1959 the Government Decree enacted OKB-1 to initiate work
on the development of ballistic rockets using solid propellant
RT-1 with a warhead flight range of 2 500 km, a launch mass
of up to 35 t, and a combat charge mass of 500 kg.
In parallel, the tasks were pursued to implement work on
RT-2 assuming the development of a ballistic rocket with
a warhead flight range from 10 000 to 12 000 km and a combat
charge mass of up to 500 kg. Development and flight tests
of experimental rocket RT-1 allowed to gain experience in
ground processing and flight testing of solid propellant
rockets and to refine certain performance requirements for
solid propellant rockets.
The RT-2 preliminary design has been worked out in 1963.
It was assumed to use a warhead of 500 kg mass for a firing
range from 10 000 to 12 000 km and a warhead of 1400 kg
mass for a firing range from 4000 to 5000 km. The rocket
had to be launched from a protected silo, its launch readiness
had to be L - 3 - 5 minutes.
The possibility was envisioned, through combining stages
of rocket RT-2, to develop medium range rockets. All parameters
of rocket RT-2 (propellant distribution between stages,
a diameter of engines, their burn time, pressure in chambers
and at a nozzle exit, etc.) were selected close to optimal.
Nevertheless, rocket RT-2 required further improvement.
A mix of propellants was made in individual molds, then
a charge was inserted into a shell, and a gap between the
charge and the shell was filled with special binding material.
This brought certain difficulties in manufacturing the solid-propellant
rocket and required new design and engineering solutions
to eliminate these difficulties when designing the following
modifications of rocket RT-2.
One of the rockets, RT-2P, was burning solid propellant
based on butyl rubber of high plasticity showing no appreciable
aging and cracking during storage. This propellant was directly
filled in the engine shell, then polymerized and required
surfaces of charge burning were formed thereupon.
Special devices were developed to exclude an unauthorized
ignition of engines at the launch pad and solid-propellant
engine warranty storage life was increased that improved
the rocket quality greatly.
The RT-2 flight test program assumed 32 launches. The launches
took place from February to July 1966 from the Kapustin
Yar launch site and from November 1966 to October 1968 from
the Plesetsk launch site. The first successful launch of
rocket RT-2 occurred on February 26, 1966.
On December 18, 1968 rocket RT-2 entered service.
From January 1970 to March 1971 flight tests of modified
rocket RT-2P were carried out. The rocket was equipped with
an antirocket radio protection system for the warhead, a
more powerful warhead, stage III was equipped with a new
engine and burning, more efficient propellant.
In 1972, rocket RT-2P entered service.
This rocket was the most felicitous design of OKB-1 that
contributed greatly to support parity in the rocket-nuclear
"competition" and enhanced safety of our Motherland.
Presently, rockets RT-2P are phased out by reason of their
warranty storage life expiration.