Launch Vehicle

launch vehicle 01

The Cyclone-4 Launch Vehicle is the newest and most powerful version of the Cyclone family of launchers designed by Yuzhnoye and manufactured by Yuzhmash, the world-famous Ukrainian space companies having a 60-year old history. Alcantara Cyclone Space is the Cyclone-4 exclusive launch service provider.

The Cyclones (Tsyklons) were widely used for delivery of various spacecraft into orbit, among them military electronic reconnaissance satellites and civil Earth observation (remote sensing) satellites. The Cyclone-series launch vehicles were used for launching scientific payloads such as Sun observation, weather and communication satellites. The last Cyclone-2 launch took place in 2005 and the Cyclone-3 – in 2009.

During forty years of operation, more than 220 Cyclones were launched. High reliability combined with all-weather automated round-the-clock launch provides customers with a reasonably priced, high-reliability launch service tailored to their specific requirements.


The following table shows the main Cyclone-4 parameters:
Performance Value
Payload Capability
  •  LEO (circular equatorial 200 km)
5685 kg
  •  SSO (400 km)
3910 kg
  •  GTO (170 km perigee)
1600 kg
Accuracy of Insertion into SSO, better than
  •  altitude
± 6...7 km
  •  inclination
± 0.05º...0.08º
Maximum Longitudinal Overloads 6.8g


launch vehicle 02

Spacious fairing (1) allows comfortable payload (2) arrangement on any adapter (3). First (8) and second (7) stages are the same as on the Cyclones 2 and 3 (the first two stages made 227 successful flights out of 228). New upper stage (5) carries 9 tons of propellant and boasts a brand new main engine installed in a new interstage compartment (6).

launch vehicle 03

The payload fairing (depicted above) is clamshell-type structure linked together by locking mechanisms in launch vehicle stabilization planes. It consists of a case, vertical and horizontal separation systems, pneumatic half-shell separation system, internal thermal insulation, thermal conditioning system, electrical harness, and general assembly elements. Several standard payload adapters and customized dispensers are available, but customers may use their own adapter/dispenser.

The Cyclone-4 Launch Vehicle is a space transportation system based on highly reliable subsystems, featuring best flight and operational performance traditionally inherent to the Cyclone series:

  • improved payload capability;
  • high injection accuracy;
  • safety of servicing personnel due to automated prelaunch procedures and launch;
  • the shortest period of the launch vehicle processing and launch (from 8 to 12 hours);
  • minimum launch team.

It is expected that vast experience of Yuzhnoye, Yuzhmash, Khartron and other companies participating in the Cyclone-4 design, development and fabrication, along with a high level of succession to the Cyclone-2 and Cyclone-3 first and second stages, will ensure the Cyclone-4 reliability of no less than 0.97.

Please consult the Cyclone-4 User’s Guide to obtain more information about the Cyclone-4 Launch Vehicle.