AKA: RS-12M1 / RS-12M2;RT-2M2;RT-2PM2;SS-X-27 / SS-X-29;Topol M. Status: Active. First Launch: 1994-12-20. Last Launch: 2017-01-16. Number: 14 . Payload: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Thrust: 890.00 kN (200,070 lbf). Gross mass: 47,200 kg (104,000 lb). Height: 22.71 m (74.52 ft). Diameter: 1.85 m (6.06 ft). Span: 1.85 m (6.06 ft). Location: Moscow, Russian Federation. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
In March 1992 the decision was taken to authorize development of the RT-2PM Topol-M as the all-Russian replacement for the cancelled Ukrainian Universal ICBM. The two completed Universal missiles were handed over to Chief Designer B N Lapygin and Yu S Solomonov at MIT for study. A Russian Federation decree of 27 February 1993 ordered full-scale development. A mock-up of the planned design was delivered to Plesetsk in 1994. The system was to include a new maneuverable MIRV dispenser bus to defeat American anti-ballistic missile defenses. In order to thwart and American boost-phase intercept, the Topol-M went through its main stage burns and dispensed its warheads in only a fraction of the ten minutes required for an R-36M liquid propellant rocket to accomplish the same task.
VNIIEF was responsible for design of the warheads and NPO Soyuz for the three single-nozzle solid rocket motors, using ammonium perchlorate oxidizer and synthetic rubber binder. A total of 142.8 billion rubles was budgeted to cover costs through the first test flight. The graphite composite details of the rocket and the container-launcher were designed by TsNII Spetsmash. The mobile transporter included a new microprocessor-controlled control system. The system was designed for a 15 year storage life, ready to launch in the silo.
Trials of the silo-based version began from the old Yuzhnoye test complex at Plesetsk on 20 December 1994. Only three more launches were made (in September 1995, July 1996, and 8 July 1987) when the system was declared operational in December 1997. Series production was begun at GPO Votkinsk Factory. A fifth launch on 22 October 1998 was intended to test the new Svetlaya launch silo equipment. The missile went off-course and had to be destroyed. Subsequent launches on 8 December 1998 and 3 June 1999 were more successful.
The first division, with only two silos and a training unit, was declared operational at Tatischevo on 24 December 1997. By 30 December 1998 ten UR-100NUTTKh silos there had been fitted out with the Topol-M and constituted the 104th Rocket Regiment. Conversion was relatively easy since both the command point and missiles were containerized. The old units could be pulled out of the silos and the replacements popped in. The new command points were said to have improved shielding and EMI protection, and to be 'environmentally friendly'.
Development of an all-Russian strategic weapon was a huge task -- 75% of the components for previous missiles had been scattered around the Ukraine and Belarus. Despite the budget limitations the Russian government's intention was to deploy 350-400 Topol-M ICBM's as replacements for the UR-100NUTTKh and R-36M/R-36M2 in the first decade of the 21st Century. Cost was expected to be 18.5 million rubles per silo, and a total of 3.38 billion rubles over several years. It was planned to ramp up to delivery of 40 to 50 launchers after 2005. Although the Topol-M was only to be deployed in a single-warhead version according to the START-2 agreement, there was nothing in the treaty preventing development of a multiple-warhead version. This was considered by the Russians to be only a matter of time and money, when and if needed.
A prototype mobile version of the Topol-M used the MZKT-79221 from the Minsk Heavy Wheeled Vehicle Factory. An all-Russian production version was designed by Viktor Shyrygin at TsKB Titan, Volgograd, with Viktor Solunin at TsNII AG responsible for the gyro package. Series production of the launcher would be by PO Barrikada.
Maximum range: 10,110 km (6,280 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Warhead yield: 1,000 KT. Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket.