Strategic missile forces museum in Ukraine

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The Strategic Missile Forces museum is located on the border of Kirovohradska and Mykolayivska oblasts. Recently, missile bases were strictly confidential, which was the part of 46th Nijniodniprovska Missile Order of October Revolution, Red Flag Division.

Component of the equipment of 11th UCP compartment

SS-24 "Scalpel" silo-based missile was cited there. Additionally, display of rocket engines, auxiliary vehicles and mock nuclear warheads will be accessible to have a look at.

Models of R-12 (it was the one which played a key role in the Caribbean crisis in 1961) and RS-20 missile (SS-18 "Satan") are show not only the exterior but also interior and intestines of that rockets in real sizes.

Lengths of Base’s underground passages is 155 metres, and they were used get to the underground command post; in turn, a command post was manufactured as a capsule which was suspended in the silo 45 metres under earth surface, and could be fully autonomous within 45 days in case of military attacks.

For many years Pervomaisk was a town of strategic importance - there was the division headquarters of the strategic missile forces, town were surrendered with rocket’s mines with the most advanced nuclear missiles, deep underground command post kept an eye on all that rockets silos and officers were on charge day by day.

In 90th, Ukraine signed a treaty of non-proliferation. Pervomaisk had become a place of destruction of dangerous armaments. One of the key issues where that command posts was transformed into a Strategic Missile Forces Museum by the joint project of Ukraine, Russia and United States.

Nowadays the museum is: a surface area with rockets exposition, a building of an actual museum (former administrative building), an unified underground command post, ground-based facilities for alerting. Besides, all technical systems are good working, except for the one that were designed to perform essential tasks - the launch of rockets and secret equipment - were dismantled. Moreover, the museum includes historical and cultural centre, which is located in Pervomaisk, sports and hotel estates.

The variety of exhibit units is outstanding not only for their sizes (the smallest, such as fragments of ammunition from World War II and up to 35 m long with a diameter of 3 meters of intercontinental ballistic missile SS-18 “Satan”), but for its exclusiveness. Currently, the museum has more than 2000 exhibit units and their number is constantly growing.

Samples of missile’s engines[edit]

Samples of missile’s engines of different periods are shown at the territory of the museum. Some of them were part of exclusive technical solutions; for example, missile RS-20V Voyevoda (NATO reporting name - SS-18 «Satan») and RS-18 (NATO reporting name - SS-19 «Stiletto»). Additionally, Model of R-12 (8K63) (NATO reporting name - SS-4 «Sandal») is displayed open air. Transporting of R-12 missiles to Cuba in 1962 led to the "Caribbean Crisis". Theatre ballistic missile (TBM) SS-4 «Sandal» was the first in using stored fuel components and entirely autonomous control system. Specifications of «Sandal»: operational range - 2080 km, launch weight - 41 920 kg, length - 22.1 m, diameter - 1.625 m, speed - 2,572 m/s, launch platform - open-launch and silo-based.

Strategic Missile Forces Museum - missile R-12

Underground unified command post (UPC) & underground passages[edit]

Underground passages are stretching for more than 150 meters long and are 3 meters below the earth surface leading to the unified command post. Unified Command Post (UCP) - is a metal twelve stored capsule, which length is 33 m, diameter is 3.3 m and weighing is 125 tons, suspended by a system of depreciation in the standard missile silo. Each level of UCP is a round space, which had a hardware and equipment to perform specialized functions in all the circumstances of the environmental changes. Compartment’s purpose: - zero compartment is the power supply system of UCP (the compartment is located outside the capsule with UCP, on its upper outer side); - 1st and 2nd compartments hold diesel generators; - 3rd is equipped with communications equipment; - 4th - system of automatic control and monitoring; - 5th - communications equipment; - 6th, 7th and 8th is equipped with hardware to ensure power supply to all objects of UCP; - 9th and 10th - for launch missiles; - 11th is command post with control panel, remote control and monitoring ASBU and all communications - the last is 12th compartment (at the bottom), it is a room for duty squad resting.

Silo launchers, auxiliary equipment[edit]

Silo-launching facility is a highly secure fortification, which consists of reinforced concrete hermetic cylinder with a compartment for equipment with the land equipment of missile launching system, which provides long support for missile in ready for launch regime. Also silo-launcher has 120-tonne cover which is necessary to warrant close up the mine and protect the missile from the damaging.

Missile silo of a SS-24 missile (1)

A container with a missile SS-24 «Scalpel» - NATO reporting name – was inside the mine which is located on the territory of a museum. Currently, the possibility of using a unified command post and silo launchers was removed, since some of the mechanisms were dismantled and filled with concrete. (All this measures were adopted according to nuclear reduction program and based on requirements of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms). Cooling centre provides temperature and humidity control for all systems and missiles: area of the silo-launcher facility with the UCP, except the guard room, transformation substation (which supplies electricity), and automatic security system.

Ukraine Strategic Missile Forces Museum 08 (13503845243)
Ukraine Strategic Missile Forces Museum 03 (13503834443)

Nuclear missiles & protection facilities[edit]

Silo-launching area was impossible to get into unnoticed, because rows of protective fencing were supposed to react to any attempt to overcome it - the alarm immediately notified the security console. Automatic protection facility includes: - Module M-200 - Receptive underground seismic sensors - Radio system of radiation detection "Pion-T" - System approach and touch "Radian" - The electrifying fence "P-100" is dangerous by an electric power in 800, 1100, 3000 V Sample of ICBM missile SS-18 «Satan» (NATO reporting name) (GRAU designations is 15А18М - RS-20V «Voyevoda») is the most interesting exhibit unit in the museum. Its characteristics: - the maximum starting weight - 211.4 tons; - length - 34.3 m; - diameter - 3 m - weight of the warhead - 8730 kg - maximum range - 15000 km - shooting accuracy - 0,5 km - multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warhead can contain 10 warheads with an explosive equivalent of 750 kilotons of TNT each; - the missile is equipped with means for overcoming the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) system. On the display are samples of cruise missiles: Kh-22NA, Kh-22MP, Kh-22N.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°11′12″N 30°39′55″E / 48.18667°N 30.66528°E / 48.18667; 30.66528