Useful Notes / Mnogo Nukes Other Ballistic And Cruise Missiles

Ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 300 and 5,500 km.

The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty led to the destruction of all ground launched missiles with a range of 300-3400 miles (500-5500 km), for both the US and USSR.


  • R- Rocket
  • RT- "Rocket Solid", a solid-fuelled rocket

Short Range (under 1000 km- DOD definition)''

TR-1/SS-12 "Scaleboard"

Another road-mobile missile, this had a range of 500 miles (800 km). An improved version with slightly longer range was initially designated SS-22 until NATO realised it was just an improved version of the SS-12, so was redesignated SS-12M "Scaleboard-B". Eliminated by INF. 500 kiloton warhead- ouch.

R-400 Oka (another river, tributary of the Volga)/SS-23 "Spider"

A "Scud" successor with a US-estimated range of 310 miles, which led to the USSR arguing about the range before scrapping it- but they'd covertly passed some on to East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The four states these would become (the reunified Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria) have now all scrapped their missiles. The Oka could also be equipped with a high-explosive or submunitions warhead to give a front or army commander a long-range deep strike capability to hit command centers, airfields, large enemy reserve groupings, and other targets in the enemy rear. The Soviets got working on an improved "Oka-M" intended to work as part of a reconnaissance-strike complex (basically a closed-loop system that employs reconnaissance means with strike assets for real-time targeting and destruction) before being killed by the INF Treaty.

Medium Range (1000-3000 km)''

G-3/R-8 (designation debated)

Designed by Albring, a German scientist brought to the USSR, this was planned to be a "3000/3000" missile, capable of carrying a 3,000 kg nuke 3,000 km (e.g. to the UK). A rocket first stage, then a second stage cruise missile. Korolev would take the idea further with the EKR.

RT-1/No designation recorded

The first Soviet ballistic missile, clearly intended for a nuclear role and developed by Korolev. Due to a number of test failures, poor range and poor accuracy, it did not go into production.

R-5/SS-3 "Shyster"

The first Soviet nuclear missile was the R-5M, a development of this. Range 1,200 km, it became surplus to requirements after the R-12 arrived. Some were briefly deployed to East Germany in 1959, but withdrawn after only a few months as tensions over Berlin grew.

R-12 Dvina (OK, why were they using the same name for several missiles?)/SS-4 "Sandal"

This had a range of 2,000 miles (2,800 km) and could carry a 1-megaton warhead, making it a major threat to Western Europe (and the US when it caused the Cuban Missile Crisis). All were destroyed after the INF treaty of 1987.

RK-55/SSC-X-4 Slingshot

Land-based version of the Kh-55, this would have been road-mobile and was intended to complement the SS-20. Western press called it "Tomahawkski". Never got operational, INF leading to its scrapping.


Land-based version of the SS-NX-24, banned by INF before going operational.


Believed to be a land-based version of the 3M14 Kalibr-NK ship-launched cruise missile, this was reported as deployed by the New York Times in 2017. Precise range is still a guess, but the US views this as a violation of the INF treaty.

Intermediate Range (3,000-5,500 km)

EKR (Eksperimentalnaya Krylataya Raketa- "experimental winged rocket")

A Korolev design, this would have been a Mach 3 cruise missile. Based on a G-3, it was developed between 1951 and 1953. They solved the problems of automatic long-range astro-navigation (important in missile flight, even with GPS) and airframe technology. A commission looked at the design, decided there were still many technical problems to iron out and Korolev wasn't the guy to do it. Lavochkin and Myasishchev (two aircraft bureaus) got assigned the job of developing inter-continental missiles, while Korolev was told to focus on the R-7, much to his later success.

R-14 Usovaya/SS-5 "Skean"

Development started in 1958, this IRBM entered service in 1961. Range 3,600 km, it was deployed on the surface, in silos and in road-mobile form. It was the other type of nuclear missile deployed to Cuba in 1962. It could be launched with two hours notice and stored for 30 days fully fuelled.

September 1962 saw seven launched with live warheads in a test. Gradually replaced by the SS-20 and withdrawn by 1984, the remaining examples were destroyed under INF.

Was later used as the first stages of the R-16/SS-7 ICBM and the Voskhod space launcher.

RT-21M or RSD-10 (the SALT designation, which is the title of the entry on the English version of The Other Wiki) Pioneer/SS-20 "Saber"

Far better known by the NATO designation, this three-warhead missile caused the European Missiles Crisis when it was first deployed in the western USSR - it could hit the UK from east of the Urals. Also known as "Storm of Europe". About a third were actually pointed at China, but the presence of the rest was deemed destabilising by NATO, as the USSR could effectively destroy Western Europe without using ICBMs. In reality the SS-20 was used—in conjunction with tactical nuclear weapons—to create an environment of tactical and theater nuclear superiority (and later parity with the introduction of Pershing II and GLCM) to conduct large-scale conventional operations in which NATO would be reluctant to go nuclear—a sort of mutual deterrence, as the Soviets had matched NATO at every rung of the ladder of nuclear escalation.

Scrapped under the INF Treaty, you can see examples in Washington and Moscow, alongside American Pershing II missiles - their response.