Air Force Bases

R-12 (SS-4 Sandal) Russian Medium Range Ballistic Missile

This Medium Range Ballistic Missile was often seen in Red Square parades since 1961, but there is still argument over whether in its earliest forms it had radio command guidance like Shyster. At least the consensus of opinion is that by 1962 it was inertially guided. The missile itself has a simple monocoque light-alloy structure, with conical reentry vehicle and flared rear skirt. It was the first operational Soviet weapon to use storable liquid propellants. The engine has four fixed thrust chambers fed by a common turbo pump, and is a close relative of the GDL RD-214, the standard first-stage engine of Cosmos satellite launchers. This burns RFNA and kerosene, and has a vacuum thrust of 163,139 pounds. Vehicle control is by four jet vanes and four small aerodynamic rudders. The warhead is estimated at 1 megaton, though a conventional head is also available. The whole weapon system includes about 12 vehicles, and some 20 men are in the erection/launch crew. Sandal entered service with the RVSN in 1959 and since 1963 about 500 systems were deployed, mainly in Central Asia to menace China. Most are semi-mobile, though Sandals have been launched from silos. In 1962 Sandal was the missile at the heart of the Cuban crisis; emplaced on that island their range was sufficient certainly to have menaced the southern United States.

Dimensions: length 73 feet 6 inches.
Launch Weight: About 61,728 pounds.
Range: Up to 1,118 miles

R-12 Dvina (SS-4, Sandal)  MRBM