[FPSPACE] Soviet Rocket Designations
Tue, 16 Jan 2001 16:19:57 +0100
I wonder if I could poll the group on Soviet rocket designations. Since the
end of Glasnost, we have become aware of up to 7 different designations for
every missile. Which of these do you consider the preferred version -
combining accuracy while being 'user friendly' when writing? From least to
most accurate/specific, these would be:
Article Number, eg: 15A18 - this is the official government designation.
This appears ususally in official military histories, is actually stamped on
the detailed parts, and is the most specific. This is probably the most
accurate. Problems: they're relatively unknown and difficult to remember....
Bureau designation, eg R-36MU - these are ususally used in design bureau
memoirs etc. The problem is some inconsistencies in relation to article
numbers. This is my vote for the one to use, because they seem friendlier
than the article numbers, and run in a sequence at least.
Arms Treaty Designations: eg RS-20: These are designations provided in
official arms limitation treaty protocols, with the designations seeming to
be almost mischevious as a method of disinformation. These often appear in
various memoirs and histories, and seem to have real substance in the case
DoD Designations: eg SS-18 Mod 3. I think these should be phased out in
general writing, since they are now shown to not always correspond to the
actual missile mods built.
ASCC Reporting Names: eg Satan. The Russian writers seem to like some of
these, and they're fun to say, and Western reporters seem to love them....
but the same name applies sometimes to a rather large family of missiles.
In the case of launch vehicles, we have in addition the Sheldon Library of
Congress designations (F-1, G-1, etc) and the Russian popular name (Dnepr,