Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian surface-to-air missile. Tupolev design for a long-range air-breathing surface-to-air missile. Never got beyond the design stage.

Tupolev's OKB-16 became involved in surface-to-air missile design at the end of the 1950's with the Tu-131 project, also designated '131' or 'Z' (for Zenith). This was to be an unmanned long range interceptor, equivalent to the American Bomarc. The two stage surface-to-air missile,'s cruise stage was to be powered by one or two Bondaryuk ramjets. The design, and the cometing MiG P-500, never got beyond the project design stage. The missile would have been 9.6 m long, with the cruise stage having a length of 7 m. The vertical fins were canted at a sixty degree angle. Total launch mass was 2960 kg, with the cruise stage weighing in at 1460 kg including the 190 kg warhead. The missile was capable of cruising at 4300 kph, reaching altitudes of 30 km, and would have had a range of 300 to 350 km.

Standard warhead: 190 kg (410 lb). Maximum range: 350 km (210 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Maximum speed: 4,300 kph (2,600 mph).

AKA: Z; 131.
Status: Cancelled 1960.
Gross mass: 2,960 kg (6,520 lb).
Payload: 190 kg (410 lb).
Height: 9.60 m (31.40 ft).
Span: 2.41 m (7.90 ft).
Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

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Associated Countries
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
  • Tupolev Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Tupolev Design Bureau, 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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