REUTOV /Moscow Region/, January 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (part of the Tactical Missiles Corporation) is working on extending the service life for carriers of Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicles on order from the Defense Ministry, Company CEO Alexander Leonov said on Friday.
The work is ongoing on UR-100N UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that carry the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, he said on the sidelines of the annual readings devoted to Soviet Rocket Designer Sergei Korolyov.
"We continue working on it and there are such tasks set by the Defense Ministry. So, this year the work on extending the service life will be continued," the chief executive said.
The Research and Production Association of Machine-Building is currently making an assessment of how much it is necessary to extend the service life and how much it is possible to do this, he added.
The company’s chief executive told TASS in May 2019 that the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building had extended the service life of UR-100N UTTKh missiles to 36 years. Before that, the company carried out a large amount of scientific research and experimental design work. Specifically, the specialists determined the strength margin of the load-carrying structures and carefully checked the condition of these missiles’ propellant tank walls, analyzed the state of the missile propellant components and held tests in climatic chambers.
Avangard hypersonic missile system
UR-100N UTTKh missiles will be used in the immediate future as the carriers of the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. The new weapon was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly in March 2018. The first Avangard hypersonic missile systems went on combat alert in Russia in December 2019. Eventually, UR-100N UTTKh ICBMs will be replaced by the advanced Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov in the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004. The boost-glide vehicle is capable of flying at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense.
The UR-100N UTTKh (the NATO reporting name: SS-19 Stiletto) is a heavy upgrade of the UR-100 missile complex developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s by the Design Bureau-52 led by Vladimir Chelomei. It was accepted for service in 1980. Currently, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force operates 30 silo-based missiles of this type, according to open sources. The missile has a takeoff weight of about 100 tonnes and a throw weight of around 4.5 tonnes.