Soviet ABM systems

overscan (PaulMM)

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27 December 2005
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Thread to discuss Soviet ABM systems

System A - Fakel V-1000 missile (experimental)

System A-35 - Fakel 5V61 (ABM-1 GALOSH) missile

System S-225 - (ABM-X-2?) Novator 5Ya26 / PRS-1 (endoatmospheric) and Fakel 5Ya27 / V-825 (exoatmospheric)

System A-135 - Novator 53T6 (ABM-3? GAZELLE endoatmospheric) & Fakel 51T6 (ABM-4 GORGON exoatmospheric) missiles
System "A" V-1000 missile


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System A-35 5V61 missile


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Possibly 51T6 missile from the A-135 system


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The last two pics are great finds - may I ask where they came from?

It seems there is widely spread confusion concerning the Western ABM- designations. Researching the CIA FOIA archives I have came to the conclusion that the actual assignments are as follows:

ABM-1A/B was the A-35/A-35M system with A-350 GALOSH interceptor, as thought.

ABM-X-2 is a somewhat odd case. Apparently the Soviets constructed an 'Argun' radar from the 'Avrora' ABM system to an abandoned TRY ADD radar site at Sary Shagan around 1971, though the system itself had been cancelled in 1967. What I haven't been able to explain is that CIA reported that also two Galosh-type launchers were constructed at the same site. Western intelligence thought this to be a new ABM system, and assigned the ABM-X-2 designation. An operational site was expected to consist of a variant of the TOP ROOST radar, the new steerable phased-array radar plus 8 Galosh-type missiles. However, no missiles were flight tested from the launch complex.
Actually I'm now quite certain this is the 'Krona' space tracking system, see .

ABM-X-3 was a rapidly deployable system that consisted of FLAT TWIN engagement radars, PAWN SHOP guidance radars, above-ground launchers, and an interceptor missile. The missile most probably had an SH-?? designation, but it has been censored in documents. Construction work on a test launch complex began in the early 1970s, and the program was apparently abandoned in the late 1970s. Probably this refers to the S-225 system, however I cannot be completely certain.

ABM-4 is the current A-135 system around Moscow, with 53T6 GAZELLE and 51T6 GORGON interceptors.

Please see also .

I have a page about Soviet ABM systems for my homepage half-done, mostly what's missing is info about the ABM-4 system.
They come from "Fakel's Missiles", a dual language English/Russian book from 2003 made with the full cooperation of Fakel. Its pretty nice- lots of cool pictures, kind of a glossy style but with good info.
If you can share what info you have I can corroborate with anything additional from the Fakel's Missiles book.

In addition to the above, the book shows two missiles projected for use in the mobile "Saturn" ABM system in the late 50s. Initially a modified 20D (SA-2 GUIDELINE) designated 20D"S" was suggested, at least for testing, and then later on a modified 5V21"S" (SA-5 GAMMON) was studied.

Regarding the A-135, information is more sketchy due to the more sensitive nature of the system. The book says that the 51T6 introduced a command/inertial guidance with onboard digital computer for the first time, allowed retargetting in flight, and extended periods of standalone guidance without assistance from the ground, as well as improved flight profiling. Radiation protection was also improved.

The book has pictures of the silos and the Don-2 radar, and a drawing of a cutaway silo that reveals little of the actual missile. The picture above I tentatively labelled "51T6" is on a page between the System 225 page and the System 135 page, but is uncaptioned.
Regarding System 225

Design started in 1962, at Design Bureau 1 under A Raspetlin (from 1967, B Bunkin). It was a mobile system intended to protect small size installations from 1 or 2 nuclear missile strikes and comprised a phased array radar for target tracking and ABM guidance and a command transmission radar. The book says it was cancelled in the mid 70s "due to some reasons".

The Soviet ABM-X-3 missile defense system with its small, transportable phased-array radars and high acceleration missile has been under development for a decade and provides the basis for a potential "breakout" threat.

"Actually I'm now quite certain this is the 'Krona' space tracking system, see"

KRONA System...Karachayevo-Cherkeskaya Republic and Zelencukskaya oo Zekenshushskaya city


and OKNO...,69.225111&spn=0.020078,0.038624&om=0

...Mt. Sanglok, Nurek (Tadjikistan)

This is what I have about the S-225:

Soviet Designation: S-225
Designer: A.A. Raspletin, TsKB Almaz
Operational: Cancelled in 1978
Designation: 5Ya26/5Ya27
Designer: EKBM Novator/MKB Fakel
Warhead: Nuclear
Propulsion: Solid-propellant rocket
Guidance: Radio command
1 x Command post.
1 x Target and ABM tracking radar (FLAT TWIN).
1 x Missile guidance radar (PAWN SHOP).
? x Mobile launchers with 5Ya26 missile.
? x Mobile launchers with 5Ya27 missile.
The S-225 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system was developed between 1965 and 1978 by TsKB Almaz. It was a mobile two-tier system with the capacity to intercept one or two RVs. Early warning was to be provided by the RO-1 and RO-2 radar stations, and later by the Donets radars. The Flat Twin target and ABM tracking radar was a combination of phased-array and mechanical radar with single target tracking capacity. The radar was supported by 20 electronics vans. It was of modular construction, and could be deployed to a concrete pad in 3-6 months. The Pawn Shop missile guidance radar had three mechanically steered antennas. It was attached to a van-sized transporter, and could be deployed to a prepared site in a few weeks.

Interesting questions are is the S-225 the ABM-X-3, and thus are the FLAT TWIN and PAWN SHOP radars its target tracking and command transmission radars? What would be needed are actual photos of the Soviet systems.

Another question - does the book have anything about the Don-2NP (HORSE LEG) radar? It was a Don-2 (PILL BOX) prototype constucted at Sary Shagan.


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Unfortunately its a book specifically about Fakel's missiles, and as such has limited stuff about the radars. There is a picture of a Don-2N radar, but thats all.
I'll post what I have so far about Soviet ABM systems...

Designer: G.B. Kisunko, KB-1/SKB-30 Vympel
Operational: Cancelled in 1961
Designation: V-1000
Western Designation: Gaffer
Designer: P.D. Grushin, OKB-2 Fakel
Lenght: 14.50 m
Diameter: 1.00 m
Wingspan: ?
Launch Weight: ?
Warhead: HE-Fragmentation
Propulsion: Solid-propellant rocket booster + liquid-propellant rocket sustainer (S2.726)
Propellants: AK-20I + TG-02
Guidance: Radio command
Max Range: 300 km
Ceiling: 25,000 m
Max Speed: 3,600 km/h
1 x SDO long-range tracking radar Dunai-2 (HEN ROOST), range 1,200 km.
3 x RTN tracking radars with separate antennas for the incoming warhead and outgoing ABM (HEN EGG), range 700 km.
1 x RSV-PR missile acquisition and SPK missile guidance radar station (HEN NEST).
? x Missile launchers with one V-1000 missile.
1 x SPD central command and computer system.
The development of the "System A" anti-ballistic missile system was authorized in early 1956 after the completion of work on the S-25 SAM system. The draft project was completed in March 1956, and on 3 July 1956 work began on the construction of the first missile site "Area A" 250 km from the Sary Shagan train station. The Dunai-2 radar with a 150 m long receiver antenna became operational in 1958. The first intercept attempt against an R-5 (SS-3) IRBM on 24 November 1960 was fully successful, though the V-1000 was not yet equipped with warhead. However, the next five attempts during 1960 failed for various reasons, and there were further failures at the beginning of 1961. But on 4 March 1961 a V-1000 destroyed the re-entry vehicle of an R-12 (SS-4) IRBM, and on 26 March 1961 the re-entry vehicle of an R-5. Later the target missiles were equipped with various types of ABM countermeasures. The five-part operation K tested the ability of the system to function under nuclear explosions at altitudes of 80 to 300 km.
The M-40 central guidance system computer was capable of 40,000 operations per second. The three RTN tracking radars, each with two parabolic antennas of 5 and 15 meters diameter, were situated 150 km from each other in a triangle. They sent the launch command when the ICBM reached the calculated intercept position. The ABM carried a radio transmitter, and the ICBM warhead and ABM were tracked by triangulation. Guidance commands to the missile were transmitted from the RSVPR radar. The standard warhead consisted of 16,000 balls with tungsten-carbide core, TNT filling, and steel surface. Alternative warheads tested included the S2TA with self-guided infrared homing and detonation, and R2TA and G2TA utilizing radio or optical proximity fuse used with a nuclear warhead.
Soviet Designation: A-35/A-35M
Designer: G.B. Kisunko, SKB-30 Vympel
Operational: Entered service in 1972/1978, phased out in ?
Designation: A-350Zh, A-350R
Western Designation: Galosh Mod 0/Mod 1
Designer: P.D. Grushin, OKB-2 Fakel
Lenght: 19.8 m
Diameter: 2.57 m
Wingspan: 6.0 m
Launch Weight: 32,700 kg
Warhead: 1 MT nuclear
Propulsion: Solid-propellant rocket booster + RD-015T ramjet sustainer + solid-propellant/liquid-propellant rocket third stage
Guidance: Radio command/active radar homing
Max Range: 350 km
Ceiling: 120 m
Max Speed: Mach 4
11 x Dnestr/Dnepr/Daugava early warning radars (HEN HOUSE), range 3,500 km.
1 x Central command and 5E92B computer system.
1 x Dunai-3 target acquisition radar (DOG HOUSE), range 2,800 km.
1 x Dunai-3U target acquisition radar (CAT HOUSE), range 4,500 km.
4 x Launch sites with
1 x Command post.
1 x RKTs target tracking radar (TRY ADD).
2/1 x RKI ABM tracking and guidance radars (TRY ADD).
16 x Missile launch tubes with one A-350 missile.
The development of an ABM system for the defense of Moscow was authorized on 8 April 1958. Further development of the A-35 system to defeat Minuteman-2 and Titan-2 ICBM warheads was ordered in 1960, and the first draft project was defended in the fall of 1962. It featured eight Buniy-3 early warning radars, 32 launchers, and a conventional fragmentation warhead for the missile. Construction of the ABM sites around Moscow started in 1962 using the infrastructure of the S-25 (SA-1) SAM system. At the same time, the Aldan experimental version was built to Sary Shagan, where tests began in 1967. Amongst other changes, the revised draft project presented in 1964 provided for a two-phase implementation of the system. In the first phase the missile was command guided to a point defined by ground-based computers. This version became operational in June 1972. The second phase system used active radar homing, and was first tested in 1974. During tests, the target missiles were R-12 (SS-4) and R-14 (SS-5) IRBMs. The final system update was made in 1977.
The A-350 was the first Soviet solid-propellant missile with gimballed nozzles. Tests of the A-350Zh missile were finished in 1973, and those of the radiation-hardened A-350R in 1974. The Aldan experimental launch complex consisted of a reduced scale command and control center, one Dunai-3UP radar (TOP ROOST), and three launchers. The main command and computing center was built 70 km west from Moscow adjacent to the Dunai-3 radar. The radar has a 65 degree field of view. Its construction began in 1962 near Kubinka, and it entered service in 1968. A fire on 8 May 1987 destroyed the radar's command center. The Dunai-3U radar at Chekhov facing China scans a sector of 51 degrees in azimuth and 48 degrees in elevation. It can track 30 ballistic targets simultaneously. The radar was modified in the 1980s to widen its scanning sector to include the southern parts of West Germany to detect Pershing-2 IRBM launches. The A-35 system was incapable of intercepting MIRV warheads. It was comparable to the US Nike-Zeus system. The A-35 was originally designated SH-01 and the A-35M SH-04 by the US DoD. Two launch sites were modernized to the A-35M configuration.
Some additional info from the Fakel book:

System A
Prelimary work on ABM systems started in 1953, following a letter from seven Marshals of the Soviet Union to the party urging consideration of such a system in August of that year. A small group of engineers at KB 1 headed by G Kissunko started working out the possible solutions to such a system.

Major work began on August 17 1956, with a detailed resolution which put forward the requirements for the ABM system and assigned the constructors. Fakel claim the "A" system was always intended as a test system, not an operational one.

In the March 4th test, the R-12 target was detected at 1500km after emerging from the radio horizon. The warhead was detonated at 25km altitude.

The various components were located at quite considerable distances from each other and used radio datalinks to communicate.

The A-35 system used a new missile design, primarily because of the need for increased range and altitude capability compatible with nuclear warhead use.

The Fakel book does not mention a ramjet engine; it says 5V61 used solid propellant first stage and liquid propellant second stage.

It also says that the initial command guided version was revised in the early 70s to form the A-35M due to development of penetration aids such as decoys and jamming which the A-35 guidance system could not counter. The initial A-35 system was not officially "accepted for service"; the A-35M was accepted for service in 1978.
Check this out, this is an ancient research rocket used by the US in the 1950s. It was called Far Side, and it was a sounding rocket. Pay close attention to the bottom half, the dark blue part. Look familiar? ;D


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Any pictures of the Gazelle missile? From what I've read it's supposed to be similar to the Sprint ABM from the US Safeguard system.
SOC said:
Check this out, this is an ancient research rocket used by the US in the 1950s. It was called Far Side, and it was a sounding rocket. Pay close attention to the bottom half, the dark blue part. Look familiar? ;D

Not saying they did or didn't copy it but back in those days high powered solid motors had yet to be developed. So you had Nike Hercules using four Ajax solid motor and Squirt (test vehicle leading to Sprint) had seven. (I'm guessing those were Ajax motors since the size looks about right). The first big solid motor was the ZeusA 1st stage- Thiokol TX-135.
I doubt those were Ajax motors in the picture, that thing is nowhere near as big as it looks.
Check this out this must be relatively new.

Actually this is the one you want:

The Sprint page has several shots I've never seen before.
Forget that, check THIS out:

I got a copy a few weeks ago, great stuff.
SOC said:
I doubt those were Ajax motors in the picture, that thing is nowhere near as big as it looks.

The "Far Side" rocket used a cluster of 4 Recruit motors as first stage.

this is my first post here. This is a very interesting forum. I would like to thank Overscan and all other contributors. Here a picture that I found some time ago surfing in the web



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I'm working on something along these lines. For starters, here's some info on the correct codenames:

ABM-1a/SH-01 GALOSH: A-35 with 5V61/A-350Zh
ABM-1b/SH-04 GALOSH: A-35M with 5V61R/A-350R
ABM-X-2: projected upgrade to the ABM-1 system, abandoned
ABM-X-3a/b: S-225 mobile ABM system with 5Ya26 and 5Ya27/V-825 missiles, follow-on of sorts to the Saturn program. Not sure if the 5Ya26 is "a" and 5Ya27 is "b" or vice versa. Some sources claim that the 5Ya26 was similar to or a progenitor of the GAZELLE.
ABM-4/SH-08 GAZELLE: 53T6 missile
ABM-4/SH-11 GORGON: 51T6 missile

The 51T6 is very similar to the 5V61. The last photo in this thread is a 51T6 and shows the main differences: reprofiled first/second stage junction, and recontoured first stage.

New systems: 45T6 missile, 55T6 missile (51T6 follow-on), and 53T6M (modified GAZELLE)

Other systems:
System A: V-1000 GAFFER interceptor, test system only leading to development of A-35.
Saturn: initial mobile system, abandoned
Aurora system: proposed national defense system developed in parallel with A-35 but later abandoned. A-351 and A-900 missiles, 5N24 Argun radar set.

Photos of the 5Ya26, GAZELLE, A-351, and A-900 have yet to turn up (or at least I haven't seen them).

Two more things:
1. What's the name of the Fakel book and where can I find it? I want a copy.
2. Meteorit, what's your web site address?
SOC, I suppose you have read my reply #5 to this thread?

My web site address is . It can also be reached from the link on the left-hand panel below my user name. :) However, Soviet ABM missiles aren't there yet.
Whoops, I totally missed the whole weblink button ;D

And I saw your post, but I thought I had a few details that weren't there. I posted the whole thing for clarity.
SOC said:
Whoops, I totally missed the whole weblink button ;D

And I saw your post, but I thought I had a few details that weren't there. I posted the whole thing for clarity.

Well, the point I was trying to make was that I don't think ABM-X-2 was a projected upgrade, but instead a misidentification by Western intelligence. My assumption is based mostly on various documents from the CIA FOIA archive. If you have any more information about ABM-X-2 could you post it, please?

Oh, and do you have anything more about the 45T6 and 55T6 missiles?
I'll check into what I've got on 45T6 and 55T6. Regarding ABM-X-2, I'll see if I can track down where I figured it out. It is possible that they used the designation twice, like they did with SA-5.
5N24 photos? Haven't seen any. It's been described by Jane's as a phased array at Sary Shagan used later to direct a laser system.

ABM-X-2: this was apparently built out of upgraded A-35 components and tested at a site in Sary Shagan, leading to the belief that it was a new system when in fact it was an upgrade of the A-35. This one wasn't proceeded with.
I actually believe that the 5N24 'Argun' radar that was constructed at Sary Shagan was thought to be a new ABM system, as it was built at a previously abandoned ABM-1 test site. Thus it was assigned the ABM-X-2 designation. However, by that time 'Aurora' had been abandoned, and the radar was used to direct a high-powered laser.

There is a picture of the 'Argun' radar on reply #9 of this thread, and a link to a pic on reply #5.  :)

SOC, unfortunately I don't have the materials for my ABM-X-2 conclusion at hand right now. I'll post more when I get home in the weekend.
I don't know...according to Pavel Podvig, the Aurora system was a national system being designed around the same time as the A-35. The ABM-X-2 system was clearly assembled out of ABM-1b components, with modified radars being called EGG HEAD and PHASE ADD.
Oh, the radar set you call Argun, the large dish, is actually Krona. Argun should actually be EGG HEAD.
OK, this is definately news to me. 8)

'Argun' should be of the same shape as 'Krona' ie. octagonal, thats why I assumed they are the same, or at least Krona would be a derivative.

Anything more about EGG HEAD and PHASE ADD? I've never heard of them.

As I said, I'll show you my sources for my (wrong?) conclusion in the weekend.
SOC said:
5N24 photos? Haven't seen any. It's been described by Jane's as a phased array at Sary Shagan used later to direct a laser system.

ABM-X-2: this was apparently built out of upgraded A-35 components and tested at a site in Sary Shagan, leading to the belief that it was a new system when in fact it was an upgrade of the A-35. This one wasn't proceeded with.

Any information on the laser? I seem to recall reading in a Soviet Military Power or some other 80s publication that they were using it to shoot down RVs.
Meteorit said:
Anything more about EGG HEAD and PHASE ADD? I've never heard of them.

PHASE ADD and EGG HEAD were parts of the ABM-X-2 system. I've located them in Google Earth; apparently they are still there at Sary Shagan, doing who-knows-what. I'll dig up more tomorrow.
So where is the Argun SOC, stop teasing :) Is it in the high-res area?

The laser controlled by the 5N24 was apparrently the "Terra-3" which was used to frighten a Shuttle flight with "a low-power beam" and could reportedly do serious damage to orbiting satellites at full power. Shooting down incoming RVs was probably the ultimate goal, but I don't think they ever got that far. I'm not sure what type of laser it was or what its specifications were, either.

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