The key would be the engine development, and off hand I don't know if they have any existing engines they could use as a starting point for a reusable launcher.
So that flight profile is interesting - looks like it's coming down via powered landing? So if it has a quartet of thrusters on the bottom section that lands, does that imply deep throttlability? Or is it actually a quintet of 5 thrusters, thus allowing the central one to light up alone to power the landing? Hard to tell from the cross-section diagram.
Energia side-boosters were intended to be reused after recovery by parachutehttp://www.buran-energia.com/energia/energia-desc.php
Given the great depth and breadth of Russian engineering expertise, I'm sure they'll be able to come up with some competitive designs at least. Even if cash is a problem, that would have to be weighed against consideration of the cost savings deriving from reusability.
Somebody posted this pic of a now-canceled Russian reusable VTVL design by Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau.I'm wondering if the entire bottom section in blue is a single unit, meant for recovery.(Unfortunately, I couldn't get Google Translate to translate the Russian text into English)Given the great depth and breadth of Russian engineering expertise, I'm sure they'll be able to come up with some competitive designs at least. Eve n if cash is a problem, that would have to be weighed against consideration of the cost savings deriving from reusability.
LV ROSSYANKA by Makeyev Design Bureau (circa 2006) - it never had been cancelled. As a matter of fact it never had been funded. Metalox propulsion on Stage I with engines recovery via vertical landing.
The State Rocket Centre, in cooperation with the developers of engines, control system, launch and maintenance complexes (KBKhA, KBKhM, NIIMash, NPOA and KBTM), have designed the ROSSIYANKA space rocket with the reusable first stage.The key feature of the reusable first stage is application of exclusively standard rocket systems. The performance and number of the engines ensure the stage flight from takeoff to touchdown, including in case of failure of any cruise or control engines, what ensures high reliability of the mission accomplishment.The stage flies back along a ballistic trajectory with restarting the standard engines.The ROSSIYANKA capability, when injecting a payload into a low-earth orbit, is 21.5 tons. It can be increased to 35 t depending on the LV dimensions or, for instance, with application of the oxygen-hydrogen second stage. In this case the LV structural arrangement and the pattern of recovery of the reusable first stage remain unchanged.Takeoff mass, t 750Payload capability, t Up to 21.5Fuel Liquid oxygen + liquefied natural gas1-st stage reusability Up to 25LV enginesThe ROSSIYANKA LV have new-generation reusable, highly reliable liquid-fuel rocket engines burning eco-friendly fuel components “liquid oxygen + liquefied natural gas”. Besides, application of engines on “liquid oxygen + kerosene” is under consideration now. Control systemThe primary investigations showed the possibility of the development of onboard control system equipment (BCSE) with the performance required. The radio inertial BCSE based on that of SOYUZ-2 was adopted as basic for the 1-st and 2-nd stages that will allow to fulfill the requirements for payload injection and 1-st stage recovery with soft landing on a prepared 50х50m site located 3-5km from the LV launch pad. The high recovery accuracy is provided by the GLONASS satellite navigation system and additional onboard navigation equipment.