Born: 1902-11-09. Died: 1960-10-24.
Khrushchev tours Yangel's missile factory at Dnepropetrovsk. At this time Yangel was developing the R-16, equipped with an autonomous inertial navigation unit -- while Korolev was still using radio guidance. Leonid Smirnov was manager of the factory (he would later be made Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, reporting to Ustinov). The delegation included Rudnev, Kalmykov, Serbin, Nedelin and Podgorny. Yangel told the leaders to think of the R-16 as an R-12 stacked atop an R-14. In this way he was able to quickly develop an ICBM on the basis of existing rockets. He expected to have an R-16 test article ready for tests with the first ICBM silo by September 1959. Khrushchev was overjoyed and discussed his plans to create an entirely new branch of the service - the RVSN, Strategic Rocket Forces. The Soviet Union had no real equivalent to the US Strategic Air Command and the VVS Air Forces would not handle ballistic missiles correctly. He asked Nedelin to draw up a plan to create the new branch. There was no objection form the leadership or military chiefs. None of the military services wished to handle the missiles.
In accordance with instructions issued by Khrushchev the previous summer, the RVSN rocket forces were established as a separate branch of the armed services. Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 1384-615 / TsK Decree 254 'On the Establishment of the Post of Commander-in-Chief of Missile Forces in the Armed Forces of the USSR--creation of the Strategic Missile Forces' are issued.