Work on the creation of the first Soviet ballistic missiles began in the post-war years. Then it was the only adequate response to the global dominance of the United States in the field of strategic weapons, which by that time had nuclear weapons and an entire armada of strategic bombers based on the borders of the USSR.
Korolev and his team
The Soviet missile program was handled by a group of NII-88 engineers, headed by S.P. Korolev. His closest assistants are V.P. Glushko, V.I. Kuznetsov, V.P. Barmin and N.A. Pilyugin were responsible for the creation of the main systems of future missile systems. Later they became general designers of leading design bureaus, and to this day constitute the core of the domestic rocket and space industry.
Launch of the first ballistic missile
The first domestic combat ballistic missile R-1 is a modified version of the German captured FAU-2, fragments of which were removed from Germany at the end of the war. The first launches took place in October 1948. The Soviet Union became a rocket power.
Nuclear missile shield
The formation of nuclear missile forces ended in the late 1950s with the creation of the Strategic Missile Forces. Over the 55 years of their existence, several generations of missile systems have changed, which all these years, without any exaggeration, have been an absolute guarantee of the country's security.
Currently, the ground component of the nuclear triad - Russian ballistic missiles - is represented by several complexes.
R-36 ballistic missile launch
The R-36 complex (modifications - R-36M UTTH, R-36M2 "Voyevoda" and R-36M3 "Ikar") is a joint brainchild of the chief designers of the Yuzhnoye design bureau M.K. Yangel and V.F. Utkin. It has been in service since the mid-70s. Our potential opponents have it listed as SS-18 and "Satan".
Another complex, the UR-100N, was created by the OKB-52 team with the leading role of Yu.V. Dyachenko. According to the NATO and American classification it has the designation "Stiletto" and SS-19. Both complexes are liquid, two-stage, mine-type with multi-unit warheads capable of overcoming echeloned anti-missile defense.
The first stage of the UR-100 rocket with propulsion engines
However, without diminishing the outstanding capabilities of the R-36 and UR-100 and their importance for the country's defense, we have to admit that they are outdated and need to be replaced. In 2018-2020, the Russian ballistic missile of the new generation "Sarmat" is to replace the R-36.
At the turn of the 80s-90s, a unique solid-propellant rocket complex RT-2PM2, which is better known as "Topol-M", was developed. Specialists of the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering and their colleagues from the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau have created two versions of Topol - mine and mobile.
But if the previous complexes are the brainchild of the Soviet military-industrial complex, then the RS-24 YARS ballistic missile is already a Russian development of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering. The project was headed by Academician Yu. S. Solomonov. YARS started military service a little more than four years ago.
Complex YARS RS-24
Tactical missiles appeared in the early 60s. The first "swallow" was the "Luna" complex, equipped with an unguided missile with a firing range of about 70 km. The continuation of this theme was the Russian Tochka U and Iskander complexes.
Group launch of Iskander missiles
The first underwater ballistic missile system R-29 was developed 40 years ago in the famous Ural design bureau named after V.I. Makeeva. The Bulava missile complex was created at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering, and after several years of failures, it finally became operational.
Start of the Mace
The very concept of a "rocket of Russia" cannot be imagined without the "seven" - the famous Korolev's R-7, originally "sharpened" for the delivery of "Kuz'ka Mother" - a thermonuclear charge overseas. However, fate decreed otherwise, making it for decades the main "workhorse" of the Soviet space program and the ancestor of a whole family of domestic launch vehicles. Ahead are the launches of her "grandchildren" - the new generation "Angara" missiles.
R-7 missile family
Since the mid-1950s, under the leadership of Academician V.N. Chelomey, the development of a new class of weapons - cruise missiles - began, which by their characteristics significantly exceeded the means of destruction existing at that time. The main difference between cruise missiles is that the trajectory of their flight is determined by the aerodynamic lift of the wing, engine thrust and gravity.
Yakhont cruise missile
The first samples were intended exclusively for the destruction of large surface targets and, above all, aircraft carriers. Currently, Russian cruise missiles are a powerful component of the country's defense potential.