Encyclopedia Astronautica

Glushko Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 2592 kN. R-16 stage 1. Isp=289s. Consisted of three RD-217; had 6 combustion chambers and 3 turbines; powered the R-16 ICBM. First flight 1960.

The RD-218 powered the R-16 ICBM that was referred to by Khrushchev at the UN when he claimed the USSR was producing missiles like sausages. Both the engines and the R-16 were built at Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine. The missile was in service until the 1970s. Diameter is per chamber. An earlier version of the engine used in the R-16 had a vacuum thrust of 255,400 kgf.

Application: R-16 stage 1.


Chambers: 6. Thrust (sl): 2,220.000 kN (499,070 lbf). Thrust (sl): 226,400 kgf. Engine: 1,960 kg (4,320 lb). Chamber Pressure: 73.60 bar. Area Ratio: 18.8. Propellant Formulation: AK27I/UDMH. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 135.71. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 2.5.

AKA: 11D69; RD-218; 8D712.
Unfuelled mass: 1,960 kg (4,320 lb).
Height: 2.19 m (7.18 ft).
Diameter: 2.79 m (9.15 ft).
Thrust: 2,592.00 kN (582,704 lbf).
Specific impulse: 289 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 246 s.
Burn time: 90 s.
First Launch: 1958-61.
Number: 212 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-16 Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The Soviet Union's first practical ICBM, a two stage vehicle using storable propellants. Development began in 1956 and the missile was in service from 1962 to 1974. Peak deployment consisted of 186 launchers, about a third of them in missile silos, the rest in fixed 'soft' installations. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Glushko Russian manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Glushko Design Bureau, Russia. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/UDMH Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. More...

  • Johnson, Nicholas L; and Rodvold, David M, Europe and Asia in Space 1993-1994, USAF Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM 80907, 1995..
  • Salmon, Andrew, The Story Of Russian Rocket Engines - Energomash Museum, Commentary by the guide at the Energomash rocket engine museum in Khimki, April 1998 at YSC98..
  • Haeseler, Dietrich, Information from NPO Energomash museum exhibit, Nov. 1992 via Dietrich Haeseler.
  • Glushko, V P, Albom Konstruktsiy ZhRD, Vol. 1 1968, Vol. 3 & 4 1969 via Dietrich Haeseler.

Associated Stages
  • R-16-1 Nitric acid/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 110,000/10,000 kg. Thrust 2,609.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 289 seconds. Range 12,000 km. Tsniimash has 1:10 structural simulation model. Two stage ICBM with nitric acid oxidizer. Developed 1956-1961. Entered service 1961. Chief designer Yangel. Source: Placard, TsNIIMASH. More...

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