Talk:R-36 (missile)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Rocketry  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Rocketry, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of rocketry on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Ok, someone put that "who" and "dubious" on claims that SS-18 had capability to destroy Minuteman silos, ok, here is the answer to who: US MOD, here is answer to dubious: Discussion over? (talk) 20:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.

Info Box[edit]

I cant seem to fix the info box someone with a little more familiarity give me a hand? -LouieS

Please, who posted the funny comment that this missile gave parity to USSR with USA? IT gave advantage, parity was there already. It gave the window of vulnerability. Please do not correct back to parity, it is just laughable comment.

Also, someone posted tat it was inferior in accuracy to Peacekeeper. WHy is that? Let me guess, western estimate of SS-18's accuracy was taken and western aestimate of Peacekeeper? Right... First of all, bold comparison to US missiles is not really possible, since all we have is speculations on internet, I want to delete the whole comparison part. As far as I remmeber, SS-18 has CEP of 250 meters, as much as Peacekeeper has, unless of course someone gives me reference to opposite.

"As far as I remember" is not a reliable source. If you have actual sources stating that it has the same CEP as Peacekeeper, then you can change it. Parsecboy 20:22, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
FAS will do??? it states 250 meters, so... And some one has added that US responded to SS-18 with equal or superior systems, and as example Trident and Minuteman 3 were given. Ok, I deleted the nonsense, for the following reason: What is the criteria of superiority? And how is minuteman superior to SS-18? I understand you can argue survivability for Trident, but I am sorry, SS-18 is superior to Minuteman in everything except CEP, where they are equal. Also, normally, criteria of superiority of ICBMs is, in my opinion, the most natural criteria: how many targets and what kind of targets can it destroy? Of course, nothing compares to Satan here. A throw weight of 8800 kg is unmatched. (talk) 06:20, 18 October 2008 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.


I just came across this link [[1]]. I googled and sure enough his comment is true. I think in my humble opinion this article should be renamed RS-20V or Voyevoda. The reason i am arguing this, is this was a Russian technology, and naming it using western names is a little bit to arrogant. For example, how would you feel if someone keep calling you John, while you insist your name is William? Do we name the western technology with Russian names? To emphasis what i am saying, wikipedia call Burma Myanmar, something i only grudgingly accepted because i don't have any business in saying how people name their country. I also once came across a runt of a guy complaining of west calling Deutschland Germany once, but i have to admit i can't help doing it myself. For this reasons, i sincerely feel the above article should be renamed using the Russian name and NATO names should be redirected to the Russia name.

Other really nice name to change are:- Specific types of Soviet/Russian ICBMs include:

This one probabily was handled with the native name, not sure though

Shouldn't that be "Stiletto"? Michael Z. 2005-03-2 17:44 Z
I can only add that in Russia NATO classification of the missiles is known and appreciated as well. NATO enumeration of missiles was established under the situation of "iron curtain" with no information supplies. Whenever NATO experts detected launch of a new rocket, they gave it a new ordinal number and title, often reflecting its characteristic traits. ellol (talk) 18:11, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
It is true that the NATO classification does represent a Western naming of Russian inventions. But, as Ellol pointed out, the Russians didn't tell the West their names for all their military platforms back then. Today, it's just become a tradition in the NATO countries to give certain types of Russian platforms a NATO designation number and, in some cases, a name. When NATO knows the Russian name of something, it generally uses it. For example, Russian surface ship classes have always been known by their Russian names; the "Sovremenny"-class, the "Udaloy"-class, and the "Kirov"-class are several examples of Russian ship classes that any NATO naval officer has undoubtedly heard a lot about, while the "Soyuz", "Proton", and "Energia" are well known Russian space launch vehicles. This is just a tradition - it isn't meant to be arrogant, though it may appear that way - just as the Russians undoubtedly have names and codes for various NATO weapons systems. Katana0182 (talk) 07:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Moved for disambiguation?[edit]

Why was this article moved from SS-18? Are there articles about other things called SS-18 about to be added? The designation of the missile is SS-18, and not SS-18 Missile, so this seems unnecessary. Michael Z. 2005-03-2 17:51 Z

Since there was no objection, I moved it back. Michael Z. 2005-03-12 14:53 Z


This is a most interesting statement in the article:

Further improvement of the R-36 led to the beginning of the design of the R-36M in 1969 with the mission of providing a first-strike capability to allow the destruction of United States LGM-30 Minuteman silos and launch controls before they could retaliate.

So this is saying the R-36M was developed as a first strike weapon, to initiate an attack, and not to be launched as a retaliatory weapon. Do we have a source for this information? --Commking 02:39, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Thats not speaking to the political intent of the weapon, the weapon could care less if its shot first, second, or not at all; based upon the capabilities of this weapon it would be a very effective first strike weapon and thus one could assume that it would be used as one should the political circumsances warrent that. That isn't meant to be a political statement and shouldn't be taken as such. -LouieS
We should change it then. This statement ..led to the beginning of the design of the R-36M in 1969 with the mission of providing a first-strike capability.. says otherwise. If no objections appear here after a reasonable period, I will then do so. --Commking 02:51, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
"The Reagan and Bush administrations respected the SS-18 to such a degree that they made it the main focus of their arms control initiatives. The START II Treaty specifically banned land-based MIRV systems, in part, because of the threat the SS-18 posed to the balance of power. It was seen as a first-strike weapon and a very destabilizing presence in the bilateral relationship." from -LouieS
It was seen as a first-strike weapon - this is also a very different statement to that which is in the article, which implies that it was developed as a first strike weapon. Again if there is nothing to support the statement, it should be changed. --Commking 19:17, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
"The SS-18 Variant 4 carries at least 10 MIRVs and was likely designed to attack and destroy ICBMs and other hardened US targets." "The SS-18 variant 4 force was believed to possess the potential capability to destroy 65 to 80 percent of US ICBM silos by placing two nuclear warheads against each of its US targets." - "The Reagan and Bush administrations respected the SS-18 to such a degree that they made it the main focus of their arms control initiatives. The START II Treaty specifically banned land-based MIRV systems, in part, because of the threat the SS-18 posed to the balance of power. It was seen as a first-strike weapon and a very destabilizing presence in the bilateral relationship." - "Because it was so highly accurate, it was believed by military analysts at the time to have opened a window of opportunity for the Soviets to make a disarming first strike... it was accurate and powerful enough to destroy all of the Minuteman III missiles that existed then in their hardened silos easily." - "Its [the SS-18} ability to drop each of its megaton-rated warheads within 600 feet of their intended targets gives the SS-18 a true first-strike capability." - --LouieS 02:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
This still doesn't prove what the article says, that the missile was developed as a first strike weapon, that this was the intention. The above references say only that the US side saw it as such, and that it's accuracy is pretty good. I ask again: Is there anything to support the statement in the article, that is that the design specification actually called for a first strike weapon? --Commking 01:04, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I have a feeling that either the exact design specifications are in Russian or are still classified as the missile is still in service, in either case they are not acessable to me or the vast majority of Wikipedians. That beign the case I have found six sources, many of them like the Federation of American Scienctists are highly reputable having nobel prize laurates on their staff, to support what I had positied in the article that the weapon is clearly designed as a first strike weapon, regardless of if the former Soviet Union, or the present Russian Federation admits this publicly. Furthermore, I think I can safely say that all coutries possesing nuclear arms during the cold war had working plans to conduct a first strike upon an opposing nation should the situation dictate that course of action, it then logically follows that weapons would be designed with this contingency in mind. Given this logical deduction, and the six sources I have cited above I believe that the burden of proof in the argument is upon you. -LouieS 02:56, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
That's not how it works here at Wikipedia - you add the content and make the statement, then you gotta provide the references. Based upon what you have provided, the best you can say is that is is only believed that the R-36M was designed as a first strike weapon, and then cite the references you've come up with. Will you do it or shall I? --Commking 13:20, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I can appreceate where you are coming from, I have made changes that I believe represent a good compermise between our two positions. Please review them and give me your thoughts. -LouieS 20:14, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it`s just a big mistake - early SS-18 mods were counter strike weapon (in very hardened silo, capable of survivng in near nuclear explosion) not preventive. Rather than its counterpart - UR-100 (SS-11) with lightly fortified silos. So we can say that SS-11 was preventive strike weapon, not SS-18.

":::::::: That's not how it works here at Wikipedia - you add the content and make the statement, then you gotta provide the references. Based upon what you have provided, the best you can say is that is is only believed that the R-36M was designed as a first strike weapon, and then cite the references you've come up with. Will you do it or shall I? --Commking 13:20, 25 May 2006 (UTC)"

Oh, and maybe YOU have any CERTAIN sources on any ICBM? On any at all. ALL information about missiles in Wikipedia or internet in general is speculation and beliefs, nothing certain is disclosed. ICBMs are secret government property, certain specifications are not to be found on internet but in secret documents. Also, if you are saying that this weapon was not developed as a first strike weapon, can you please tell me what kind of specifications do first strike weapons have? I would assume heavy payload and relatively good accuracy, to destroy enemy's silos. So, heavy payload and good accuracy, and hard-target capability, anything comes up to mind? Heaviest payload for example, MIRV with hard-target capability. If there is a first strike missile, it is SS-18.
I edited someone's statement that SS-18 gave USSR parity with USA, while it in fact gave it advantage in terms of first strike. Here is the source: Federation of american sceintists probably knows better than we do what it opened and what advantage it gave USSR. 03:43, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Pavel Golikov, 11:43 pm, September 10, 2007.

Don't copy and paste from other sources. And the language there is far too esoteric. If you can reword that statement so it remains in context with the surrounding language then feel free to add it again.
Equazcion (TalkContribs)
03:46, September 11, 2007
Ok, I edited the article in other words, I did not paste it directly from other source. And FAS is allready in references. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

What is the matter with "fast reloading capability"? Has the one who wrote that ever saw a missile? This kind of missile is loaded with no fuel, in 3 parts, and it takes at least a few days to load a new missile and to fuel it. Sure too long for a "second salvo". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

A yield of 20 Mt?![edit]

Does Russia still have the Mod 2 version of this missile (with a yield of 20 Mt) in their silos? It says they will have at least 40 of them left by 2020...but 20 Mts?? That's waaaayyy more than anything the U.S. currently maintains in their nuclear arsenal. Anyone else think that is messed up? (talk) 21:35, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

No, I think MOD 6 is exactly 20 MT, those are not against civilian targets like many other ICBMS in both russian and american inventory. SS-18 represents soviet thinking of using ICBMs just as very long range artillery. SS-18 Targeted military targets, like Cheney mountain and other hardened command posts, and 20 MT is exactly the yield to attack those targets with. Moreover, there are rumors of soviet old missiles with yield of 50 MT, but that I think became considered an overkill against any target, if it ever existed. (talk) 18:44, 19 June 2008 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.

Of course, these missiles are aimed at enemy cities. Missiles built that their number will be equal to the number of cities in countries of NATO and all of them will be totally destroyed. These weapons of retaliation, which will be applying only in the global nuclear war. Sorry for my english, it's not well —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Not quite, SS-18 was very much a first strike weapon. Also, FOBS was developed on it's basis, and to say that FOBS was a retaliation system would be nonsense, it was a purely, specifically designed pathfinder system for deliberate first strike. (talk) 01:41, 23 October 2008 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.
Actually, to say that FOBS is first strike is nonsense. The entire point of FOBS is to assure the ability of Russian missile forces to strike past US missile shields. Missile shields do only one thing: make MAD obsolete. As such, FOBS is a MAD preservation system and obviously used exclusively for retaliation. Using it for "first strike" would have the same effect as using a SLBM for first strike, so what's the point of developing FOBS for first strike? There is no point, because it's a retaliatory weapon. NineNineTwoThreeSix (talk) 00:13, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Please read more on FOBS and what it was developed for. US didn't have ABM shield when FOBS was being developed. Globalsecurity is a good place to start reading about FOBS, they write out pretty well what was its purpose. Here is a quote for you:

"US planners viewed FOBS as a pathfinder system intended to precede a conventional ICBM attack and take out key retaliatory forces. The FOBS would circumvent the existing US ballistic missile early warning radars and hit SAC airfields and missile silos before the bombers could take off or missiles launched. FOBS could have also conceivably destroyed ABM radars, disrupt US retaliatory capability, destroy command posts, the White House, and the command and control network. But, due to its limited accuracy and payload, FOBS was deemed ineffective against hardened targets." -- (talk) 07:42, 24 March 2010 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.

The only FOBS ever deployed was the R-36O with a total of 18 missiles in Baikonur. The CEP of these systems was pretty poor, so even with their 5Mt warhead they were useful only against soft targets, hardened sites couldn't be attacked. Further, R-36O launches could also be detected by US early warning satellites. Therefore, FOBS was mainly intended to overcome any potential anti-missile system. That's the same reason why every Soviet missile since the late 1960's carries penetration aids. It is true that the US never had an effective ABM system, but the Cold War was driven by potential threats and the need of design bureaus for more funding.

The single warhead version of the R-36M2 was never deployed. The single warhead missiles phased out in 2009 were R-36MUTTH (no NATO designator for them). These missiles were deployed in 1986 with a total number of 30. They replaced the single warhead version of the R-36M back then. The R-36M was still in development at the time. The total of 58 R-36M2 deployed were all MIRVed and are still in active service. It would be also useful to split the article in two, one for the R-36 and one for the R-36M. Those are completely different missiles, having as much in common as the Tu-22 and Tu-22M or the UR-100 and UR-100N. The Window of Vulnerability That Wasn't: Soviet Military Buildup in the 1970s Nuclear U.S. and Soviet/Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, 1959-2008 Geomartin (talk) 12:56, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Accuracy is the ecisive factor in the weapon being a first strike weapon.?[edit]

Someone added that Accuracy is the decisive factor in the weapon being a first strike weapon. Please do not try to add this nonsene again. Yield is the decisive factor. And Considering the difference in CEP between Peacekeeper and SS-18, SS-18 would take out a target more efficiently than Peacekeeper (750 kt & 250 meters CEP vs 300 Kt & 120 meters CEP) AND still deliver more damage to surrounding area due to heavier yield. If someone interested, I can provide a website where estimations of yield and area of fireball, shockwave etc. coverage.--Contributions/ (talk) 19:54, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.

What's the relevance of Team B's estimate?[edit]

This is at the end of the article intro: "During the early 1970s, Team B believed that only a limited number of US ICBM silos would survive a successful first strike by missiles like the SS-18 Satan."

What's the relevance of Team B's estimate of, well, anything? If there's a point to be made that Team B's estimate led to some specific policy decision, then it makes sense, but as a final sentence to the intro it implies that Team B's analysis was correct. Given the fact that Team B's report has been retrospectively viewed as wholesale nonsense, that by itself is not a reliable source.

I'm removing this for now. If someone really thinks that it needs to be there, then it should be less misleading.

Brice.timmons (talk) 15:51, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

This closing sentence of the intro has too many clauses, and has evolved into an almost unreadable sentence: "The modern version, the R-36M was produced under the GRAU designations 15A14 and 15A18 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan; this missile was viewed by certain U.S. analysts as giving the Soviet Union first strike advantage over the U.S., particularly because of its very heavy throw weight and extremely large number of re-entry vehicles, with a maximum of over 10 warheads and up to 40 penetration aids on actually deployed missiles, and theoretically capable of deploying even greater numbers of warheads due to high throw-weight; U.S. missiles of the time, such as the Minuteman III carried, at most, three warheads." I'm going to break it into several sentences. Darkstar8799 (talk) 19:30, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Was this the Soviets' first MIRV?[edit]

Was the SS-18 Mod 2 the Soviet Union's first MIRV weapon? If so, it should probably be in the article. I haven't been able to find when the Soviets developed MIRV capability anywhere. --ChetvornoTALK 05:50, 20 May 2014 (UTC)