Launch facilities for R-36 missiles

Site 42

The heart of test facilities for most missiles and launch vehicles developed at Dnepropetrovsk-based OKB-586 was located at Site 42. The original assembly building known as Facility (Object) 374 or Structure (Sooruzhenie) 1 was founded at Site 42 in 1959. Initially, it was used to process the R-16 missile and later was used to assemble R-36 and MR-UR-100 ballistic missiles. The building was apparently abandoned at the beginning of the 1990s.

Site 43

A residential complex for the launch teams serving the Zenit's launch facility was located at Site 43 and 44. The main town includes apartment blocks, hotel, eatery and communications facility. The first military barracks at the site have been built at the end of the 1950s for the military units testing the R-16 ballistic missile.

Site 67

Two surface launch pads were built at Site 67 for the initial testing of the Yangel's ballistic missiles, which would be later based in underground silos.

The construction of the surface pad for the R-36 (8K67) ICBM was officially approved in June 1962 and the actual construction started in August 1962. The development of the launch complex, designated 8P867, was conducted by the Department 8, KO-8, of the Design Bureau of Transport Machine Building, KBTM. (103)

The first launch attempt from the facility took place in September 1963 and it ended in a failure, which required to redesign the launch equipment. The launches were resumed in December 1963. Total 20 launches of the R-36, 8K67, missile were conducted from this site from 1963 to 1965.

During 1965, one of the pads of the launch complex at Site 67 was upgraded for the R-36-O, 8K69, orbital ICBM and it was respectively re-designated 8P869. Total four attempts to launch the R-36-O missile from the Site 67 were conducted during 1965 and 1966.

During 1970 and 1971, two launch pads at Site 67 were refurbished again for the surface-based testing of the R-36M and MR-UR-100 missiles. In both cases, the firings were conducted from launch containers installed vertically on the surface pad to test a new ejection system. Total nine R-36M and five or seven MR-UR-100 missiles were fired from Site 67 at the beginning of the 1970s. The flight tests of both missiles were then moved to silo facilities elsewhere in Baikonur. (114)

Site 67 was abandoned in the 1970s.

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The R-36P missile with MIRV warhead emerges from the silo in Baikonur during a test launch. Credit: KB Yuzhnoe.

The OS-67 silo launch facility for the R-36 missile. Credit: KB Yuzhnoe

The aerial view of a dismantled silo-based launch complex in Baikonur. Copyright © 2000 Anatoly Zak.

Single access road connects the silo with the rest of the range. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak.

The entrance into the underground launch control bunker of a silo facility at Site 192, which housed R-36-O "orbital" missiles, can be seen on the right. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak

A look down into the launch control bunker of the missile silo. Copyright © 2001 by Anatoly Zak.

Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak.

Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak.

The remnants of a silo for the R-36-O missile located at Site 192. The facility was liquidated in the second half of the 1980s. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak.

Barbwire fence still surrounds remnants of the command post near the ICBM silo. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak.

A monument, showing the rocket circling the globe, marks the boundary of the ICBM support area at Site 71 on the "western flank" of Baikonur Cosmodrome. The propellant storage is on the background. Copyright © 2000 Anatoly Zak

The general view of the processing area at Site 42. The processing complex for the Zenit rocket is on the foreground (left) and an older assembly building for the R-16 an R-36 ICBMs is on the background (right). Copyright © 2000 Anatoly Zak

The assembly building at Site 42, also known as Facility (Object) 374 or Structure (Soruzhenie) 1.

Reusable launch containers were delivered to Site 42 for refurbishment before new launches. MR-UR-100, R-36M and R-36M2 missiles were launched from such containers.