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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. 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.
Replica R-1 at Znamensk City
|Type||Tactical ballistic missile|
|Place of origin||USSR|
|Manufacturer||Unit 586 (Dnepropetrovsk) |
|Produced||May 10, 1951 |
|Mass||13,430 kg (29,610 lb)|
|Engine||27,200 kgf (267,000 N; 60,000 lbf)|
|270 km (170 mi)|
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.
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".:116