Military Review

The project of the D-3 rocket complex with the P-15 ballistic missile

The first Russian ballistic missiles for submarines P-11FM (D-1 complex) and P-13 (D-2 complex) had a characteristic drawback in the form of long preparation for firing. To perform the launch, the submarine had to float to the surface, open the cover of the launcher and raise the launch pad with a rocket to the top of the shaft. Only after this procedure, which took several minutes, was it possible to give a command to launch a rocket. This state of affairs did not fully suit the military, which led to the appearance of corresponding requirements for new projects. The whole range of new tasks was planned to be solved when developing the new D-3 complex with the P-15 rocket.

The new missile system for submarines should have a number of features that were absent from previous similar systems. It was necessary to ensure the launch of the rocket from the surface position without lifting the rocket and its withdrawal beyond the launch shaft. It was assumed that this would reduce the duration of the procedures for preparation for launch, carried out after the ascent of the submarine. Most of the necessary actions in this case could be carried out without ascent. In addition to the requirements for the launch method, a technical task for a new type of missile was formed. The product P-15 was supposed to fly at a distance of at least 1000-1100 km and carry a special warhead.

The draft design of the D-3 rocket complex with the P-15 rocket was developed at OKB-1 under the guidance of S.P. Queen. However, at this time, the design team was busy with other equally important projects, which is why 17 August 1956 developed the D-3 / P-15 system to Dnepropetrovsk OKB-586 (now Yuzhnoye Design Bureau). The work manager was M.K. Yangel At the same time, SKB-143 (now the Malakhit SPMBM) was tasked to develop an atomic submarine designed to carry the D-3 complex. In addition, several other organizations were involved in the work on the new rocket complex.

The project of the D-3 rocket complex with the P-15 ballistic missile
Launch of the P-13 rocket from a submarine carrier. Photo

The main objective of the new project was to maximize the time spent on the surface of the submarine carrier. The main means of solving this problem was selected surface launch of the rocket from the mine, without prior lifting. This method of launching seemed obvious, but required the development of new systems and a number of important studies.

It should be noted that the rise of the launch pad with a rocket before launch had a serious technical justification. The P-11FM and P-13 missiles were supposed to take off with the help of cruise liquid engines. When launching a missile removed from the mine, the reactive gases escaped into the atmosphere and did not have a significant effect on the design of the submarine carrier. Such a launch directly from the mine, in turn, was associated with certain risks. Some systems were required for the discharge of gases, without which there was a risk of damage to the mine and the rocket. However, for reasons of structural strength, the shaft could not be equipped with gas outlets.

To launch a rocket directly from the mine, a new solution was needed, and it was found. There was a proposal to use separate starting engines. Special jet installations of relatively low power were supposed to lift the rocket and literally pull it out of the mine. Already after the launch of the launcher, the rocket had to turn on the main engine and go on the calculated trajectory. This launch method allowed the pressure in the launcher to be reduced to acceptable values.

According to reports, the new P-15 ballistic missile was supposed to retain the main features of previous products of a similar purpose. For the armament of new submarines, a single-stage rocket with a liquid engine was proposed, equipped with an autonomous control system and capable of delivering a special warhead to the target.

Product P-15 should have had an elongated cylindrical body with a pointed head fairing. The layout of the hull was traditional for such weapons: the warhead was placed at the head, the central part was given under the fuel and oxidizer tanks, and the engine was in the tail. In the compartments between the tanks should place the nodes of the control system and autopilot.

It was proposed to equip the rocket of the new type with a liquid engine using asymmetric dimethylhydrazine and AK-27I oxidizer. The engine had five chambers: a large central mid-flight and four side steering systems of small size. As in the case of the P-13 rocket, the control was proposed to be carried out by tilting the side chambers of the engine by turning around the horizontal axis. In this case, the steering chambers not only influenced the course of the rocket, but also developed with the weight of the sustainer chamber.

The scheme of the engine with steering cameras. Figure Wikimedia Commons

The marching engine was proposed to supplement the starting system. In its composition should have been a few small blocks that are installed on the head of the rocket. Their task was to remove the product from the mine during launch.

To hit the target, it was proposed to use a monoblock special warhead of the “44 product” type. This system was equipped with a nuclear power of 1 MT, which allowed to some extent compensate for the lack of accuracy of target destruction. After the rocket passed through the active part of the flight, the warhead with the warhead had to be separated from the rest of the structure and continue to move toward the target independently.

The rocket of the new type was supposed to use an autonomous inertial control system based on the autopilot and a set of gyroscopes. The task of these systems was to track the position of the rocket in space and develop commands for the steering chambers of the engine. Due to the change in the course, the rocket had to remain on a given trajectory, the flight range was changed by turning off the engine at a specified time.

The P-15 rocket was supposed to have a length of the order of 15-15,5 m and a case diameter of 1,5 m. The span of the tail stabilizers was 2,8 m. The starting weight was determined at the level of 23,8 t. The rocket had to accelerate to the speed of 5000 km / h. The calculated maximum launch range reached 1235 km, while the warhead was supposed to rise to an altitude of 270 km.

In August, 1956, the TsKB-34 (now the Special Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau) was tasked to develop a launcher for the new missile. The finished installation of the CM-73 was a cylindrical unit with a length of 17 m and a diameter of 3 m. A set of special equipment to hold the rocket in the transport position, connectors for connection with the equipment of the carrier, etc. were placed inside the shaft housing.

Submarine pr. 639. Figure Apalkov Yu.V. "Soviet submarines fleet 1945-1991 Volume I "

It was assumed that during the preparation of the submarine to go on patrol, rockets would be loaded into its mines. It was proposed to transport fuel and oxidizer in special tanks of the submarine and fill the tanks with missiles just before launch. Due to the new launch method, it was possible to perform almost all pre-launch operations before the submarine emerges to the surface. Exit to the surface was required only for the launch. The shooting took only a few minutes.

The launch of the P-15 rocket using the D-3 complex was supposed to look like this. After receiving the order to fire, the crew of the submarine had to determine their own coordinates and the location of the target, as well as to calculate the flight mission for the rocket. The necessary data was then entered into the autopilot of the product. Having completed the "underwater" part of the pre-launch preparation, the submarine could float up. Next, you should open the cover of the launcher and give a command to start.

It was proposed to launch the missile from the launcher with the help of special starting engines mounted on its head part. At the same time, the pressure inside the shaft should not exceed the allowable values, and a relatively quick launch of the rocket made it possible to reduce the risk of touching the design of the launcher with mutual damage. After the release of the rocket for the upper cut of the mine was supposed to turn on the main engine. The spent launch engines were dropped, and the rocket could fly to the target in accordance with the entered flight program.

The design of the CM-73 launcher and the P-15 rocket allowed launching at carrier speeds up to 15 nodes and swellings up to 5 points. Due to the use of appropriate control equipment, it was possible to attack targets in any direction relative to the course of the submarine.

From a certain time, OKB-586 specialists began to study the possibility of firing a ballistic missile from a submerged position. The development of such a version of the missile system made it possible to further increase the potential and combat effectiveness of submarines due to a sharp reduction in the probability of their detection, followed by an enemy attack. By this time, OKB-1 proved the possibility of an underwater launch of a rocket with a working engine, after which the authors of the D-3 / P-15 project began developing their development.

In August, 1956 was launched to develop a new nuclear submarine, which was to become the carrier of the D-3 complex and the P-15 missiles. The creation of the submarine was commissioned by SKB-143, the chief designer was appointed VP Funikov. The project received the symbol "639". The task of the project was to create a new submarine capable of conducting long-term patrols near the shores of a potential enemy and carry three new-type missiles.

The scheme of the submarine pr 639. Figure Apalkov Yu.V. "Submarines of the Soviet fleet 1945-1991 years. Volume I"

In terms of the overall layout and in terms of the placement of units of the missile complex of the nuclear submarine of the 639 project, it did not differ from other domestic carriers of ballistic missiles. Three large cylindrical units CM-73 were to be placed one after the other in the central part of the hull and in the wheelhouse. The covers of the launchers were located at the level of the roof of the fencing fence. By increasing the size of the felling fencing in comparison with other submarines of that time, it was possible to place launchers inside the hull and felling, without the need to use additional protruding elements on the bottom. At the same time, however, there were certain difficulties with the development of sliding devices.

The submarine of the 639 project was to be built in a double-hulled configuration and equipped with a main power plant based on two nuclear reactors. As a mover it was proposed to use two propellers with their own electric motors. The armament was to consist of six nose torpedo tubes (four caliber 533 mm and two 400-mm), as well as two fodder caliber 400 mm.

The submarine was supposed to have an underwater displacement of more than 10 KT, a length of about 115 m, a width of about 11 m and a draft of 7-8 m. The maximum depth of the dive was determined at the level of 400 m. in 104 days.

The 639 project offered several major innovations. So, it was planned to use a three-phase alternating current with voltage 380 V and frequency 50 Hz. The durable hull of the boat was distinguished by a large section, which required the use of some new solutions. Some of the sentences used in the 639 project were used for the first time in domestic practice. Later they were mastered by industry and were actively used in the projects of second-generation nuclear submarines.

Over the next few years, it was planned to build 10 submarines of a new type with the D-3 complex. All of these boats were to begin service no later than the mid-sixties.

By September 1957, all the organizations involved in the D-3 missile system project have completed part of the design work. The main features of the appearance of the missile complex and weapons for it were formed. In November of the same year, the conceptual design of the submarine "639" was presented. The leadership of the industry and the fleet command had the opportunity to get acquainted with new developments and make their decision.

Rocket P-21 complex D-4. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

Work on the D-3 complex project with the P-15 rocket continued until the end of 1958. In early December, the Council of Ministers decided to discontinue the development of a new missile and related funds due to insufficient characteristics, as well as due to the start of creating new missiles with the required parameters. The main complaints about the P-15 project concerned the launch method. In the original version of the project, the rocket was supposed to start from the launch shaft of the submarine, which was in the surface position. The possibility of launching from a mine underwater was also studied, but the development of such a variant of the rocket was associated with certain difficulties.

The decision to abandon the further development of the D-3 / P-15 complex was due to the success of other projects. In the spring of 1958, work began on the P-21 rocket for the D-4 complex. The new missile was distinguished by an increased range of fire and some other important features, primarily the launch method: the P-21 was originally designed to launch from a submerged position. As a consequence, the further development of the P-15 product did not make sense.

In December, the 1958 of the project for the D-3 complex with the P-15 rocket was discontinued. In addition, the development of the 639 submarine was stopped. By this time, none of these projects had time to reach the stage of assembly and testing of experimental products. The new submarine together with the D-3 complex and missiles for him remained on paper.

Work on the D-3 complex was stopped in favor of a newer and more advanced D-4 system, which initially had the opportunity to fire from a submerged position. As practice has shown, this decision of the command was correct. The P-21 missiles and their carriers were operated from the mid-sixties to the end of the eighties, ensuring the security of the state. Some solutions, first proposed in the submarine project "639", were later used to create new submarines. Thus, the D-3 / P-15 project was not brought to its logical conclusion, but to a certain extent influenced the development of the submarine fleet and its armaments.

Based on:
Shirokorad A.B. Weapon domestic fleet. 1945-2000. - Minsk: “Harvest”, 2001
Apalkov Yu.V. Submarines of the Soviet Navy 1945-1991 Volume I: - M: Morkniga, 2009
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  1. Amurets
    Amurets 11 May 2016 08: 41
    Thanks to the author for collecting crumbs of information about this complex and combining one article. I also did not dig much, even less than the author.
  2. JackTheRipper
    JackTheRipper 11 May 2016 09: 39
    I look at these rotary nozzles (2 photos) and already fear takes about how we would have forgotten how to do this)
  3. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 11 May 2016 12: 14
    Many thanks to the author for an interesting article.
  4. Resistance
    Resistance 11 May 2016 12: 50
    We do not have submarines, we have submarines. Although Cherkashin N. has even atomarines: o)))