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Function Carrier rocket
Country of origin Ukraine
Height 39.95 m (131.1 ft)
Diameter 3.0 m (9.8 ft)
Mass 198,250 kg (437,070 lb)
Stages 3
Associated rockets
Family R-36 / Tsyklon
Comparable Zenit
Launch history
Status In development
Launch sites TBD
First stage - 11K69
Engines 1 × RD-261 + RD-855 Vernier engine
Thrust 2,970 kN (303 tf)
Specific impulse 300.4 s (2.946 km/s)
Burn time 119 seconds
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH
Second stage - 11S692
Engines 1 × RD-262 + RD-856 Vernier engine
Thrust 995 kN (101.5 tf)
Specific impulse 314 s (3.08 km/s)
Burn time 162 seconds
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH
Third stage
Engines 1 × RD-861K
Thrust 76 kN (7.8 tf)
Specific impulse 325 s (3.19 km/s)
Burn time 450 seconds
Fuel N2O4 / UDMH

The Tsyklon-4, also known as Tsiklon-4 and Cyclone-4, is a Ukrainian carrier rocket which is being developed for commercial satellite launches. Derived from the Tsyklon-3, it has a new third stage, a larger payload fairing, and a modernised flight control system compared to its predecessor.[1] The control system has been developed by JSC Khartron.[2][3]


Tsyklon-4 is a three-stage-to-orbit expendable launch system, built on the successful Tsyklon-3 rocket and using improved versions of that rocket's first two stages. The new features are mostly in the newly developed third stage:

  • The third stage has a three times the propellant capacity of Tsyklon-3
  • The new rocket engine RD-861K with multiple ignition capability (3 to 5 times)
  • A modern western-like control system capable of precise orbit injections
  • A new fairing derived from Ariane 4 is under development. It has a diameter of 4 metres (13 ft), with controlled temperature and cleanness conditions inside

Tsyklon-4 will also improve the fuelling system, allowing safe capture of toxic vapours from the vehicle's hypergolic propellant system.

The launch system will be able to deliver up to 5,250 kg (11,570 lb) to a 185 km (115 mi) orbit, 4,900 kg (10,800 lb) to a 400 km (250 mi) orbit, or 500 kg (1,100 lb) to a geosynchronous orbit.[4]

Development history[edit]

Development began in 2002, with the maiden flight aimed for 2006. Following a series of production delays, this has slipped, and is now scheduled for sometime after 2015.

Tsyklon-4 had been planned to launch from a proposed launch pad at the Alcântara Launch Center in Brazil, which would have given the rocket access to all orbital regimes. However, Brazil backed out of the partnership with Ukraine in 2015, citing concerns over the project budget, the ongoing financial situation in both countries, and the future of the commercial launch market.[5] As of 2016, it is unknown where the rocket may be launched from.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cyclone-4 Launch Vehicle". NPO InterCoS. 
  2. ^ Control systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles and launch vehicles
  3. ^ Krivonosov, Khartron: Computers for rocket guidance systems
  4. ^ "Tsiklon-4". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  5. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (16 April 2015). "Brazil Pulling Out of Ukrainian Cyclone-4 Launcher Project". Space News. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 

External links[edit]