The RD-263 (GRAU Index 15D117) is a liquid rocket engine, burning N2O4 and UDMH in the oxidizer rich staged combustion cycle.[2] Four RD-263 engines form a propulsion module RD-264 (GRAU Index 15D119).[5] For the R-36M KB Yuzhnoye only ordered the first stage propulsion to Energomash, instead of both stages, arguing that they were overworked with the RD-270 development. By April 1970 Yuzhnoye was getting the engine documentation. By the end of 1972 Energomash started to test fire the engines in its own test stand. And by September 1973 the engine was certified for flight.[1] While the engine is out of production, the ICBM as well as the Dnepr remain operational as of 2015.[3]

RD-263 (РД-263)
Country of originUSSR
DesignerEnergomash, V.Glushko
ManufacturerPA Yuzhmash[1]
Associated LVR-36M and Dnepr
StatusOut of production
Liquid-fuel engine
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Mixture ratio2.67
CycleOxidizer-rich staged combustion
Thrust, vacuum1,128 kilonewtons (254,000 lbf)
Thrust, sea-level1,040 kilonewtons (230,000 lbf)
Chamber pressure20.6 megapascals (2,990 psi)
Specific impulse, vacuum318 s (3.12 km/s)
Specific impulse, sea-level293 s (2.87 km/s)
Gimbal range[3]
Length2,150 millimetres (85 in)
Diameter1,080 millimetres (43 in)
Dry weight870 kilograms (1,920 lb)
Used in
R-36M and R-36MUTTKh core stage (15А14 and 15A18)


The basic engine has been used for the

RD-0210 family of engines
Engine RD-263 RD-268 RD-273
AKA 15D117 15D168 RD-263F
Propulsion module RD-264 N/A RD-274
Development 1969-1975 1970-1976 1982-1988
Engine type Liquid oxidizer rich staged combustion using N2O4/UDMH propellant with an O/F ratio of 2.67
Combustion chamber pressure 20.6 MPa (2,990 psi) 22.6 MPa (3,280 psi) 22.6 MPa (3,280 psi)
Thrust, vacuum 1,130 kN (250,000 lbf) 1,240 kN (280,000 lbf) 1,240 kN (280,000 lbf)
Thrust, sea level 1,040 kN (230,000 lbf) 1,130 kN (250,000 lbf) 1,130 kN (250,000 lbf)
Isp, vacuum 318s 318.5s 318s
Isp, sea level 293s 295.6s 296s
Length 2,150 mm (85 in) 2,150 mm (85 in) 2,150 mm (85 in)
Width 1,080 mm (43 in) 1,083 mm (42.6 in) 1,080 mm (43 in)
Dry weight 870 kg (1,920 lb) 770 kg (1,700 lb) Unknown
Use R-36M (15А14) and R-36MUTTKh (15A18) core stage MR-UR-100 (15А15) and MR-UR-100UTTKh (15A16) first stage R-36M2 (15A18M) and (15A18M2) first stage
Status Out of production Retired[12] Retired[13]
References [2][4][6][9][10][11]


Some of these engines were bundled into modules of multiple engines. The relevant modules and auxiliary engines are:

  • RD-264 (GRAU Index 15D119): A module comprising four RD-263. Propulsion module of the R-36M and R-36MUTTKh first stage (15А14 and 15A18).[4][5]
  • RD-274 (GRAU Index ): A module comprising four RD-273. Propulsion module of the R-36M2 (15A18M) and (15A18M2) first stage.[7][11][14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly. "R-36M/15A14/SS-18/Satan/RS-20". RussianSpaceWeb.com. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e "RD-263". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on January 13, 2003. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  3. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly. "The Dnepr launcher". RussianSpaceWeb.com. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  4. ^ a b c d e "NPO Energomash list of engines". NPO Energomash. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  5. ^ a b "RD-264". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2016-03-27. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  6. ^ a b "RD-268". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  7. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Russian engines". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  8. ^ "History". NPO Energomash. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  9. ^ a b "RD-263F". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on May 31, 2002. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  10. ^ a b "RD-273". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on May 6, 2002. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  11. ^ a b c Lardier, Christian. "Liquid Propellant Engines in the Soviet Union". Thirty-third IAA History Simposia. American Astronautical Society. 19: 39–73.
  12. ^ "Ballistic Missiles". missilethreat.com. Missile Threat. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  13. ^ "Kazakhstan Missiles" (PDF). Nuclear Threat Initiative. August 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  14. ^ "RD-274". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on May 6, 2002. Retrieved 2015-07-24.

External linksEdit

  • KbKhA official information on the engine.
  • Encyclopedia Astronautica information on the propulsion module.