Heavy ICBM

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The R-36 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Heavy ICBM is a term that was created in the 1970s to describe a class of Soviet ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles).[1] They were characterized by a heavy throw-weight of 5 to 9 metric tons, several times that of an LGM-30 Minuteman, and a length of over 35 meters, and were thus capable of delivering a large number of warheads in a single MIRV missile.

This term usually refers only to R36/SS-9 Scarp[2] and the R36 M/SS-18 SATAN[3] missiles.[1]


The SS-9 was a silo-launched missile capable of delivering warheads of 5 - 18 megatons, with a range of up to 15,500 km, greater than the diameter of the Earth.[4] These were then replaced by the similar SS-18, with payloads of 18 - 25 megatons. The silos used for launching were the same for both, once modified.


  1. ^ a b Graham, Thomas, Jr.; Damien J. La Vera (2003). Cornerstones of Security: Arms Control Treaties in the Nuclear Era. University of Washington Press. pp. 336 et al. ISBN 9780295982960. 
  2. ^ "R-36 / SS-9 SCARP". www.fas.org. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "R-36M / SS-18 SATAN". www.fas.org. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "SS-9". www.missilethreat.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012.