R-36M2 Voevoda (SS-18 Mod 6)
Number of MIRVs
0.8 - 1 MT
Range of fire
11 000 km
(NATO designation SS-9 Scarp) was the first model of the whole R-36
family of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. First
cold-launch tests were conducted in January 1971. This version,
called Mod 1, was able to carry single nuclear warhead with blast
yield of 18-25 MT, and it had a range of 11 200 km.
evolved into the R-36M (SS-18 Satan), capable of carrying a MIRV
payload of 10 warheads. Each with 550-750 kT yield. It could also
carry a single warhead of up to 20 MT. Development of this missile
began in 1969. The first test launch was made in 1973. First batch of 56 missiles
were deployed in 1977, but were later replaced by more modern Mod 3
and Mod 4 variants.
of the Satan are silo-launched. Silos are located in dispersed
locations. The silo launcher and command point are hardened against
a nuclear explosion.
has two stages. Missile is equipped with liquid rocket engines,
using storable propellants. Missile is stored in a tubular
storage/launch container. Upon launch the missile is shot out of the
container. The main engine is ignited tens of meters above the
Satan is a very capable missile, mainly because of its high speed
and extremely high throw weight. It can carry up to 10 MIRVs and up
to 40 penetration aids. So this missile is hard to intercept. According to Western intelligence data from
late '80s, Soviets were able to destroy 70-80 percent of US ICBM
silos during first strike, and after that, they would have 1 000+
warheads left to attack other US targets. Some sources report that a
single SS-18 missile with MIRVs can completely destroy 3 US states,
such as Maryland, Vermont and Rhode Island.
steadily decreasing the number of active Satan missiles. Missiles
that age past their designed operational lifetime are being
withdrawn. By 2009 only 59 missiles remained in service. These are
R-36MUTTKh and R-36M2 variants. About 40 missiles are having their
service life extended in order to remain operational until 2019.
These missiles are being gradually phased out of service, in
favor of more modern systems like MIRV-equipped
and RS-26 Rubezh,
that is currently being developed.
missiles have been modified for commercial launch from silos. These
carry lightweight satellites.
Mod 1). This missile had a single 18 MT warhead or warhead with 8
MIRVs (4 x 0.4 MT and 4 x 1 MT). It had a range of 11 200 km and a
CEP of 700 m. A total of 148 missiles were deployed between 1974 and 1983;
Mod 2). This missile had a warhead with 10 MIRVs with a blast yield
of 0.4 MT. It had a range of 10 200 km with a CEP of 700 m. Only 10
of these missiles were deployed between 1976 and 1980;
Mod 3) was an upgrade of the Mod 1, carrying a single reentry
vehicle with blast yield of 25 MT. This missile had a range of 16
000 km and a CEP of 700 m. It was deployed between 1976 and 1986;
(SS-18 Mod 4). The "UTTKh" designation stands for "improved tactical
and technical characteristics". This missile introduced lighter
weight MIRV warheads. Western intelligence suggests that it could
carry as much as 14 MIRVs, but Russians denied that,
saying that Mod 4 is capable of carrying 10 independent warheads
with a blast yield of 0.5 MT. This missile has a range of 11 000 km
and a CEP of 370 m. It was deployed in large numbers. A total of 278
missiles were deployed between 1979 and 2005;
(SS-18 Mod 5). This missile had a single 20 MT warhead. It had a
range of 16 000 km and a CEP of 200 m. It was deployed since 1986. A
total of 30 missiles were deployed. All of them were
retired by 2009;
Voevoda (SS-18 Mod 6). It was first deployed in 1988. It was
deployed in both single warhead and with 10 MIRVs with a blast yield
of 0.75-1 MT. This missile has a range of 11 000 km with a CEP of
220 m. A total of 58 missile were deployed. This missile is still in
service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces.
Article by SAVO UKROPINA
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Video of the R-36 (SS-18