R-1 (missile)

Last updated
1-pusku-posviashchaetsia 1S.jpg
Replica R-1 at Znamensk City
Type Tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin USSR
Service history
In serviceNovember 1950
Production history
Manufacturer OKB-586 (Dnepropetrovsk) [1]
ProducedMay 10, 1951 [1]
Mass13,430 kg (29,610 lb) [2]
Length14 m (45 ft 11 in)
Diameter1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Engine Liquid rocket engine
27,200 kgf (267,000 N; 60,000 lbf) [2]
Wingspan3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)
270 km (170 mi) [2]
Accuracy5 km

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 on the German V-2 rocket. [2] 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. The R-1 missile system entered into service in the Soviet Army on 28 November 1950.



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.

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. [3]


Drawing of the Soviet R-1 missile, NATO code SS-1 Scunner R-1 SS-1.svg
Drawing of the Soviet R-1 missile, NATO code SS-1 Scunner

In April 1947 Stalin authorised the production of the R-1 missile, the designation for the Soviet copy of V-2. [4] 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). [5]

The first A4 rocket (from German stocks) is transported to the launch site on a truck trailer. It was launched on 18 October 1947 from the Kapustin Yar test site Avtopoezd s raketoi R-1.jpg
The first A4 rocket (from German stocks) is transported to the launch site on a truck trailer. It was launched on 18 October 1947 from the Kapustin Yar test site

The first V-2 rocket was transported to the Kapustin Yar test site and launched on 18 October 1947. It flew 206.7 km then left for 30 km. [6] The R-1A was tested, a variant with a separable warhead later in 1947.

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, A-1, 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 missile system entered into service in the Soviet Army on 28 November 1950. [7] [8]

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". [9] :116


Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union

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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 "РКК "Энергия" - История" [Rocket R-1 – Combat missile systems]. www.energia.ru.
  3. Ivkin, Vladimir (May 2006). "Решение На Прорыв - Постановление Совмина CCCP От 13 Мая 1946 Г. Стало Ключевым Для Развития Ракетостроения" [The decision on the breakthrough - the resolution of the USSR Council of Decisions from may 13, 1946 became the key for the development of the rocket]. VPK (in Russian). 19 (135). Archived from the original on 2008-03-25.
  4. Wade, Marc. "R1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  5. Zak, Anatoly (May 18, 2016). "R-1 rocket". RussianSpaceWeb.com.
  6. "Kapustin Yar". structure.mil.ru. 2006. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  7. Zaloga, Steven J. (20 March 2013). V-2 Ballistic Missile 1942–52. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 41. ISBN   978-1-4728-0299-6.
  8. Zaloga, Steven J. (20 March 2013). "R-11: the Scud A". Scud Ballistic Missile and Launch Systems 1955–2005. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 6–15. ISBN   978-1-4728-0306-1.
  9. Siddiqi, Asif A. Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945–1974. NASA.

Further reading