Rocket R-5M


(23 632 bytes)
Principal characteristics of rocket R-5M

Maximum firing range, km

Launch mass, kg

Warhead mass, kg

Propellants mass
(liquid oxygen, ethyl alcohol,
hydrogen peroxide, gas), kg

PU ground thrust, kgf






The first strategic rocket R-5M was derived from rocket R-5 in accordance with the Decree of April 19, 1954 to carry a nuclear warhead to a range of 1200 km. This work was initiated late in 1953.

Rocket R-5M pre-launch processing
(70 497 bytes)

Rocket R-5M engine burn
(111 186bytes)

Rocket R-5M pre-launch processing
(80 097 bytes)

The recovered warhead
of rocket R-5A at the fall site
(52 461bytes)

There was a need to develop a new and shorter warhead to reduce two times the warhead ground-contact velocity to meet its automatics requirements.
The nuclear charge accommodated on the rocket made imperative to improve its control system reliability to avoid the whole rocket failure in the event of an error or a damage in one of the control system circuits.
It was also required to sufficiently simplify the rocket pre-launch processing, to reduce man-hours, and a number of support personnel.
It was planned to develop technology for integrated tests of two items: the rocket and its warhead accommodating a nuclear charge, as well as to work out the entire phased schedule of work to be executed at the launch site.
To enhance the R-5M reliability, all onboard circuits of the control system and the radio system were made redundant, a stabilization automatics contained two independent links, a vernier unit included not four, as all previous rockets, but six steering verniers. The control system power supply sources were provided with redundancy and a three-link integrator was used for a range control. The control system instruments used to reduce vibro effects were moved from the aft to the inter-tank compartment. In addition, a new self-destruction system was introduced in the R-5M control system. It meant that, in the event of considerable deviation of the rocket from its program trajectory accounting of any failures, it had to be destroyed in flight by means of the self-destruction system, or its flight had to be terminated through emergency shutdown of its engine. A completely automated system for the R-5M engine ignition was also incorporated.
Flight tests were two-step: manufacturer tests and flight-design tests. 13 rockets of 14 reached the destination.
The first successful launch of R-5M occurred on January 21, 1955.
On February 2, 1956 rocket R-5M carrying a real nuclear charge has been launched. Once 1200 km have been flown, the warhead reached ground in the prescribed area without destruction. An impact detonator actuated and a ground nuclear explosion took place.
On June 21, 1956 rocket R-5M entered service. In 1959, two rocket sections armed with rockets R-5M were the first among the rocket forces to go on sentries.
Rocket R-5M became the first domestic strategic rocket carrying a nuclear charge that gave start to the development of the national nuclear-rocket protection shield.
On February 21, 1958 the world record for the altitude of 473 km was set up on single-stage rocket R-5A that carried a payload of 1520 kg mass and recovered an object of 1350 kg mass.

(55 541 bytes)

(97 554 bytes)

(104 407 bytes)
Rocket R-5V on the launch pad.
The rocket had been launched till 1975 (including launches under program "Vertical")







Official WEB-site of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia