Rocket R-11FM


It was decided to introduce far-range ballistic rockets in the capacity of the navy armament starting from a diesel submarine. The Chief Designer was N. N. Isanin. It was necessary to redesign the selected submarine to accommodate the R-11 family rocket modified at OKB-1 for this purpose. The rocket was designated as R-11FM and became the first operations rocket adapted for launching from submarines.
As a main launch option of rocket R-11FM, a launch from an above-water submarine surface was approved. For this, it was necessary to lift the launch pad with the completely fueled rocket from the submarine silo to a level of a conning tower and keep it vertical till a launch.

Ракета Р-11ФМ,
готовая к пуску
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Principal characteristics of rocket R-11FM

Maximum firing range, km

Launch mass, kg

Payload unit mass, kg

Mass of fuel components
(nitric acid AK-20I, kerosene T-1,
mix of TG-02 and gas), kg

Engine ground thrust, kgf






The accepted option allowed to avoid radical modifications of the submarine design and to redesign only those sites at the shipyard that were associated with the rocket accommodation on the submarine. Radical modifications were also required to the rocket flight control system (to receive initial launch data from the submarine navigation system).
The ground tests assumed launches from a stationary and then from application specific swinging launch pad. The test primary goal was to verify the R-11FM attachment system with movable claws.
Relying on the ground test results the feasibility of integrated sea tests of rocket R-11FM and the submarine was concluded.

Launching of rocket R-11FM
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Rocket R-11FM launched
from submarine
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The first successful launch of rocket R-11FM from submarine B-67 commanded by the 2nd rank captain F. I. Kozlov took place in the White Sea on September 16, 1955 at 17:32 .
Then, operational tests of complex "Submarine-Rocket R-11FM" have been carried out in August-October 1956 at the North Navy base. Submarine B-67 was commanded by I. I. Gulyaev. The sea tests were witnessed by S. P. Korolev from boards of submarines.
The program assumed firing of rockets of different storage life. After durable testing three successful launches have been performed of which the first launch took place on September 12, 1956 after a 37-day period of storage of rocket R-11FM on the submarine and two launches took place on October 1956, after 82-day and 47-day storage periods.
The final testing cycle has been carried out in March-May 1958. To witness the rocket final launch from the submarine, the Navy Commander-in-Chief, admiral P. E. Vladimirsky, chief marshal of artillery M. I. Nedelin, as well as commanders of fleets and flotillas were invited to witness the rocket launch from a board of a ship going in parallel with the submarine.
Rocket R-11FM entered service in the Navy on February 20, 1959.
From the year 1955, studies on a rocket under-water launch were initiated. OKB-10 NII-88 (Chief Designer E. V. Charnko) was obligated to implement this work. In October 1956 experiments were started in the Black Sea. The first under-water launch of rocket R-11FM in which a solid-propellant engine instead of a liquid-propellant engine and which was installed in a launch silo of an immersed platform took place on December 26, 1956 from the depth of 30 m.
In 1955 technical documentation on rocket R-11FM was passed on to SKB-385 and its tooling and hardware - to plant 385 for mass production of the rocket. On the initiative of S. P. Korolev, on March 11, 1955 V. M. Makeev previously working in the capacity of the lead designer of rocket R-11 was appointed the Chief Designer of OKB-385.





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