Military Review

D-5 rocket complex with a P-27 ballistic missile

In 1963, the armament of the submarine forces of the Navy fleet The USSR adopted the D-4 complex with the R-21 missile. For the first time in domestic practice, it was possible to realize the underwater launch of the rocket, which had a positive effect on the survivability of carrier submarines and the effectiveness of rocket use. Nevertheless, there was still a noticeable lag behind the probable adversary. By this time, the US Navy already had UGM-27B Polaris A-2 missiles with a flight range of up to 2800 km and operated submarines capable of carrying 16 such products. A new qualitative leap was needed that could reduce or eliminate the existing backlog. The answer to such circumstances was the appearance of the D-5 missile system, armed with the R-27 missile.

The decision to create a new weapon system for submarines was made in April 1962 of the year and secured by an appropriate decree of the Council of Ministers. The defense industry was required to develop a promising nuclear submarine and equip it with a new missile system. The missile of this complex was supposed to be able to deliver a special warhead at a distance of 2500 km. In addition, in the future it was planned to create a modernized version of the rocket with enhanced performance. The project of a promising complex received the designation D-5, missiles for it - P-27 (index of the management of the missile-artillery weapons of the Navy - 4К10). The nuclear submarine received the designation "667".

The Special Design Bureau No. XXUMX (now the State Rocket Center), headed by V.P. Makeev. The control system for the rocket was commissioned to create the Scientific Research Institute-385 (now NPO Avtomatiki), the development of the 592A project was transferred to TsKB-667 (TsKB MT Rubin). In addition, the TsKB-18 (SPMBM Malakhit) was involved in the D-5 project, which was to create a submersible stand for testing. Also as subcontractors, some other organizations were involved in the development of new systems.

Rocket R-27 on the transport trolley. Photo

Before the designers were put some extremely difficult tasks. It was necessary to create a small-sized ballistic missile with high flight range and enhanced performance. The first studies showed that meeting new requirements requires abandoning a number of proven and time-tested ideas, using original solutions instead. New ideas were needed in the field of assembly and other non-standard solutions, new products, etc.

During the first stages of the P-27 project, several original proposals were formed, which were later used to create the new rocket. Moreover, a number of these developments were later used in new projects of rocket technology and in fact became the basis for subsequent submarine weapons. It can be argued that as part of the D-5 / P-27 project, the final formation of the modern appearance of the Russian submarine ballistic missiles began.

The main "incentive" for the emergence of new ideas and solutions were the requirements for reducing the size of the rocket. To reduce the size of the product with a simultaneous increase in flight range in comparison with existing samples, it was necessary to use a more dense arrangement of internal volumes. First of all, it was decided to abandon the traditional layout of the body with a pronounced division into compartments. Instead, the internal volume was divided by several partitions for various purposes. It was also decided to abandon the aerodynamic stabilization in flight, which allowed to reduce the transverse dimensions of the product.

The body of the single-stage P-27 rocket was supposed to have a complex shape formed by several surfaces. The fairing was made of two conical surfaces and a hemispherical head. The rest of the rocket body was made in the form of a cylinder with a slightly narrowed tail section. Stabilizers or other large protruding parts were not provided. At the same time on the outer surface of the case four transverse belts of rubber-metal shock absorbers were placed, holding the rocket inside the launcher in the required position.

D-5 rocket complex with a P-27 ballistic missile
The rocket in the launcher (left) and the cut product (right). 1 - the head; 2 - instrument compartment; 3 - oxidizer tank; 4 - shock absorbers; 5 - fuel tank; 6 - liquid rocket engine; 7 - adapter for contact with the launch pad. Figure

Bearing body was made of so-called. wafer shells made of aluminum-magnesium alloy AMg-6 according to the technology of chemical milling and connected by welding. This design provided the required strength of the body with a minimum weight of parts. To protect against water after launch and heating during flight, the hull received a special coating based on asbotextolite.

The head of the rocket (upper conical part and part of the bottom) contained a warhead. Immediately behind him were the control systems. It is noteworthy that the P-27 rocket did not have an instrument compartment in the usual sense of the word. The control equipment was placed not in a separate compartment of the body, but in a small sealed volume formed by the bottom of the warhead and the hemispherical upper bottom of the oxidizer tank.

Most of the volume of the body was given under the tanks for fuel and oxidizer. An important feature of the tanks was the use of common walls, which also served as a supporting body. The internal volume of the hull-tank was divided by several bottoms. One divided the oxidizer tank into two volumes, and the second, which had a double structure, divided the oxidizer and fuel tanks. This technical solution made it possible to abandon the interbag compartment and thereby further reduce the length of the rocket.

Another solution aimed at reducing the size of the product was the original engine placement. The fuel tank received a bottom plate of complex shape, which allowed the engine to "drown" inside the tank. This led to an additional reduction in the dimensions of the rocket without impairing other characteristics.

Especially for the new rocket in OKB-2 under the direction of A.M. Isaev was developed liquid engine 4D10, working on asymmetric dimethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. The engine was equipped with a marching block 23 T and steering 3 T. The engine was equipped with turbopump units for supplying fuel and oxidizer. Marching block engine used afterburning of oxidizing gas and was equipped with a fuel flow regulator, with which the thrust was to be changed. The steering unit did not burn out the oxidizing gas, and its thrust control was to be carried out by changing the supply of oxidant to all chambers. For control, swinging cameras of the steering block were used, mounted at an angle 45 ° to the rocket stabilization planes.

Special warhead missiles. Photo

In order to simplify the design and improve performance, the engine was made maintenance free. When installing the engine was proposed to use only one-piece connections, such as soldering or welding. This design required the development of a set of special bimetallic adapters consisting of steel and aluminum parts. To start the engine was equipped with a single actuator and its own automation, necessary for the withdrawal of the operating mode.

For the first time in domestic practice, a ballistic missile for the fleet was to be refueled at the factory. It was proposed to fill in fuel and oxidizer at the final stage of assembly, after which the filling and drainage pipes should be brewed. Amplified rocket could be stored on bases and in launchers for five years. In the future, taking into account the operating experience of the new weapons, shelf life has been tripled.

Another innovation concerned the design of the control system. Autonomous inertial guidance system was placed in a sealed volume formed by the bottoms of other units. At the same time, the P-27 became the first domestic missile for submarines, in the control system of which a gyro-stabilized platform was used. The latter was used to install sensitive elements that track the position of the product in space. The guidance system with improved characteristics allowed to shoot with the KVO no more than 1,9 km when launching at maximum range.

A special warhead weighing 27 kg with a capacity of 1011 Mt was developed for the P-650 rocket at SRI-1. The warhead was discharged with an elongated charge of a high explosive. When creating a new warhead, the designers had to face some layout problems. Nevertheless, all the tasks were successfully solved, resulting in the emergence of a new type of warhead, which differs from the previous product for the P-21 rocket in approximately half the size without loss of power.

The new ballistic missile differed from existing products of a similar purpose in smaller dimensions. The length of the P-27 did not exceed 9 m, the diameter was 1,5 m. The launch weight was equal to 14,2 T. The liquid engine could accelerate the rocket up to speed (at the end of the active section) 4,4 m / s, bringing it up to 120 km altitude. After the active site was completed, the combat unit, which continued to fly independently, had to be reset. The maximum firing range was 2500 km, with the warhead rising to a height of 620 km. When meeting for the purpose, the warhead developed a speed of up to 300 m / s.

The C-229 submarine in the 613D5 variant is the first carrier of the P-27 missiles. Photo

To use the P-27 missiles, the submarine was supposed to receive a new type of mine launcher. This unit was a durable cylindrical block with an openable top cover and a set of necessary equipment. The launcher received a launch pad of a new design, which was supposed to be connected with a special adapter in the tail of the rocket. The task of these units was to create a so-called. gas bell, when you start reducing the pressure inside the mine to acceptable values. Also, the launcher had a set of sealed connectors for connecting the rocket with the onboard equipment of the carrier.

The submarine was supposed to receive a set of special equipment designed to monitor the status of missiles. At the same time, control over all parameters was carried out from a single console. Conducting routine inspections, prelaunch preparation and shooting were controlled from another console. For the development of the flight task and the introduction of data into the missile control systems, the combat information management system Tucha was proposed.

Rocket P-27 had the opportunity to launch underwater on a "wet" scheme. Before launching, the annular gap of the launch shaft should be filled with seawater, after which it was possible to open the lid and launch it. During the start, the liquid engine had to start the steering engines, with the help of which the gas bell was created. After the start of the ascent, the main engine was supposed to turn on, with which the rocket could leave the mine and fly out of the water.

Tests of the new rocket were planned to be carried out in three stages, the purpose of which was to test the product in various conditions. The first checks took place in September 1965 using a submerged stand. Two (according to other sources, up to six) full-scale mock-up of the R-27 rocket were used in throwing trials, during which they checked the process of the missile’s exit from the mine.

In June, 1966, the second stage of testing started, continuing until the spring of 67. At the Kapustin Yar test site, 17 missile launches were performed on conventional targets. 12 launches are recognized as successful. Completion of tests with a ground launcher allowed to begin checks with the use of submarines.

Scheme of the submarine project 667А. Figure

Back in 1964, the modernization of the C-229 submarine, which at that time was a representative of the experimental project 613Д7 and was used as an experienced carrier of the RT-15М rocket, under the project 613Д5, began. The existing launcher was removed from the boat, in which place a smaller mine for the P-27 rocket was installed. In addition, she received a set of new equipment necessary for the maintenance and use of such missiles. In January 1967, the C-229 for the first time went to sea for new tests of the new weapon.

On January 18, the C-229 submarine, being at a depth of 45 m and moving at a node's 3 speed, for the first time launched a full-scale mock-up of the Р-3 rocket during the swell of an 27 score. Until 10 August, five more launches were completed. All trials with the use of the boat project 613Д5 ended in success.

In the summer of 1967, the third stage of testing began, in which the standard carrier of the D-5 complex was used - the nuclear submarine K-137 “Leninets” of the 667A “Navaga” project. In August, launches began, during which six missiles were used. These joint government tests ended successfully, after which the D-5 / P-27 rocket complex was recommended for use.

13 March 1968, the new missile and complex for it adopted by the submarine forces of the Soviet Navy. By this time, full-scale serial construction of submarines of the 667A project was deployed. Such submarines carried 16 launchers placed in two rows along the hull in the fourth and fifth compartments. Until the mid-seventies, the fleet received 34 Navag-type submarines of several modifications, which were distributed between different compounds. In total, they could simultaneously carry X-NUMX P-544 missiles.

Since the early sixties, an anti-ship P-27K was developed on the basis of the P-27 ballistic missile. Such a product received a semi-active radar guidance system and could hit mobile targets in the form of enemy enemy ships. Project P-27K reached the test, but did not lead to the re-equipment of the fleet and the expansion of the list of strike weapons. New weapons were considered inconvenient and capable of adversely affecting nuclear forces: the deployment of anti-ship ballistic missiles required submarines, which could hit the number of deployed strategic weapons. After completion of the test, the P-27K was abandoned, although work on similar systems continued.

Anti-ship missiles R-27K on a test bench. Photo

In June, the Council of Ministers decided to modernize the D-1971 complex with the P-5 rocket in June 27. It was necessary to create two options for updating the rocket, one of which was to use a split head with several warheads, and the second meant an increase in flight range. The updated complex received the designation D-5U, the rocket for it - P-27U.

The first upgrade option meant the preservation of all the design features of the base rocket when using the new head part. On a general basis, it was now proposed to mount three drop combat units of 250 kt capacity. At the end of the active part of the flight, the rocket had to drop combat blocks and give them a small lateral velocity. It was assumed that in this case, reduced-capacity warheads would fly at some distance from each other and fall in the target area, to a certain extent increasing the probability of its effective destruction.

The P-27U missile of the second version received a lightweight 1 Mt warhead, making it possible to bring the firing range to 3000 km. The principles of the rocket systems at the same time remained unchanged, although some design modifications were needed.

For the two versions of the P-27U rocket, an updated control system was developed. By improving its instruments, the QUO has been reduced to 1,3 km. In this case, the power of the warhead fully compensated for the miss and guaranteed defeat of the target.

Rocket R-27U. Changing the warhead led to an unusual appearance. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

From September 1972 to August 1973, flight tests of new missiles were conducted. According to the results of tests in early January 1974, the D-5U missile system and the P-27U product were put into service. In this regard, the D-5U complex during construction was installed on four boats of the updated project 667AU “Burbot”. Eight more carriers of the new missiles were converted from the 667A submarines.

The last modernization of the D-5 missile system was carried out in the early eighties. The P-27 rocket in the base configuration was re-equipped with a lightweight monoblock warhead from the P-27U product. This made it possible to increase the firing range to 3000 km. Such a modernization of the complex is known as D-5M.

Full operation of the D-5 family of rocket complexes lasted for two decades, until the 1988 year. During this time, fleet experts have performed more than 10 thous. Of operations of loading and unloading missiles to ensure 590 exits submarines on combat duty. 492 missile launches were carried out, of which 429 ended in a successful defeat of training targets. In 1971, nuclear submarines of the “667A” family set a record by completing a total of 58 launches. This achievement has not been surpassed so far. On average, 23,4 rockets were used per year. Of the 492 launches, 161 fell on the D-5U complexes. The P-27U missiles 150 once coped with the combat training tasks.

Of particular interest are the combat training activities conducted twice by submariners of the Northern and Pacific fleets. 20 December 1968 of the Northern Fleet K-140 submarine fired from a volley of eight missiles (according to other sources, two volleys of eight missiles each). Subsequently, a similar shooting was performed by one of the boats of the Pacific Fleet.

Submarine K-140 project 667AM, 1988 g. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, there were no accidents and losses. The first serious incident (the exact place and date of the incident are unknown, probably the beginning of the seventies) led to the death of two people. During loading of the rocket onto the submarine due to incorrect actions of the personnel and imperfection of the design, an imbalance of the product and the loading beam were occurred. The distortion has led to the disruption of the rocket from the mounts and falling to the pier. The fuel tank survived, but a hole appeared in the oxidizer tank. Two participants were poisoned by pairs of oxidizer. As a result of this incident, the missile loading system was refined.

In the 1976, an accident occurred on the K-444 submarine, but its crew managed to prevent negative consequences. Due to improper preparation of three P-27 missiles for launch, the mine was filled with seawater with damage to the tank design. After the ascent and drainage of the mine, this led to the leakage of the oxidizer. The crew took the necessary measures and did not allow a fire.

Two accidents occurred on the K-219 submarine of the 667A project, the second one leading to its loss. In 1973, the launcher's automation made it possible to open the shaft filling valves, which caused the missile to be damaged by seawater pressure. When draining the launcher, the components of the fuel flowed out of the damaged tanks and caught fire, but automatic irrigation prevented the fire from developing. The submarine returned to base and underwent repairs.

October 3 1986 of the year K-219 again encountered problems. For unexplained reasons, when the boat was immersed, water began to penetrate into one of the launch pits. The crew’s attempt to drain the mine with non-standard means when the automation was turned off was not successful, but it led to an increase in pressure and the destruction of the rocket. This time the automatic irrigation system turned off could not prevent a fire. The fire led to an explosion with the disruption of the launcher cover and the spread of fire to the fourth compartment. Due to the impossibility of self-extinguishing the fire, the crew was forced to evacuate and sink the boat. In this accident, three submariners died.

Submarine K-219 project 667А after the explosion in the launch shaft, 3 October 1986. Photo Wikimedia Commons

It should be noted that, for all the incidents that have occurred, the D-5 / P-27 missile system proved to be effective and reliable weapons for submarines. In the late eighties began the removal of complexes and their carriers with weapons due to moral and physical obsolescence, as well as because of the signing of new international agreements. Thus, in connection with the execution of the START-1 treaty, by the end of the nineties, no more than X-NUMX P-16 missiles were deployed in submarine forces. Soon, and they were removed from service.

In the early nineties, the Zyb carrier rocket was developed on the basis of the ballistic P-27. The main task of these products was to carry special research equipment designed for work in microgravity conditions. There was the possibility of taking out a suborbital cargo trajectory with a volume of 1,5 cubic meters weighing up to 1 t. 1000-kg could reach a height of 1000 km, and a maximum height of 1800 km was provided with a load of 650 kg.

December 1 1991 of the year, December 9 of the 92, and December 1 of the 93, three Zyb missile launches were performed with scientific equipment of various types and purposes. After that, the operation of launch vehicles of a new type ceased.

The D-5 complex and the P-27 rocket, intended for submarine armament, have been in use for several decades and occupied an important place in the strategic nuclear forces of the Soviet Union. In addition, within the framework of this project, serious successes of a design and technological nature were achieved. For the first time in the domestic practice, the P-27 project introduced several major decisions that later became the standard for the development of new ballistic missile submarines. In addition, a submarine project 5А was created for the D-667 complex, the further development of which allowed the sea component of the nuclear triad to be significantly strengthened and its potential maintained for a long time.

Based on:
Shirokorad A.B. Weapons of the 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. kugelblitz
    kugelblitz 16 May 2016 06: 49
    But a beautiful rocket turned out, despite the problems. In fact, Makeev’s design bureau created a full-fledged counterweight to Trident on liquid fuel components and the current Sinevs confirm this.
    Of course, one can argue for a long time that solid-fuel rockets are much higher in terms of ease of use, but the efficiency of liquid rockets says a lot. In general, with the transition to solid propellant rocket engines, the design bureaus remained out of work and, fortunately, an order for a heavy ICBM arrived. Why is there a firm belief that the development experience will give the highest characteristics to Sarmatu, both in storage, in maintenance, and in weight parameters.
  2. Andrey NM
    Andrey NM 16 May 2016 07: 19
    The R-27 missile had the opportunity of an underwater launch according to the "wet" scheme.

    At this complex, there was only the possibility of an underwater start, if my memory serves me right. There were problems with loading due to depreciation belts, you had to be careful not to tear them. There were questions about coastal equipment. At the same time, the Azuhi worthily served.
    1. PKK
      PKK 16 May 2016 19: 21
      Ampoule rocket is a big plus for rocket launchers, there is no fuss with fuel and oxidizer. In addition, GSP is much more convenient than screwed sensors where they are not falling. Successful product.
  3. papik09
    papik09 16 May 2016 07: 28
    Article unconditional "PLUS" good , but it seems to me an error crept into the text: "The liquid engine could accelerate the rocket up to speed (at the end of the active section) 4,4 m / sleading to a height of 120 km. After completion of the active section, a combat unit was to be reset, which continued to fly independently. The maximum firing range was 2500 km, while the warhead rose to a height of 620 km. When meeting with a target, the combat unit developed a speed of up to 300 m / s." No. drinks
  4. Kudrevkn
    Kudrevkn 16 May 2016 08: 20
    I will add only + and successful operation "Behemoth" already at the end of the USSR!
  5. qwert
    qwert 16 May 2016 09: 11
    About P-27 could be written more.
    By the way, the main reason for not adopting the anti-ship R-27K was by no means "The new weapons were considered inconvenient and capable of negatively affecting nuclear forces: submarines were required to deploy anti-ship ballistic missiles, which could hit the number of deployed strategic weapons. "And the fact that, in the event of a launch, it would be essentially necessary to notify the US president that we launched an anti-ship missile from their aircraft carrier with SSBNs, and not an atomic missile one from Los Angeles, for example, since a ballistic missile with nuclear submarines was a priori considered a nuclear strategic one. Therefore, any launch could provoke an atomic war. Consequently, its use in a conventional war was impossible was impossible, and the project itself lost its meaning. In the case of an atomic war, it was reasonably believed that it would be better to gasp nuclear weapons on an aircraft carrier.
    1. spech
      spech 16 May 2016 10: 59
      Consequently, its use in a conventional war was impossible was impossible, and the project itself lost its meaning.

      Do you seriously think that it is rational to shoot such a "fool" in conventional equipment?
      IMHO: after the sinking of an aircraft carrier, no one will understand what drowned him.
    2. forumow
      forumow 21 May 2016 16: 43
      I consider the specified reason for not accepting the R-27K far-fetched. SSGNs with heavy anti-ship missiles also required "boats" and "boats" rather big. An increase in the 667A series at the expense of PKBR carriers would make it possible to reduce costs by reducing the range of produced nuclear submarines and increasing the serial production of this one. The refinement and perfection of this series would increase. Moreover, the range of the P-27 family made their use in the anti-ship version most rational, since as an SLBM designed to attack the United States, it is too small and greatly increased the risks to the crews. It is clear that such a decision was impeded by the ideological and psychological attitudes of the Soviet leadership.
  6. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 16 May 2016 10: 10
    We must pay tribute to our designers, they were able to mold candy from what it was. The United States, with all its colossal economic potential, could not get ahead.
  7. DimerVladimer
    DimerVladimer 16 May 2016 11: 25
    Good article.
    The missile is really revolutionary for those times as
    in terms of functionality: the first SLBM that allowed "to reach targets in the interior of the continent, an underwater launch, relatively high accuracy due to the GSP (gyro-stabilized platform), the minimum SLBM with LPRE);
    and by design - compact (due to the "recessed" engine), "wafer" shell, chemical milling, control exclusively of steering motors.
    Compared with previous SLBMs, which were essentially a deep adaptation of "land" missiles, the R-27 is a specialized "sea" ballistic missile - this is not just a step forward - it was a leap forward. Specific design solutions used for the first time in the R-27 developed further.

    Just imagine - place a "hot" engine in the fuel tank! Even to utter such a phrase seems absurd. And our talented engineers not only brilliantly solved the most difficult design problem, but also brought it to perfection. It looks amazing in metal.
    What is it? Just think it "shoots" at 2500 km - but this is a ONE-STAGE rocket!
    1. PKK
      PKK 16 May 2016 19: 24
      But the next two-stage racket was more fun.
      1. Andrey NM
        Andrey NM 16 May 2016 19: 55
        Quote: PKK
        But the next two-stage racket was more fun.

        But let's wait for the author and see what he has to say :). As I recall the warehouse "cart" for this product with its "microwheels", which got stuck in each hole ... And how many trailed devices (in the common people were called drawbars) were broken because of this ...

        And the articles are interesting.
  8. demchuk.ig
    demchuk.ig 16 May 2016 19: 47
    I consider the further development of this missile - "Sineva" and "Liner" to be a masterpiece! The reluctance to use them on boats of a new generation is possibly a big mistake!
  9. fomin
    fomin 8 February 2017 11: 15
    The article needs to be clarified, during the K-219 crash, not three people died, but six people - four during the accident and two after the poisoning by rocket fuel vapors.
    The reason for the water to enter rocket mine No. 6 is not "unknown", but rather known, because of the malfunction of the shutoff valves of the irrigation system, with this malfunction, the boat sailed for several years.