Space launch vehicle Shtil' (Russian: (Штиль - calm (weather)), is a converted SLBM used for launching artificial satellites into orbit. It is based on the R-29RM designed by State Rocket Center Makeyev and related to the Volna Launch Vehicle. The Shtil' is a 3-stage launch vehicle that uses liquid propellant. It is the first launch vehicle to successfully launch a payload into orbit from a submarine, although launch from land based structures is possible as well.
This is the baseline version of the launch vehicle. The payload is placed in a special capsule in the space head next to the third stage engine nozzle. The missiles used are withdrawn from active service with the Russian Navy and converted to civilian launch vehicles by removing the warheads and antennas. To inject the payload into the right orbit the flight software is adjusted and additional measuring equipment is installed. Launches can be performed from Delta IV submarines while submerged.
A proposed version under development of the Shtil' launch vehicle features the payload in a special section on top of the space head. This increases the possible volume and weight of the payload inserted into orbit.
A further developed version of the launch vehicle features a larger payload section on top of the space head. The additional space is used for larger and heavier payloads and an additional boost engine to propel the payload in higher orbits. The increase in length of the launch vehicle means that it can only be launched from a ground based launching complex.
The final proposed version of the Shtil' launch vehicle features a redesigned third stage with enlarged propellant tanks. The space head used on previous version is omitted and replaced by a newly designed section for instruments and the payload adapter. The payload section can, when necessary for the mission, include an additional booster engine.
Because of its mobile launch platform the Shtil' launch vehicle can reach a large number of different inclinations and both sun-synchronous orbit and low Earth orbit. The possible payload is determined by the desired mission. On a typical mission to a 200 km circular orbit at an inclination of 79 degrees the Shtil' has a payload of 160 kg. Proposed version have a higher payload capacity of up to 430 kg for the Shtil-3.