R-36 (missile)

The R-36 (Russian: Р-36) is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and space launch vehicles (Tsyklon) designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was deployed under the GRAU index 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp. It was able to carry three warheads and was the first Soviet MRV(multiple reentry vehicle) missile.[1] The later version, the R-36M was produced under the GRAU designations 15A14 and 15A18 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan. This missile was viewed by certain United States analysts as giving the Soviet Union first strike advantage over the U.S., particularly because of its rapid silo-reload ability, very heavy throw weight and extremely large number of re-entry vehicles. Some versions of the R-36M were deployed with 10 warheads and up to 40 penetration aids and the missile's high throw-weight made it theoretically capable of carrying more warheads or penetration aids. Contemporary U.S. missiles, such as the Minuteman III, carried up to three warheads at most.

R-36
TypeIntercontinental ballistic missile
Place of originSoviet Union (Ukraine)
Service history
In service1966–1979 (original variant)
1988–present (R-36M2 Voevoda variant)
Used byRussian Strategic Missile Troops
Production history
DesignedFrom 1962
ManufacturerFactory: Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant Developer: Yuzhnoye Design Office Ukraine
Specifications
Mass209,600 kg (462,100 lb)
Length32.2 m (106 ft)
Diameter3.05 m (10.0 ft)
WarheadDepending on variant (see variants); the current one (R-36M2 Mod. 5), 10 × 550–750 kiloton MIRV warheads with a large amount of decoys and other penetration aids. Originally (Mod. 1), 1 × 18–25 megaton warhead.

EngineRD-250 Two-stage liquid propellant
Operational
range
10,200–16,000 km
Guidance
system
Inertial, autonomous
Accuracy220–1,300 m CEP
Launch
platform
Silo

The R-36 became the base for the Tsyklon launch vehicles family. As of early 2021, Cyclone-4M, the last Tsyklon variant in development, is planned for launch in 2023 from Canso, Nova Scotia.[2]

Russia intends to replace the R-36M with a new heavy ICBM, the RS-28 Sarmat.

Some R-36 missiles have been converted into Dnepr medium-lift launch vehicles, capable of putting up to 4,500 kg into orbit.


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