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For other uses, see Burya (disambiguation).

The Burya ("Storm" in Russian; Russian: Буря) was a trisonic, intercontinental cruise missile developed by the Lavochkin design bureau (designation La-350), based on a request for proposal issued by the Soviet government in 1954.[1] The purpose of the design competition was to develop a cruise missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States. Analogous developments in the USA were the SM-62 Snark and SM-64 Navaho cruise missiles, particularly the later, which used parallel technology and had similar performance goals.


The Burya was planned as a Mach 3 intercontinental nuclear armed ramjet cruise missile. After cancellation, testing continued as a technology demonstration. The Burya was remarkably advanced for its time, and despite setbacks and several crashes, the vehicle demonstrated a range in excess of 6,000 km with a thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb-sized payload at speeds greater than Mach 3. The Burya had a two-stage design - the daring concept for an intercontinental missile was the second stage, which was powered by a ramjet engine at its operational speed of Mach 3. This varied from the original Trommsdorff concept of World War II in that no mother aircraft launch preceded the rocket boosted phase. The first stage was a ballistic-rocket-derived booster, which accelerated the Burya to altitude and the speed necessary to ignite its ramjet engine: a ramjet does not operate below subsonic speeds, and to use a hybrid jet-ramjet to broaden its operating speed would have been more complex.

Successful tests were achieved only several years after the project was cancelled for operational purposes. It was a casualty, like the USAF Navaho, of the greater simplicity and relative invulnerability to interception of pure ballistic missiles. The missile was an early precursor to the Zvezda and Buran projects.[2]


General characteristics[edit]

  • Function: Nuclear cruise missile
  • Launch mass: 96,000 kg
  • Total length: 19.9 m
  • Launch platform: Launch pad
  • First flight test: 1 July 1957
  • Last flight test: 16 December 1960
  • Number of successful launches: 14
  • Number of failed launches: 3
  • Status: Canceled

Launch vehicle (stage 1)[edit]

  • Function: Multi-purpose launch vehicle
  • Engine: 2× Burya booster with S2.1150 engine
  • Length: 18.9 m
  • Diameter: 1.45 m
  • Thrust: 68.61 t
  • Oxidizer: Nitric acid
  • Combustible: Amine

Cruise missile (stage 2)[edit]

  • Engine: 1× RD-012U ramjet
  • Speed : Mach 3.1-3.2
  • Range: 8,500 km
  • Flight altitude: 18–20 km
  • Warhead: thermonuclear, 2190 kg
  • Length: 18.0 m
  • Diameter: 2.20 m
  • Wing span: 7.75 m
  • Wing area: 60 m²


  1. ^ "FAS.org - "Burya / Buran- Russian / Soviet Nuclear Forces"". Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Burya"