R-1 (missile)

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Replica R-1 at Znamensk City
Type Tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin USSR
Production history
ManufacturerUnit 586 (Dnepropetrovsk) [1]
ProducedMay 10, 1951 [1]
Weight13,430 kg (29,610 lb) [2]

Engine27,200 kgf (267,000 N; 60,000 lbf) [2]
PropellantEthanol [2]
270 km (170 mi) [2]

The R-1 rocket (NATO reporting name SS-1 Scunner, Soviet code name SA11, GRAU index 8A11) was a Tactical ballistic missile manufactured in the Soviet Union based [2] on the German V-2 rocket. Even though it was a copy, it was manufactured using Soviet industrial plants and gave the Soviets valuable experience which later enabled the USSR to construct its own much more capable rockets.

NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern Bloc. They provide unambiguous and easily understood English words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations, which either may have been unknown to the Western world at the time or easily confused codes. For example, the Russian bomber jet Tupolev Tu-160 is simply called "Blackjack".


The Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (GRAU) is a department of the Russian (ex-Soviet) Ministry of Defense. It is subordinate to the Chief of Armament and Munition of the Russian Armed Forces, a vice-minister of defense.

Tactical ballistic missile

A tactical ballistic missile (TBM) is a ballistic missile designed for short-range battlefield use. Typically, range is less than 300 kilometres (190 mi). Tactical ballistic missiles are usually mobile to ensure survivability and quick deployment, as well as carrying a variety of warheads to target enemy facilities, assembly areas, artillery, and other targets behind the front lines. Warheads can include conventional high explosive, chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads. Typically tactical nuclear weapons are limited in their total yield compared to strategic rockets.


SS-1a Scunner Soviet SS- 1a Scunner.gif
SS-1a Scunner

In 1945 the Soviets captured several key V-2 rocket production facilities, and also gained the services of some German scientists and engineers related to the project. In particular the Soviets gained control of the main V-2 manufacturing facility at Nordhausen, and had 30 V-2 missiles assembled there by September 1946.

Mittelwerk business

Mittelwerk was a German World War II factory built underground in the Kohnstein to avoid Allied bombing. It used slave labor from the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp to produce V-2 ballistic missiles, V-1 flying bombs, and other weapons.

Nordhausen Place in Thuringia, Germany

Nordhausen is a city in Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the Nordhausen district and the urban centre of northern Thuringia and the southern Harz region; its population is 42,000. Nordhausen is located approximately 60 km north of Erfurt, 80 km west of Halle, 85 km south of Braunschweig and 60 km east of Göttingen.

In October 1946 the Soviets transferred the German missile engineers working for them to a special research facility near Moscow, where they were forced to remain until the mid-1950s. The Soviets established a missile design bureau of their own (OKB-1), under the direction of Sergei Korolev. This team was directed to create a Soviet capability to build missiles, starting with a Soviet copy of the German V-2 and moving to more advanced, Soviet-designed missiles in the near future.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

Sergei Korolev Soviet rocket engineer

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev (Russian: Серге́й Па́влович Королёв, IPA: [sʲɪrˈgʲej ˈpavɫəvʲɪtɕ kərɐˈlʲɵf], also transliterated as Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov, Ukrainian: Сергій Павлович Корольов / Serhiy Pavlovych Korolyov; 12 January 1907 – 14 January 1966, worked as the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is regarded by many as the father of practical astronautics. He was involved in the development of the R-7 Rocket, Sputnik 1, and launching Laika and the first human being into space.

In April 1947 Stalin authorised the production of the R-1 missile, the designation for the Soviet copy of V-2. The first tests of the missile began in September 1948. The system was accepted by the Soviet army in November 1950. The R-1 missile could carry a 785-kilogram (1,731 lb) warhead of conventional explosive to a maximum range of 270 kilometres (170 mi), with an accuracy of about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi).

In 1947, the R-1A was tested, a variant with a separable warhead. High-altitude scientific experiments were conducted with two of the R-1As, and later a series of specialized scientific rockets were built on the basis of the R-1: The R-1B, R-1V, R-1D and R-1E. These carried dogs, and experiments to analyze the upper atmosphere, measure cosmic rays and take far-UV spectra of the Sun.

The R-1's insulated electrical wiring attracted vermin. In one January 1953 incident, thousands of flood-displaced mice disabled many rockets by eating the insulation, requiring "hundreds of cats and repairmen". [3] :116

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Vermin insects and animals that spread diseases or destroy crops or livestock

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Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union

See also

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  1. 1 2 Kudryashov, V. A. Baikonur cosmodrome: Chronicle of the main events (Baikonur Chronicle). Yandex.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 http://www.energia.ru/ru/history/systems/rockets/r1.html
  3. Siddiqi, Asif A. Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974. NASA.
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