Monday, October 24, 2011

Way down in the hole.

The Strategic Rocket Forces must be on some sort of PR blitz, since one of the bloggers that visited the Strategic Rocket Forces HQ in Vlasikha (highlighted in the previous post) also visited the 28th Guards Missile Division in Kozelzk, armed with the SS-19 ICBM. Some highlights:
The SRF - Guaranteeing the peace and security of Russia!
Quick check of the barracks. Yup, being a conscript still kinda sucks.
Let's eat! "A satiated soldier is the Motherland's shield!"
Not the worst chow hall I've seen.
I wonder if that's a kosher dog.
Hope the bloggers brought gift bags for the lunch ladies!
So where in the 168th Missile Regiment are we going?
Time to get in the truck and go...somewhere.
Fortunately the truck has a combined GLONASS/GPS unit so we are TWICE as likely to find the right hole!
We're on a road to nowhere...
I see fence line...must be close.
This little building is connected to the guard shack by an underground passage.
The guard shack.
A close up of the device, described by the blogger as as a "firing point", on top of the guard shack.

Finally, the hole!

Good shot to get an idea just how big the silo cover is. 

I'm pretty sure there isn't any ICBM, or first stage of an ICBM, in this silo...

....but let's go down and find out.

Wait a second...THAT guy is going to hold ME if I slip and fall? Yeah, right!

Watch your step getting on the elevator.

What is the proper elevator etiquette in a lift this small?

"The launch canister containing the missile in the the silo launcher is secured with a highly effective mitigation system which provides additional protection to the missile against the destructive effects of a nuclear explosion."

Well, now I'm down here and I'm really, really sure there isn't a missile in here.

It's a long way up...'bout 30 meters

What do you mean we have to climb the ladder?!?
Let's look at some of the division's special vehicles. Standing in front of what one of the bloggers speculates to be two types of emplacement equipment, one for the missile and one for the front section.
One of the two emplacers that are in the garage. Although the escorts didn't say why there were two different types, one of the bloggers speculates that this emplacer is used to extract the front section of the missile containing the things that go "boom" and places it into the warhead transport vehicle.

Front view of the first emplacer.
One blogger speculates that the middle vehicle under canvas is a front section transport van. 
The front section and canister emplacers together.

Taken from here, here, and here.

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