    0
    totally agree
  6. rudolff
    rudolff 30 August 2013 11: 23 New
    +5
    It is also appropriate to recall the Shtil-1 and Shtil-2 conversion missiles based on the R-29RM sea-based missiles. Successful launches were carried out on board the project 667 BDRM submarines. Due to the increased size of the head fairing of the Shtil-2 rocket, the boat went to the launch area in the surface position with the rocket shaft open. The launches were deemed successful, the satellites launched into the planned orbits.
    In this regard, the question arises whether they were in a hurry with the decision to write off two Typhoons / Sharks, which could very well become starting complexes for subsequent modifications of Calm. Of course, the payload of sea-based ballistic missiles will be less, but this can be partially compensated by launching from equatorial latitudes. And the Makeevka office (the developer of the complex) is now alive and well, which means that further improvement of the conversion version of the sea rocket is possible.
  7. Mareman Vasilich
    Mareman Vasilich 30 August 2013 11: 50 New
    +2
    It would be nice, brethren, to the "Governor" quickly found a replacement. Such a powerful argument is archived in the current situation.
  8. solomon
    solomon 30 August 2013 12: 11 New
    0
    Each of the fifty available missiles

    over the next 8-10 years, no more than two to three dozen launches can be made

    The goal must be to launch all missiles instead of disposing.
  9. Vtel
    Vtel 30 August 2013 15: 05 New
    +1
    Utilization in Russian: "Call to America:" Citizen Obama, from the hut? Discounted missiles, warheads ordered? No? Late they are already flying to you, expect arrival, if not enough - we will send again, we are not greedy. "
  10. kafa
    kafa 30 August 2013 15: 25 New
    +2
    heading is not a question heading axiom. and who believes otherwise is wrong
  11. Ka-52
    Ka-52 30 August 2013 15: 56 New
    0
    This is a competent approach! good
  12. The Indian Joe
    The Indian Joe 30 August 2013 19: 12 New
    +1
    Reasonable.
    But are there enough rockets to do with replaced ones?
    1. studentmati
      studentmati 30 August 2013 20: 32 New
      0
      Quote: Native American Joe
      But are there enough rockets to do with replaced ones?


      They just do not.

      And those who do, speaking philosophically, by their quantity have not yet transferred to quality.
  13. maklaut007
    maklaut007 2 September 2013 18: 18 New
    0
    Mdyayayaya. I thought everything was simple, but the GLONASS orbit turns out to be 20 km. Not every rocket reaches there. Governor of Moget. And the roar of nifig. Pichalko ((As they say - Not every rocket will reach a stationary orbit !!
  14. rubin6286
    rubin6286 23 November 2013 00: 42 New
    +1
    It seems to me that, in deciding to launch a spacecraft with the help of ICBMs, the state takes a certain risk. If the aerospace defense troops have been doing this constantly since 1957 and have some experience, then for the Strategic Missile Forces it is a serious test of combat readiness and a clear demonstration of the capabilities of the “containment” weapon. In Soviet times, such launches were very rarely carried out from the place of permanent deployment of the unit, for various reasons. Now they are doing this, although Mr. Yasny in the Orenburg region is not a cosmodrome at all. In addition to the military town, it is very close (110 km) to the city of Orsk, Novo-Troitsk, villages, the so-called virgin lands. They can seriously suffer in the event of an unsuccessful launch of a rocket, right up to an environmental disaster and the cost of eliminating its consequences will exceed the income from the so-called "Commercial launches." Nearby is Kazakhstan, which has already billed the Russian Federation for $ 90 million for the unsuccessful launch of Proton. Today, no matter how long the 15A18M missiles are extended and fool themselves, they are still considered to be "missiles with an expired warranty period." Not a single such missile was launched in Soviet times, it was disposed of in the prescribed manner and replaced in a timely manner. Once it will come down, another, and suddenly ... ... ...
    In the same state, we have other ICBMs with amyl and heptyl as CMT. I believe that launching ICBMs, regardless of the type of payload, should be carried out only from real spaceports, by calculations of parts of spaceports carrying pilot combat duty, or by calculations of regiments arriving there for this. True, there is environmental harm in this case too, but let it be better if the spent steps fall in one place than anywhere else.