As of January 2014, the Strategic Missile Forces were armed with 311 launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The composition of the species includes three rocket armies: 27-I Guards (headquarters in Vladimir), 31-I (in Orenburg), 33-I guards (in Omsk). The most modern complexes are equipped with 27-I Guards - 96 of the latest RK Topol-M mine and mobile bases, as well as the PC-24 Yars. The army consists of five divisions, the most powerful and numerous - 60-I missile, which is armed with 100 PU ICBM and 300 nuclear warheads.
PC-26 is the first new generation of the fifth generation. I will note right away: all assessments regarding the design and tactical and technical characteristics of the new rocket are presumptive and are based on fairly scarce information leaking into the press from representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the government or the president. Calculations are simple, theoretical directions of rocket development weapons, which we are seeing now, has been known for a long time both in the USA and in the USSR, they were created from the 60s.
"Bus" and "Blue Angels"
In November, the United States Navy Special Development Department (SPO - Special Project Office), jointly with the Air Force, began conceptual training for new combat equipment for ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The plans of the two departments was the creation of a single combat unit (CU) of a new type for the MiniMBR "Minuteman" and SLBM "Polaris" B-1962. Considered two options that differ in the method of breeding warheads. The first received the provisional name Mailman and assumed the creation of the so-called Bus (Bus), a platform with a guidance system and a propulsion system, from which warheads were successively separated at target points of the trajectory and then made an uncontrolled flight to the target.
The second method was called Blue Angels, it was provided to equip each warhead with its own propulsion system and guidance system. The first version subsequently became the classic construction of the split head part of the individual guidance (MIRVI) MIRV, the second one was safely forgotten. Of course, the Blue Angels variant has its drawbacks, one of them is the impossibility of dividing the MS, like in the Bus variant, to 10 – 14, and theoretically - to 30 warheads. In the middle of 80's, Americans quite seriously assumed that there was a version of the Soviet SS-18 rocket with thirty low-power warheads (150 CT). Technically, with the Blue Angels version, it is possible to design with no more than four individual-directed warheads. The main advantage of such a missile and the method of dilution of warheads was the ability of active maneuvering throughout the flight, including extra-atmospheric and atmospheric sections. In addition, there were opportunities for attacking targets along low-altitude flat trajectories (NT).
Back in 1988, the Lockheed company commissioned by the Navy carried out theoretical calculations of the launching trajectories of the Trident-2 SLBMs for short distances — two to three thousand kilometers using “soft” targets. The calculations were made according to the types of trajectories from NT-60 to HT-180 at a distance of 2000 kilometers and from NT-95 to HT-370 on 3000 (the index means the height of the apogee of the trajectory). The research results were partially published and the corresponding conclusion was made: shooting D-5 rocket at NTs for short distances is possible even with a shortened flight time by 40 percent. But for this opportunity will have to pay dearly. Since most of the rocket flight on NT will take place in dense layers of the atmosphere, it is necessary to increase the acceleration rate of the platform from 6,5 to 8,7, and in some cases even to 9,2 kilometers per second. And this can be done only by a reduced composition of warheads, that is, from one to three. At the same time, the accuracy of shooting is significantly deteriorated, the CEP increases by orders of magnitude - up to 6400 meters when shooting at 2000 kilometers and 7700 meters - at 3000.
From the point of view of rational or optimal use of the drop weight, the Bus diagram looks better than Blue Angels. The latter is required to equip each warhead with an individual guidance system, its own remote control, fuel and oxidizer tanks. In the absence of the enemy’s active defenses in the supra-atmospheric space, the Blue Angels scheme was not technically difficult or unrealizable, but unnecessary for that time. Actually, this is the only reason why designers put it on the table half a century ago. Due to the physical principles on which the upper stage of the new rocket is built, it is devoid of the shortcomings inherent in modern ICBMs and SLBMs with the classic MSS, IN.
ICBM based on SLBM technology
Domestic rocket received its own formal for international agreements name RS-26 "Rubezh". In the West, according to the tradition that has developed over decades, it has been assigned the index SS-X-29. This name was transferred to the "Frontier" by inheritance from the PC-24, after the "Yars" in NATO called SS-27 Mod 2.
A sketch project for a new rocket was prepared by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering (MIT). During the period from 2006 to 2009, full-scale development is underway. In 2008, a contract was signed between MIT and the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT) for the preparation of the MZKT 79291 conveyor for a mobile PU of a new complex. This wheeled conveyor is much smaller in size than the old XWNXX MWT, designed specifically for Topol-M and Yars, and has a slightly lower payload - 79221 tons against 50. It is easy to calculate the starting weight of the new rocket: it should not exceed 80 tons. As for the dimensions of the transport and launch container: if there are no special restrictions on the diameter, then its length should not exceed 32 meters. Apparently, it was the dimensions of the new missile, and not the range of test launches, that caused the American side to worry about Russia's compliance with the treaty on medium and short range missiles (INF). Some experts have suggested that a new small-sized ICBM is being developed in the Russian Federation on the basis of the Speed project closed in 13 during the year. It was precisely at the distance of test launches that foreign media paid attention.
Since the beginning of the test rocket has passed four flight tests. The first two - from the start at the Plesetsk cosmodrome on the target at the Kura range. The second pair - 24 in October 2012 and 6 in June 2013 - from the start at the Kapustin Yar range on the target at the Sary-Shagan range. In the first case, the launch range is 5800 kilometers, in the second - a little more than 2000 kilometers. Perhaps it was precisely this that was the test launches along the flat trajectory in order to verify the characteristics of the rocket. There is no need to specifically create MRBR and thereby unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty, if any task assigned by MRBR is capable of fulfilling the ICBM. Recall: the minimum range of launch RSD-10 (SS-20) - 600 kilometers, "Topol" (SS-25) - 1000 kilometers.
Ballistic missiles use solid fuels of two classes - 1.1 and 1.3. The energy content of the 1.1 type fuel is higher than that of the 1.3, so that for a given starting and throw weight, the missile launch range in the first case will be longer. Fuel class 1.1 also has the best technological properties, high mechanical strength, resistance to cracking and the formation of grains. Thus, it is less susceptible to accidental ignition. At the same time, 1.1 fuel is more susceptible to detonation and is close in sensitivity to conventional explosives. Since the safety requirements in the technical specifications for the ICBMs are much stricter than for the SLBMs, the former use the 1.3 class fuel (“Minuteman” and “Topol”). In the SLBM - 1.1 ("Trident-2" and "Mace").
Most likely, MIT has implemented a new ICBM technology for SLBMs. The rocket is not designed for installation in the mine (silo), developed only a mobile version. As a result, the technical task did not have requirements for increased impact resistance, since there is no need to withstand the shock load on the silos with a rocket during close nuclear explosions, like MX, Minuteman or SS-24 missiles, which were developed in two versions - mobile ( BZHRK) and mine. Excessive weight of "Topol" is also a consequence of dual-basement.
This is the one, the unified ICBM and SLBM based on the Bulava base, promised a few years ago. From her first two steps, the third consists of three separate steps of smaller diameter (up to 0,8 m), connected in a package that fits into the common mid-section of the Bulava with a length of two meters. More than 3,6 meters should not be so that the improved ICBM fits into a standard transport and launch container. Perhaps they are packaged in a single carbon fiber fairing, although this is not at all necessary. Suffice it to recall the SS-20 rocket. Even for an SLBM, this is an optional condition (look at the P-27). Probably, each stage is equipped with a liquid engine LRE 3ДХNUMX on high-boiling fuel components. Fuel - dimethylhydrazine (heptyl, UDMH), the oxidizing agent - nitrogen tetroxide.
Previously, this engine was used as a remote control unit for breeding SLBM P-29 RM, having proved itself well. It is he who has all the necessary characteristics and will fit into the middle of the 0,8 meter. In general, it should be noted that the LRE has a number of indisputable advantages over solid propellant (solid propellant rocket motors). This is primarily the possibility of multiple inclusions, changes in the magnitude of thrust in a wide range, roll control. The most famous SLBMs - “Trident-1” and “Trident-2” in the area of work of the first and second stages are not controlled at all by roll. Control occurs only in two planes in pitch and yaw. Correction of errors that have accumulated on the roll for the first 120 seconds of flight, is already the third step, which produces a turn at the required angle.
The active part of the rocket must be extended up to the entrance into the dense layers of the atmosphere to 25 – 27 minutes. But this does not mean that the martial engine of the third combat stage is working all the time. Only for a short time will the orientation engines be turned on to give the impulse necessary to evade GBI and SM-3 class anti-missile maneuvers in the height range from 300 to 100 kilometers. The evolution of a warhead in a plane perpendicular to the velocity vector, in any case, even at very small values, will lead to a breakdown in the guidance of the anti-missile. When entering the dense layers of the atmosphere, approximately from the height of 80 kilometers and below, the combat stage is no longer controlled by maneuvering liquid propellant rocket engines, but by aerodynamic surfaces — stabilizers. It is from this altitude that an active deceleration of the BR triggering occurs with large values of negative accelerations. In a short time - less than a minute - the speed of the head part drops from seven to less than three kilometers per second. Therefore, it would be nice to briefly turn on the remote control for additional development in order to go beyond the maximum operating modes of the second-tier air defense systems THAAD.
The new complex from the end of this year will begin to arrive in the troops only in the mobile version. 7-I Guards from Vypolzov and 29-I Guards Irkutsk divisions will receive it in return for the old Topol. The 2020 th rearmament of the 13 th Dombarovskaya and 62 th Uzhur divisions to the new PC-28 Sarmat RK (SS-X-30) will begin. It is planned to deploy at least 50 new ICBMs.
According to Western experts, the Russian group will consist of slightly less than 250 PU ICBMs, of which only 78 PU with monoblock missiles. The remaining PUs will receive three new types of MBRs - PC-24, PC-26 and PC-28, equipped with RCMHI IN. The old Soviet intercontinental missiles by then will go to history. In turn, the United States plans to leave the Minuteman of the retirement age with monoblock warheads up to 2040 of the year.