Rocket R-11


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Principal characteristics of rocket R-11

Maximum firing range, km

Launch mass, kg

Warhead mass, kg

Propellants mass
(nitric acid AK-20I, kerosene T-1,
mix of TG-02 and gas), kg

Engine ground thrust, kgf






Comparing to R-1, the new rocket launch mass was 2.5 times as less with the same flight range.
The first cycle of flight tests was undertaken from April 18 to June 2, 1953. 10 launches were planned. The first launch of rocket R-11 took place on May 21, 1953.
Relying on the flight test results, a number modifications have been made to the rocket design - intake devices were installed in tanks to ensure their complete depletion. Considerable modifications were made to the engine design to provide its overall pressurization.
The second cycle of flight tests was run from April 20 to May 13, 1954. Nine of ten rockets R-11 reached a range of 270 km with a possible ranging error of 1.19 km and cross range error of 0.66 km.
From December 1954 to January 1955, five successful adjustment tests have been performed. Upon completion of 10 qualification tests in January - February 1955, on June 13, 1955 rocket R-11 entered service.
Small dimensions and high performance, capability of long storage in a fueled state gave the ability to use the rocket being moved on different transportation means (wheeled and caterpillar vehicles, dedicated railway cars, ships and submarines equipped with application specific silos) and carrying a common or nuclear charge.
Under the Government Decree of August 26, 1954 a new rocket R-11M has been designed for the ground forces. Once five qualification tests have been run in 1958, rocket R-11M, by the Government Decree of April 1, 1958, entered service in the ground forces in the capacity of an operational-tactical rocket carrying a nuclear warhead.
For routine employment of rocket R-11M a movable ground support complex have been developed at OKB-1 including a road-transported launch pad deployed directly on ground. Further, under performance specifications of OKB-1, a self-propelled launch system have been derived from a heavy tank for rocket R-11M at the Kirov's plant at Leningrad. Such a launch system could deliver a fueled rocket to a specified area, launch it and return to a base to take a new rocket and launch it in other area.

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Transportation and installation
of rocket R-11M to a launch pad

Based on rocket R-11, geophysical rocket R-11A has been designed and launched on the Novaya Zemlya (New Land) under the International Geophysics Year program in 1958.






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