Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
All-Russian second generation version of the R-101, itself a derivative of the German Wasserfall. Development began in May 1949 but the missile did not reach flight test stage before its cancellation in 1951.

The R-108 was a planned production version of the R-101, with a Russian self-homing system developed from the German 'Max' design, and a Russian rocket engine designed by Isayev. A progressive test series was planned to introduce all of these innovations incrementally. The indigenous Russian 8 tonne engine began life in May 1949, when Isayev began development of a 4 chamber engine for the R-101. This clustered four of the two tonne chambers already developed by his bureau and was designated S09-502. Isayev's engine was not a straight copy of the German engine, but an adaptation using Russian materials and economic considerations. In July 1950 Isayev produced a new 8.5 tonne thrust single-chamber engine concept for the R-101B (R-101B.36000-0). The R-101 (and R-108) were cancelled before any of Isayev's engines could fly, but modifications of the four-chamber engine would be adopted for the first production Soviet surface-to-air missile, the Lavochkin 205 or V-300. An upgrade of the single-chamber 8 tonne thrust motor would be used in later surface-to-air missiles and the R-11 SSM, later famous throughout the world as the 'Scud' tactical missile.

Status: Cancelled 1951.

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • R-101B.36000-0 Isayev Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. R-101B/R-108 SAM. Developed 1950-51. Launch thrust 83.3 kN. Single chamber engine designed for use in the R-101B and R-108 (derivative of German Wasserfall). More...

See also
  • Russian SAMs and ABMs Perhaps no missiles ever produced had as much historical influence as the surface-to-air missiles of the Soviet Union. Originally conceived to provide a defence against the American bomber fleets of the early Cold War, they decisively affected the turn of events when they shot down American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft over Russia and Cuba. Soviet-provided missiles accounted for a hundred American aircraft over North Vietnam and set the terms of the air battle. A new generation of missiles presented a huge technological surprise and took an awful toll of Israeli aircraft in the 1973 war. To this day, Russian surface-to-air missiles provide the only defence available to most countries against American bombers, and Russian man-portable anti-aircraft missiles are a major part of the terrorist threat. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Sinilshchikov Russian manufacturer of rockets. Sinilshchikov Design Bureau, Korolev, Russia. More...

  • Yeftifyev, M D, Iz istorii sozdaniya zenito-raketnovo shchita rossii, Vuzovskaya kniga, Moscow, 2000. Web Address when accessed: here.

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