Encyclopedia Astronautica

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.

Status: Retired 1972.
Gross mass: 110,000 kg (240,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).
Height: 16.00 m (52.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Span: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Thrust: 2,609.50 kN (586,639 lbf).
Specific impulse: 289 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 246 s.
Burn time: 106 s.
Number: 199 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • RD-217 Glushko Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 865 kN. R-16 stage 1. Out of Production. Original intended use unknown. Three RD-217 clustered to make RD-218. Isp=289s. First flight 1961. More...
  • RD-218 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. More...

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...
  • R-16U Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. Standardised version of R-16, for either pad or silo launch. 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...

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