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Groettrup G-2
Groettrup G-2 -

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Family: Early Russian Ballistic Missiles. Country: USSR. Status: Study 1948. Other Designations: R-6. Manufacturer's Designation: R-12.

The G-2 design objective was to create the first IRBM - to deliver a 1000 kg payload over a 2500 km range. The missile would use three V-2 derived engines with a total thrust of 100 tonnes. A variety of alternate configurations (R-12A through R-12K) were considered by the German team in Russia. These included parallel and consecutive staging, gimballed motors, and other innovations. The R-12K was particularly interesting because it represented a concept later used on the US Atlas missile - jettisoning of the two outboard engines at altitude to significantly improve range. The G-2 was given the secret designation R-6 and overt designation R-12 by the Russians.

More than ten G-2/R-12 variants were studied in detail to determine the optimum technical solution. All used a common bulkhead between the aft fuel and forward liquid oxygen tank. Two major aerodynamic forms were considered - conical, which was aerodynamic stable regardless of the stage velocity and vehicle centre of gravity, and cylindrical stages with fins. The variants studied were as follows:

The optimum technical solution seemed to be the R-12G single-stage conical design. In comparing the G-2 with Korolev's R-2, the state commission favored the Groettrup design. But the Russian designers convinced the government that the G-2 required innovations beyond the immediate capability of Soviet technology. Koroelv's R-2, a modest upgrade of the V-2, was selected for production instead.


Payload: 1,000 kg. to a: 2500 km trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 100,000 kgf. Total Mass: 50,000 kg. Core Diameter: 3.7 m. Total Length: 24.5 m.

G-2 Chronology

- 1946 September -
1946 Oct 23 -
- 1949 March -


G-2 VariantsG-2 Variants - Various technical solutions studied by the Groettrup team for the G-2/R-12 requirement. These included, from left: a G-1 cluster; R-12A dual sequential stage; R-12B single stage; R-12C dual stage; R-12E dual stage; R-12G and R-12H single stage; and R-12K with jettisonable booster engines.

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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