Military Review

Project submarine missile complex D-6

The early domestic ballistic missiles of submarines had a number of serious problems that impeded their operation. The first samples of such weapons they couldn’t take off from under water, and in addition, it was far from immediately possible to ensure long-term storage of fuel components directly in the rocket tanks. Because of this, some early submarines had to be equipped with special fuel tanks and rocket refueling systems. These and other disadvantages of early liquid rockets led to the proposal to create a solid-fuel ballistic missile for submarines. The first such domestic product, which, however, failed to become a standard weapon fleet, was developed as part of the project of the D-6 missile system.

The D-6 project was launched in accordance with the resolution of the Council of Ministers on September 5 of 1958 of the year. This document required the creation of a missile system for submarines with a solid-fuel rocket. The main characteristics of the system had to correspond to the parameters of the D-4 complex with the P-21 rocket, the development of which started shortly before. At the same time, it was necessary to develop a rocket with dimensions at the level of the P-13 product. Leningrad TsKB-7 of the State Committee for Defense Equipment (now KB Arsenal) was appointed the main executor of the project. PA was appointed to the position of chief designer. Tyurin.

Due to the complexity of the new project, several other organizations were involved in the work. Thus, management systems were to be developed by employees of SRI-592 (now NPO Avtomatiki) and SRI-49 (concern “Granit-Electron”). The creation of solid fuel in the framework of the “Nylon” project was entrusted to the State Institute of Applied Chemistry (GIPH) and the Scientific Research Institute-125 (FTSDT Soyuz). The submarines carrying new missiles were to be developed at TsKB-16 and TsKB-18 (SPMBM Malakhit and TsBB Rubin, respectively). In addition, several other organizations involved in various components of the prospective complex were involved in the project.

Mockup of the D-6 rocket at the 7 parade in November 1962. Photo by

Quickly enough, the specialists of several scientific and design organizations formed two proposals concerning the appearance of the promising complex and its rocket. The main differences between these preliminary projects concerned the type of power plants used and their fuel. The first draft proposed the use of ballistic powders. The rocket was supposed to be equipped with similar large-diameter sabers, similar in design to that used on the 3K9 “Luna” complex 2K6. The use of ready-made developments allowed us to significantly speed up the process of creating a new missile and adopt it in the near future.

The second version of the rocket was supposed to use composite fuel checkers. This version of the project was much more difficult, since it required additional work to create more efficient solid fuel and could lead to additional time wasting. However, in this case, it was possible to significantly improve the characteristics of the rocket compared to using ballistic gunpowder. Thus, both versions of the rocket had its advantages and disadvantages, which could affect the further course of the project and the characteristics of the finished products.

In the middle of 1960, two preliminary drafts reviewed the military and industry leaders. As a result of their consideration, the most profitable and convenient way of development of the D-6 project was chosen. It was decided to abandon ballistic fuel in favor of composite. Despite the need for additional work, composite fuel allowed to achieve higher performance. The decision was enshrined by a resolution of the Council of Ministers of 18 June. The choice of fuel made it possible to begin the development of a full-fledged project, which could later reach testing and adoption.

The first version of the missile with ballistic fuel engines was of particular interest from the point of view of design. To maximally simplify development and future production, it was proposed to assemble two rocket stages from a set of engine blocks. Each such unit had to be a steel cylinder with a charge of solid fuel, a nozzle in the tail section and a set of additional equipment. Driving was proposed using deflectors on the nozzles. Four such units were to be assembled in a step. The rocket was proposed to introduce two stages of similar architecture with four separate engines on each.

The engines of the first version of the D-6 missile were to use the existing ballistic fuel of the “Nylon-B” type, the production of which was already mastered by industry. This fuel was a colloidal solution of nitrocellulose in nitroglycerin. This mixture has already been used in the engines of several missile systems of domestic development, including those in service.

Project submarine missile complex D-6
The first version of the missile with ballistic fuel engines. Figure

After abandoning the ballistic fuel rocket, work continued on the second version of the project. In this case, other technical solutions were proposed, which led to significant differences between the two projects. The second version of the rocket, adopted for further development, differed from the first both in appearance and internal structure. In particular, it was not planned to use the steps of a separate architecture in the form of assembling individual engines.

In the future, a two-stage solid-propellant rocket could enter into service with submarines with the D-6 complex. The steps of the product received a cylindrical shape with belts-protrusions on the outer surface. There were several engine nozzles at the tail ends of the step bodies. Between themselves, the two stages should have been connected using a special cylindrical adapter.

The second stage received a tapering warhead with attachments for the installation of a warhead. The corps of the warhead, in turn, had to have a cone shape with a rounded fairing and a cylindrical base. The rocket head fairing also provided for mounting for a set of starting engines. In order to reduce the load on the launcher, it was decided to apply a nonstandard algorithm for the operation of the engines, implying the use of a separate starting power plant.

Both stages of the promising rocket were equipped with solid-fuel engines. Inside the cylindrical body was placed a charge of fuel "Nylon-S", created specifically for the new rocket. Due to its novelty, such fuel required testing and, possibly, refinement. In case of successful completion of all the necessary work, the prospective rocket could get an engine of the required power capable of meeting the performance requirements.

On the head of the product it was planned to mount 6-8 small-sized starting engines on solid fuel. They were proposed to be used to remove the rocket from the launcher, rise to the surface and exit from the water, before turning on the main engine of the first stage. It was assumed that small-sized starting engines of relatively low power would reduce the negative impact of reactive gases on the launcher units, as well as lead to some savings in the charge of the first-stage engine with an additional increase in range.

The second version of the rocket with engines on the mixed fuel. Figure

To control the rocket it was proposed to use an autonomous inertial system based on gyroscopes. The control system had to monitor the position of the rocket in space and keep it on a predetermined path. To change the individual nozzles, with the help of which it was planned to perform maneuvering, flap-deflectors were included in the control systems. Also, the control system was responsible for the discharge of the spent first stage, but the separation of the second stage and the combat unit, apparently, was not envisaged. According to calculations, the automatics should have guided a missile at a target with a QUO of no more than 3-4 km when firing at the maximum range.

Under the head fairing of the rocket had to be a special warhead. For use in the complex D-6, according to various data, were offered "Product 43" or "Product 49". The power of a nuclear charge of such a warhead was 300 CT or 1 MT.

The rocket with a mixed fuel engine should have a total length of no more than 15 m with a maximum diameter of 1,85 m. The diameter of the wide part of the combat unit was 1,3 m. high speed and bring to a predetermined trajectory, it was planned to bring the firing range to 22,5 km.

For the transportation and launch of new-type missiles, it was proposed to include mine launchers in the D-6 complex. Initially, a sample was developed similar to the one that already existed. It was a solid metal cylinder with an openable top cover, into which the rocket was to be loaded. Inside there were guides to hold the rocket in the correct position, as well as a set of connectors for its connection with the onboard systems of the carrier. Prelaunch filling the mine with water was not provided.

The appearance of the submarine project 667 with the complex D-6. On the sides visible covers hatches launchers. Figure Apalkov Yu.V. "Submarines of the Soviet Navy 1945-1991's." Volume II

The D-6 complex could become the first domestic rocket system capable of launching from under water. For this purpose, separate starting engines were introduced into the rocket. After reaching the start-up line and opening the shaft cover, the crew of the carrier should have given a launch command. On command, the battery from the starting engines at the head of the rocket was supposed to turn on. Her thrust was enough to pull the rocket out of the mine and then rise to the surface. Only after leaving the launcher, or after getting out of the water, should the main engine of the first stage start up. This method of start allowed to exclude an unacceptable increase in pressure inside the mine due to the work of the main engine. The gases from the starting engines, in turn, were not capable of damaging the design of the launcher.

The first carriers of promising missiles were to be diesel-electric submarines of the 613 and 629 projects, revised accordingly. Back in 1959, TsKB-16 began work on the project of an experimental submarine 613Д6 for testing. In the released compartment in the central part of the hull it was proposed to mount a vertical shaft launcher of the D-6 complex. In addition, the boat was supposed to receive a set of equipment for the maintenance and management of new weapons.

A sketch project 629Д6 was also developed, which was a further development of the 629 submarines. The main difference of the new project was the installation of three new launch shafts of the D-6 complex instead of the existing systems of the D-2 complex with the P-13 missiles. In theory, such a refinement of submarines allowed, without significant modernization, to almost double the maximum firing range.

After the decision was made to abandon the rocket with the engine using the Nylon-B, TsKB-18 was tasked to work out the possibility of using the new missile complex on promising nuclear submarines of the 667 project. In view of the overall limitations imposed by the design of the robust hull of such a submarine, the use of an unusual launcher was considered at one of the stages of this project.

The mines for rockets in this version of the project were to be assembled in pairs and placed outside the strong hull. At the same time, units with two missiles each were supposed to be transported in a horizontal position, parallel to the hull. During the preparation for the shooting, they had to climb vertically, after which they could start. After starting the installation should return to the horizontal transport position. Dimensions submarine "667" allowed to install on the sides of the robust hull two pairs of twin launchers. One of them was to be placed in front of the felling fence, the second - behind him. General ammunition boats with rotary launchers consisted of 8 missiles.

Rotary launchers for nuclear submarines Ave 667. At the top - a view of the system from the side, at the bottom - a view from the side of the bow of the boat: the installation is on the right in the transport position, on the left in the fighting position Figure Apalkov Yu.V. "Submarines of the Soviet Navy 1945-1991's." Volume II

In November, 1960, the team of TsKB-16 completed work on the project of the experimental boat "613Д6" and transferred the necessary documentation to one of the plants, which was to be engaged in rebuilding one of the serial submarines of the 613 project. The designers of TsKB-18 at that time continued to work out the question of installing the D-6 complex on nuclear submarines of the 667 project.

After the completion of the design work, it was planned to begin testing new weapons. At the beginning of the sixties were planned throwing tests, and then tests with full launches of new missiles. The first checks were proposed to be held at the Black Sea Fleet test sites. In addition, sites of other fleets could be involved in inspections.

The development of the D-6 submarine missile complex continued until the beginning of the summer of the 1961. 4 June issued a new decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, according to which all work on the complex ceased. The result of the next discussion at the top was disappointing conclusions about the prospects of the D-6 system. The command of the armed forces and the leadership of the defense industry considered the new complex with a solid-fuel rocket unpromising. Further work on it was considered impractical.

Design of missiles, launch systems and submarine carriers has not been completed. According to various sources, the reason for refusing further development of the project was the difficulty of creating certain components of the promising complex. In addition, in the early sixties, there was a technical and technological breakthrough in the field of liquid missiles for submarines. The development and implementation of a number of new ideas and solutions has significantly improved the characteristics of new missiles, thereby reducing the potential of solid-fuel products and the need for them.

Layouts of rockets in the parade. Photo

However, the development of solid-propellant ballistic missile submarines did not stop. Resolution of 4 June 1961, asked the development of a new system of this class. Employees of SKB-385 (now the State Rocket Center) under the direction of V.P. Makeeva was supposed to create a new D-7 complex using a solid-fuel rocket RT-15М.

Interestingly, the project D-6 after the cessation of work was not forgotten. In some sources it is reported that, based on the materials of this project, several demonstration models were subsequently collected. 7 November 1962 of the year during the military parade on Red Square drove AT-T tractors with transport trucks in tow. On the latter, layouts of missiles were located, which are considered to be one of the weapons options for the D-6 complex. In the future, such products were demonstrated several times at other parades.

"Ceremonial" mock-ups of the D-6 missiles had significant differences from their combat prototypes. For example, the second stage, instead of a cylindrical body, received a construction of two conical parts and a relatively narrow cylindrical section. The cylindrical part behind the head fairing was also extended. Instead of a block of nozzles on the bottom of the first stage was mounted a set of six or seven pipes simulating the engine units. Starting engines on the head part were missing.

Developments on the D-6 project were later used to create the first Russian intercontinental ballistic missile RT-1, intended for rocket forces. In 1962, this product was put to the test, but showed unsatisfactory results. In particular, the firing range did not exceed 2500 km, and the reliability of various systems left much to be desired.

The project of the D-6 missile system intended for installation on submarines did not yield the expected results. Nevertheless, he made it possible to obtain the most important experience necessary for the creation of new weapons for the submarine forces of the navy. Taking into account the successes and failures of the D-6 project and other developments of that time, in the future we managed to create several other systems that were put into service and used 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 II: - M: Morkniga, 2011
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  1. region58
    region58 17 May 2016 10: 33
    below - view from the bow of the boat: on the right, the installation is in transport position, on the left in combat.

    I apologize, but left and right are not mixed up for an hour?
  2. DimerVladimer
    DimerVladimer 17 May 2016 13: 54
    The CIA experts were glad that the pipes sticking out of the prototype were puzzled for a long time what engines these were :)
    1. engineer74
      engineer74 17 May 2016 14: 37
      We recorded a "photonic reflector", and then let the military-industrial complex have a headache! smile
      The command of the armed forces and the leadership of the defense industry considered the new complex with a solid fuel missile unpromising.
      - the saddest phrase in the article, we loved the most "delicious" direction ... sad