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Test launch of an Alfa
|Type||Intermediate range ballistic missile|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||Italian Navy|
|Manufacturer||Aeritalia, Selenia, Snia BPD|
|Weight||8,000 kilograms (18,000 lb)|
|Length||3.85 metres (12.6 ft)|
|Height||6.5 metres (21 ft)|
|Diameter||1.37 metres (54 in)|
first stage, solid fuel rocket|
250 kN (56,000 lbf) thrust
second stage, solid fuel rocket
|1,600 kilometres (990 mi) with 1 tonne warhead|
first stage, 57 seconds|
second stage, unknown
Alfa was the designation of an Italian ballistic missile program that started in 1971 under the control of the GRS (Gruppo di Realizzazione Speciale Interforze). Starting as a development effort for a study on efficient solid-propellant rockets, the Alfa rocket was planned as a two-stage rocket. Test launches with an upper stage mockup took place between 1973 and 1975, from Salto di Quirra.
The Alfa was 6.5 metres (21 ft) long and had a diameter of 1.37 metres (4 ft 6 in). The first stage of the Alfa was 3.85 metres (12.6 ft) long and contained 6 t of solid rocket fuel. It supplied a thrust of 232 kN for a duration of 57 seconds. It could carry one tonne warhead for a range of 1,600 kilometres (990 mi), placing European Russia and Moscow in range from the Adriatic Sea.
Italy has been active in the space sector since 1957, conducting launch and control operations from the Luigi Broglio Space Centre. The advanced Scout and Vega launchers currently used by the European Space Agency (ESA) derive their technological basis partially from Alfa studies.
- "Alfa". astronautix.com. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
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