This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at www.astronautix.com

astronautix.com G-4

Groettrup G-4
Groettrup G-4 -

7,077 bytes. 76 x 480 pixels.



Family: Early Russian Ballistic Missiles. Country: USSR. Status: Study 1949. Other Designations: R-10. Manufacturer's Designation: R-14.

The G-4 was designed by the Groettrup German team in the Soviet Union in competition with Korolev's R-3. Rocket chief Ustinov informed Groettrup of the requirement on 9 April 1949: to deliver a 3000 kg atomic bomb to a 3000 km. This requirement meant a massive improvement over existing V-2 technology. The G-4 was evaluated against Korolev's R-3 on 7 December 1949 - and the G-4 was found to be superior. Neither ended up in production, but the design concepts of the G-4 led directly to Korolev's R-7 ICBM (essentially a cluster of G-4's or R-3A's) and the N1 superbooster. Work on the G-4 continued through 1952.

The G-4 was designed by the Groettrup German team in the Soviet Union in competition with Korolev's R-3. Rocket chief Ustinov informed Groettrup of the new requirement on 9 April 1949. The specification was to deliver the first Soviet atomic bomb - total mass 3000 kg - to a 3000 km range - anywhere in Western Europe. This requirement meant a massive improvement over existing V-2 technology. A wide range of technical solutions were considered. These included use of 3 G-1's in a parallel-staging 'bundle' (or 'packet' as the Russians would later term it); winged missiles along the lines of the wartime A9/A10 or Saenger Antipodal Bomber (the G-3); or sequential stages, as used on the earlier G-1 and G-2 designs. Consideration was even given of using balloon tanks of high quality steel (as would be adopted in the USA for the Atlas ICBM). But the Russians did not have such alloys available, and the Germans kept the idea to themselves, 'in reserve'.

Groettrup's team finished the 20 volume design study in June 1949, three months after go-ahead. The selected configuration was a cylindrical single-stage design, which was aerodynamically stable in all flight regimes. As in previous designs, the liquid oxygen tank was switched to the forward position in comparison with the V-2, eliminating instrument and engine pre-cooling problems. The warhead was contained in a 1.40 m diameter cylinder, and the re-entry vehicle used the sharp-nosed 'fast point' preferred by the Soviet engineers. The Germans preferred the 'slow point' design - a blunt nose and conical sides - but the Russians feared a slow-falling warhead could be intercepted and felt the thermal problems of the sharp point could be solved.

The R-14 would use a new design high pressure cylindrical combustion chamber. This would feed a spherical mixing chamber. The German engineers worked with Glushko to build a subscale 7 tonne thrust, 60 atmosphere chamber pressure test model. Given the Russian designation ED-140, this was run 100 times between the summer of 1949 and April of 1950. 19 of these chambers would feed the chamber of the Glushko RD-110 engine slated for use in Korolev's competing R-3 rocket.

Unknown to the German team, their approach was evaluated against Korolev's R-3 on 7 December 1949 - and their design was found to be superior. Neither ended up in production, but the design concepts of the G-4 led directly to Korolev's R-7 ICBM (essentially a cluster of G-4's or R-3A's) and the N1 superbooster. Notable unique features of these rockets borrowed from the G-4 work included conical rocket body forms, 'sharp point' warheads or payload shrouds, forward positioning of the oxygen tanks, and elimination of aerodynamic surfaces.

The G-4 was the last design project worked on by the team. The G-4 was designated as the R-10 in the original secret Russian numbering scheme; and known to the Russians as the R-14 (the same designation given to the 3000 km range single stage IRBM finally delivered by Yangel to the Soviet armed forces in 1962).


Specifications

Payload: 3,400 kg. to a: 3000 km trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 101,000 kgf. Total Mass: 66,600 kg. Core Diameter: 3.7 m. Total Length: 28.0 m.


G-4 Chronology


1946 Oct 23 -
1949 Apr 9 -
- 1949 June -
- 1949 July -
- 1949 October -
1949 Dec 7 -
1950 Aug 13 -
1951 Mar 21 -
1953 Nov 28 -

Bibliography:



Back to Index
Last update 12 March 2001.
Definitions of Technical Terms.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .