On 16 March and 1 August 1961 the Central Committee and Politburo approved development of Chelomeiís UR-200 (8K81) universal rocket. The UR-200 was to orbit Chelomeiís IS (Istrebitel Sputnik) ASAT; the US (Upravlenniye Sputnik) nuclear-powered naval intelligence satellite; and the Raketoplan combat re-entry vehicle. Trial flights of the missile began on 4 November 1963.
On October 13, 1964, Khrushchev was ousted from power. The new leadership, under Brezhnev, was adverse to all projects Khrushchev had supported. These included those of Chelomei. An expert commission under M V Keldysh was directed to examine all of Chelomeiís projects and make recommendations as to which should be cancelled. Keldysh found that Yangelís R-36 rocket was superior to Chelomeiís UR-200 and that the Raketoplan was technically overly ambitious. The UR-200 and Raketoplan were accordingly cancelled, while the IS and US satellites were redesigned for launch by the R-36.
A government decree of 24 August 1965 formalised the decision and the Yangel bureau began design work in 1966. Required modifications to the R-36 were minimal; the IS and US Raketoplan-derived payloads had their own engines for insertion into final orbit. The Tsyklon 11K67 first test version was an adaptation of the 8K67 (SS-9 Mod 1) two stage ICBM and flew only briefly (1967 to 1968). It was quickly replaced by the definitive 11K69 Tsyklon 2 launch vehicle. The military project manager was L A Dolnikov.
Launches: 7. Failures: 0. Success Rate: 100.00% pct. First Launch Date: 27 October 1967. Last Launch Date: 01 November 1968. LEO Payload: 3,000 kg. to: 185 km Orbit. at: 52.0 degrees. Liftoff Thrust: 241,300 kgf. Total Mass: 182,000 kg. Core Diameter: 3.0 m. Total Length: 39.7 m.
Decree 'On Creation of an R-36 Based Carrier Rocket for Launching the IS and US KA--start of work on an R-36-based launch vehicle for the IS and US programs' was issued. After Khrushchev was ousted from power, Chelomei's projects were examined by an expert commission under M V Keldysh. It was found that Yangelís R-36 rocket was superior to Chelomeiís UR-200. The UR-200 was cancelled; the IS and US satellites would be launched by the R-36 11K67. The Tsyklon 2 definitive operational version replaced the 11K67 launch vehicle from 1969.
First test of Korolev's Istrebitel Sputnik. Only tested engine; no target launched. First launch of Tsykon 2 launch vehicle.
Prototype RORSAT hardware using chemical batteries in place of BES-5 nuclear reactor. First satellite to be boosted to 900 km storage orbit.
RORSAT hardware, repreentative of production hardware, but using chemical batteries in place of BES-5 nuclear reactor.
Unsuccessful launch of ASAT target. Satellite did not separate from last rocket stage. Planned launch of interceptor cancelled.
ASAT target. Intercepted repeatedly by Cosmos 249 on 20 October; destroyed by Cosmos 252 on 1 November.
ASAT interceptor. Intercepted Cosmos 248 target on second orbit. Repeatedly approached Cosmos 248, verifying primary and reserve homing and guidance systems. Destroyed itself in test of on-board destruct system. Counted as a failure by Western observers because that target was not destroyed; but this was not an objective of the test. Left 109 fragments in orbit, of which 54 were still in orbit in 1996.
ASAT interceptor. Intercepted and destroyed Cosmos 248 target satellite within one day of launch. Left 139 fragments in orbit, the largest of any ASAT test.