Encyclopedia Astronautica
Topol



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Topol
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Topol-M topolmlau.jpg

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ICBM-Derived LVs
The range of launch vehicles derived from decommissioned ballistic missiles offered for sale by Russia after the cold war.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian containerised all-solid propellant intercontinental ballistic missile designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos.

Nadiradze at MIT began study of mobile ICBM in 1975. This would considered absolutely necessary since increasing US missile accuracy was making silo-based ICBM's vulnerable to a first strike. In response a government decree of 19 July 1976 ordered development of the Topol ICBM. Development of this all-solid propellant design would be continued by Boris Lapygin after Nadiradze's death Guidance was designed by Pilyugin at NPO AP. Launch from the mobile transports was controlled from a separate mobile command post. The first launch on 27 October 1982 was a failure. The second on 8 February 1983 was successful, travelling 6430 km from Plesetsk to the impact zone in Kamchatka. The first four launches, two of them unsuccessful, were conducted from a test silo originally built for the RT-2P. Trials of the RT-2PM version capable of dispensing 3 to 4 MIRV's began on 30 May 1983. The first test series was completed in December 1984, but many reliability problems had been identified. Further test series were required and the missile not finally accepted by the military until 1 December 1988. Throughout this process severe 'maskirova' (concealment and deception) measures were used to confuse the Americans as to the nature and status of development and deployment of the missile.

Despite the problems with the first test series the threat was considered so urgent that the Votkinsk Factory was ordered to begin series production in December 1984. The missile was deployed in rocket divisions of 4 to 5 regiments, each regiment with nine mobile launchers and one mobile command vehicle. The first provisional regiment became operational on 23 July 1985 at Yoshkar-Ola. This was followed by replacement of silo-based UR-100's by RT-2PM's at Teikovo. Deployment of the mobile version extended to Nizhniy Tagil on 28 April 1987. This was the first site to use the Baryev redundant multi-channel radio command link between the control points and the missile launchers. On 27 May 1988 a regiment began operations at Irkutsk with the improved Granit command point featuring a completely automated guidance system update. By 1991 288 launchers had been built, and deployment peaked at 386 in 1997. Rocket divisions were provided with the RT-2PM at Barnaul, Nizhniy Tagil, Bologoye, Yoshkar-Ola, Teikovo, Yurya, Novosibirsk, Kansk, Irkustsk , and Drovyanaya. Nine regiments with 81 launchers had been deployed to Lida, Mozyr, and Pruzhany in Belorus, but were moved back to Russia from 13 August 1990 to 27 November 1996. By 1999 there were 360 launchers in ten divisions. 57 missiles were test fired from Plesetsk to the end of the century, without a single failure of an operational missile.

The missile featured much new technology, including a new high energy, high density solid propellant in the first stage. A new countermeasure system was designed to confuse enemy defences. The missile could be launched at any time within two minutes, whether on the march or from special garage shelters with split roof doors. The missile was designed for a two year operational life, later extended based on in-service tests. Surplus ICBM's were marketed as Start and Start-1 space launchers. The first launch of this version took place from Svobodniy in March 1992.

Failures: 2. Success Rate: 97.37%. First Fail Date: 1995-03-28. Last Fail Date: 1998-10-22. Launch data is: continuing. Standard warhead: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Maximum range: 10,500 km (6,500 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Warhead yield: 550 KT. CEP: 0.21 km (0.13 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Initial Operational Capability: 1985.

AKA: RS-12M; Topol'; RT-2PM; SS-25 Mod 1 and 2; 15Zh58; Sickle.
Location: Moscow, Russian Federation.
Status: Active.
Gross mass: 45,100 kg (99,400 lb).
Payload: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).
Height: 21.50 m (70.50 ft).
Diameter: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Span: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Thrust: 890.00 kN (200,070 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1981.09.29.
Last Launch: 2011.09.27.
Number: 57 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Oscar International series of amateur radio communications satellites. Operational, first launch 1961.12.12. Launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...
  • Start Russian communications technology satellite. One launch, 1993.03.25. Experimental satellite carried on test flight of the Start-1 carrier rocket, a new booster based on SS-25 ICBM. More...
  • EKA Russian technology satellite. One launch, 1995.03.28. Eksperimentalniy Kosmicheskiy Apparat - dummy of test satellite. More...
  • Gurwin Israeli technology satellite. 2 launches, 1995.03.28 (Gurwin 1) and 1998.07.10 (Gurwin Techsat 1B). Gurwin satellites were built by the Technion Institute of Technology, Israel. More...
  • Ofeq 3 Israeli military surveillance satellite. 4 launches, 1995.04.05 (Ofeq-3) to 2006.04.25 (EROS-B). Ofeq 3 was Israel's second-generation imaging surveillance satellite. More...
  • Zeya Russian earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1997.03.04. The Zeya satellite was used for navigation and geodesy tests from a sun-synchronous orbit. More...
  • Early Bird American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1997.12.24 (Early Bird) and 2000.11.20 (QuickBird 1). Civilian earth resources / intelligence photo-imaging program. More...
  • Odin Swedish infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 2001.02.20. Odin was a Swedish dual disciplinary (astrophysics and atmospheric science) spacecraft. The 250 kg, 340 W spacecraft had a pointing accuracy of 15 arcsec and a data storage capacity of 100 MB. More...
  • NEAP American asteroid probe. Study 2002. Near Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) was SpaceDev's first conceived commercial deep-space mission. The mission was planned as the first deep-space mission defined and executed by a non-governmental entity. More...

See also
  • Topol Containerised all-solid propellant Nadiradze ICBM designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Nadiradze Russian manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Nadiradze, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Krebs, Gunter, Gunter's Space Page, University of Frankfurt, 1996. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J,, International Reference to Space Launch Systems Second Edition, AIAA, Washington DC, 1991 (succeeded by 2000 edition).
  • Placard, TsNIIMASH Museum,
  • National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J, Hopkins, Joshua B, and Hopkins, Joseph P, International Reference to Space Launch Systems, AIAA, Washington DC, 2004.
  • Pervov, Mikhail, Raketnoye Oruzhiye RVSN, Violanta, Moscow, 1999..
  • Karpenko, A V, Utkin, A F and Popov,A D, Otechestvenniye strategischeskiye raketnoye kompleks, Sankt-Peterburg: Nevskii bastion; Gangut 1999..
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kapustin Yar Russia's first missile test range and used for satellite launches of smaller Kosmos vehicles. V-2's launched from here in 1946 were the first ballistic missiles fired on Soviet territory. It was greatly expanded as the test site for innumerable Soviet intermediate and short range missile projects in the 1950's.. Kapustin Year was also headquarters of the first operational R-1/R-2 units, 1950-1953, and later a base for 12 operational R-14 missile launchers. Kapustin Yar was known to have been used for over 3519 major launches from 1946 to 2007. More...
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...

Associated Stages
  • MIHT-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,000/1,000 kg. Thrust 245.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 280 seconds. All estimated More...
  • Start-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 26,000/3,000 kg. Thrust 980.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 263 seconds. All estimated More...
  • Start-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 13,000/1,500 kg. Thrust 490.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 280 seconds. All estimated except stage gross mass More...

Topol Chronology


1981 September 29 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC167. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • First launch - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1982 October 27 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1983 February 8 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1983 May 4 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1983 May 30 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1985 December 23 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 February 28 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 March 29 - . 07:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 May 15 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 May 21 - . 19:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 May 25 - . 08:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 July 31 - . 12:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 August 8 - . 11:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 August 16 - . 07:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 October 17 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 November 1 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 November 27 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 December 25 - . 14:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 December 25 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1991 February 7 - . 08:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1991 April 5 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1991 June 25 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1991 August 19 - . 22:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1991 October 2 - . 15:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1993 February 25 - . 13:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1993 July 23 - . 08:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1994 June 22 - . 08:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1994 September 23 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1994 November 10 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 April 14 - . 11:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 October 10 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1996 April 17 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1996 June 6 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1996 October 3 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1996 November 9 - . 08:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol. LV Configuration: Topol 52.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1997 October 3 - . 07:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1998 September 16 - . 11:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1999 October 1 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol. LV Configuration: Topol 57.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2000 October 11 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol. LV Configuration: Topol 58.
  • Operational test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2001 February 16 - . 10:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Operational test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2001 October 3 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Operational test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2002 October 12 - . 09:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Operational test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2003 March 27 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Operational test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2004 February 18 - . 10:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Kura R&D payload? - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Launched during a nationwide military exercise..

2004 November 2 - . 09:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Topol ICBM Test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2005 November 29 - . 07:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol. LV Configuration: Topol 81.
  • PBS test 1 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2006 August 3 - . 10:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Kura (at 1104) - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2007 October 18 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Kura OT - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2007 December 8 - . 14:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Balkhash - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2008 August 28 - . 10:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Kura R&D payload - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2008 October 12 - . 07:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Kura OT - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2009 April 10 - . 08:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Topol Test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Op Test.

2009 December 10 - . 11:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Topol test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Summary: ICBM test, flew to impact area at Sary Shagan..

2010 October 28 - . 09:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • RV - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Operational test..

2010 December 5 - . 19:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Topol RV - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Test mission, impacting in Sary Shagan range..

2011 September 3 - . 09:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • RV - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Test mission, launched from Plesetsk to the Kamchatka peninsula impact area..

2011 September 27 - . 07:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 3.00 km (1.80 mi). Summary: Test mission of a new Russian ICBM type, launched from Plesetsk but failed at a few kilometers altitude..

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