Military Review

Where the nuclear Scalpel was imprisoned


January 16 - 100 anniversary of the birth of Academician Zababakhin, under whose leadership the "Ural" half of the nuclear potential of the USSR and Russia was created

Where the nuclear Scalpel was imprisoned

The combat railway complex “Well done”, behind which the western name SS-24 Scalpel took root, began to be tested with practical launches and put on the rails after academic Zababakhin was no more. But the nuclear sting for such and similar missiles, including sea-based ICBMs, still in service, was conceived, designed and embodied in full-scale samples under his eye and the governing body.

A boy from the Moscow outskirts, born on the eve of 1917 social cataclysms of the year, Yevgeny Zababakhin, a quarter of a century - from 1960 to 1984, was the scientific leader of the second (in time of creation) nuclear-weapon center of our country. But the general public, this person is virtually unknown.

Although it would seem that publicity is outside, and many secrets have long been removed. About the same "Scalpel" - a combat railway missile system - we now know much more than about its creators. And the fact that such trains, camouflaged as usual, were a dozen, made up of three special divisions of strategic missile forces. One - in the Perm region, the other - in the Kostroma, the third - under the Krasnoyarsk. It happened that from Kostroma such “costumed” echelons reached as far as Syzran. And they went back unnoticed ...

And the sting of the "Scalpel" under the car roof is a separable warhead with ten warheads of individual guidance. The power of each is 550 kilotons in TNT equivalent. All together, starting at once - 5,5 megatons. We are not going to specify what these missiles were aiming at and what they could erase into powder. All this, fortunately, is in the past: BZhRK and their warheads were removed from service. And the rocket train itself remained as a reminder in the Museum of the Strategic Missile Forces and in the railway museum at the Warsaw station in St. Petersburg.

57 megatons made up the power of the charge, tested on October 30 1961 over the New Earth in the Urals super bomb. The charge itself was not Ural.

We are now talking about Snezhinsk and the Russian Federal Nuclear Center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics, as it is now openly called. Today, colleagues, colleagues, students and followers of Academician Yevgeny Zabakhakhin have gathered here to pay tribute to the memory and merit of this amazing man - a scientist, an experimenter, a leader and a teacher.

To the old cat did not sleep

As acknowledged by those who have worked with him for a long time, he was not the first ex officio, but did not chase after fame, did not tolerate pathos, and when on rare occasions he had to wear a general's uniform with all orders, embarrassing smiles, almost suffering , on his face could not repay.

In KB-11 (differently, Arzamas-16), where the atomic biography of the engineer-captain Zababakhin began in 1948, the scientific helmsman, Academician Yuli Borisovich Khariton, carried the watch for almost half a century. His name in the calendar of the Soviet Atomic Project is called immediately after Igor Kurchatov. In the same place, in the current Sarov, the older generation of scientists and designers worked on bombs: Zeldovich, Frank-Kamenetsky, Sakharov, Negin, Muzrukov, Zernov, Babayev, Trutnev ...

And in scientific research institute-1011, it is also Chelyabinsk-70, that in the middle of 50-s it was decided to create in the Urals as a duplicate institute-developer of weapons, it seems there were no such voiced names, if you follow already written lives and memoirs. However, the facts and the declassified (so far only fragmentary) documents tell a different story.

Like the Livermore National Laboratory, established in the USA 1952 (ten years after Los Alomas, where the first atomic bomb was created), the Ural Nuclear Center in the USSR was designed to provide mutual expertise of the proposed and completed developments, and therefore inevitable in such cases competition and even competition. The scientific youth, who grew up in "Academician Kharitonov" (his KB-11 was disguised as soon as they were disguised), was also parachuted from the Volga office to the Urals and then, so that the "old cat would not sleep."

They talked like that, moreover on various levels.

Already in the first five years of the formation of the new design bureau, when Kirill Shchelkin was still the supervisor and Dmitry Vasiliev was the first director, the team proved its worth. Theoretical physicists, mathematicians and designers voluntarily-forcedly displaced into the Ural foothills, on the shores of the beautiful lakes Sinara and Sungul, did not spend working time on excursions and hikes.

The primary task set during the creation of NII-1011 was the development of a special aerial bomb whose charge power was to exceed the power of any thermonuclear charge previously tested in the USSR and the USA. As a result, several generations of special air bombs were developed and put into service, including: the first hydrogen bomb for strategic aviation, a nuclear bomb for use with supersonic aircraft, a small anti-submarine, shockproof for the Air Force, a special bomb for front-line aircraft with controlled energy release.

And the very first nuclear weapon developed at the new institute was a two-meter-high superbomb, eight meters long, weighing about 25 tons and an estimated power of 30 megatons. Her practical test was canceled due to the unavailability (at that time) of the landfill on Novaya Zemlya to conduct explosions of such power. But the body of this gigantic bomb and a unique parachute system specially created for it were used later in the testing of the most powerful thermonuclear charges (tens of megatons), including Kuzkin’s mother.

It will happen later. And in the 1957-1958 years, fourteen nuclear products were developed, developed by specialists of the Scientific Research Institute-1011. And right at the same time, in 57, a thermonuclear charge was put into service as part of an aerial bomb, which became the first thermonuclear ammunition in the Soviet nuclear arsenal.

Following this, the first warhead of a ballistic missile, an ammunition for an aviation cruise missile (a joint development with KB-25, now VNIIA named after NL Dukhov) and a nuclear charge for another air bomb were handed over to the military.

For these works, the deputy supervisor Evgeny Zababakhin and five other leading employees of the institute (KI Shchelkin, L.P. Feoktistov, Yu.A. Romanov, M.P. Shumayev, and V.F. Grechishnikov) were awarded the Lenin Prize. And in 1958, Zababakhin was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

In October, the 60 of the Urals launched a nuclear warhead for the P-13 ballistic missile, which was installed on diesel submarines. It was a joint work with the scientific and design organizations of Miass and Sverdlovsk (now - SRC them. VP Makeyev, Miass, and NPO Automation, Yekaterinburg).

And in November of the same year, changes took place in the management and structure of the Scientific Research Institute-1011. The supervisor and chief designer Kirill Schelkin unexpectedly for many left both positions (the official version is for health reasons). In the current situation, it was decided to form two design bureaus: on the development of nuclear warheads and on the development of nuclear ammunition. The positions of supervisor and two chief designers were introduced - they were Boris Ledenev and Alexander Zakharenkov.

And Yevgeny Zababakhin, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was appointed scientific director of the whole institute. At that moment he was 43 of the year.

Everything is "icy" and not "zababahalo"

I myself - it happened - for the first time I heard about this man from one half-laughable storiesnarrated by a participant in nuclear testing at Novaya Zemlya. They brought, they say, the Urals to test another explosion of their "product". It was in 61-m, and maybe also in 60-m - soon after the change of leadership in their "office". They laid the thing in the prepared adit, concreted the entrances-exits, waited until it froze, then checked again and gave the command to undermine. And in response - no gu-gu. The wits who happened to be there immediately commented: "Everything froze and did not forget ..."

Much later, Leonid Fedorovich Klopov, who, like Zababakhin, in KB-11, worked with him in the Urals and then, for seventeen years, was headed by 5, the head department of Minsredmash, would comment on this occasion in his own way, and that was in charge of the development of nuclear ammunition and its field testing. He knows what he is talking about, so let's allow one quotation: "A distinguishing feature of EI Zababakhin was the use of sometimes non-standard programs and techniques that could lead and lead to the creation of charge patterns with better characteristics than the theorists of Arzamas-16. Sometimes the novelty of the decisions made had to be paid with unsatisfactory results, and they said jokingly from Arzamas-16: they didn’t “forget about it.” However, the inexhaustible will and desire to move forward allowed Yevgeny Ivanovich not to stop on what was achieved, and he Este theorists Institute continued to seek new and innovative ways. "

I was not afraid to take risks about the same thing, they told me, remembering Zababakhin, Lev Petrovich Feoktistov and Boris V. Litvinov - two more prominent people, two academicians, a theoretical physicist and designer, who did a lot personally to make sure about the Ural nuclear center today. to say: it is the second in time of education, but not in any way contributing to the creation of the nuclear potential of our country.

In addition to the middle-class warheads for the Rocket Mobile Complex "Scalpel", which has already been mentioned, in the "Zababakhin farm" there were also created super-large power charges for the SS-18 "Satan" rocket. But the valleys of the Urals saw it not in this, but just in the direction directly opposite to "Satan" and "Kuzka's mother" - in creating small-sized, but at the same time highly efficient and powerful nuclear charges.

Having abandoned megalomania, in the Urals, in a relatively short time, we could create a nuclear warhead of the first naval missile with an underwater launch, a warhead for the first divided head of a sea-based ballistic missile, the first warhead of a separating warhead with individual aiming at the target points (MFN).

“And yet,” Academician Yevgeny Avronin repeatedly pointed out at this point, “a fundamentally new class of military equipment was created: nuclear ammunition for artillery and mortar systems, which ensured parity for the Soviet Union with the United States in this type of weaponry.

According to Yevgeny Nikolayevich, the design of the so-called "Malgabs" - small-sized nuclear charges for artillery systems - was further developed and used in nuclear industrial explosive devices: for intensifying oil and gas production, extinguishing fires in emergency wells, creating underground tanks, degassing of coal seams, crushing of ore and seismic sounding of the earth's crust in the interests of geological exploration.

“During the period when underground nuclear tests were carried out, a number of“ products ”with record characteristics were created by specialists of the Ural Center,” academician Georgy Rykovanov, current scientific director of RFNC-VNIITF, notes the achievements of predecessors. We only briefly mention these most important positions: the lightest in its class power combat unit for strategic nuclear forces; the strongest and heat-resistant nuclear explosive device for industrial applications (withstands external pressure up to 750 atmospheres, heating up to 120 degrees); the most shock-resistant nuclear charge that withstands overloads more than 12 000 g; the most economical in terms of the consumption of fissile materials nuclear charge; the cleanest nuclear explosive device for peaceful applications, in which 99,85 percent energy is obtained by synthesizing light elements; the most low-power charge-feed.

According to Rykovanov, regardless of how the international situation and the situation inside the country changed, the Ural center provided author and guarantee supervision over nuclear charges and nuclear weapons at all stages of their life cycle - from design development to dismantling and disposing of the main components. And, of course, provided and provides support for the Russian nuclear arsenal in the army.

“Under the current ban on nuclear testing,” adds RFNC-VNIITF Director Mikhail Zheleznov to what has been said, “Our center is upgrading previously developed structures to improve their safety, reliability and resilience against unauthorized actions, implements civil projects, conducts fundamental and applied Scientific research.

Who will follow Teller's example?

Why are we today and in detail talking about this?

Academician Yevgeny Zababakhin and his colleagues, those who worked at the same time with him, and those who continue their business now, created and retain weapons in order to prevent war with its use.

Nuclear weapons are weapons against war.

In order for such a barrier to work, it was necessary to ensure strategic parity in the nuclear weapons of the United States and the USSR. It was not by chance that, following the nuclear center of Los Alamos in the USA, Arzamas-16, now Sarov, appeared in the Soviet Union. And in response to the creation of a backup American nuclear center in the form of the Livermore National Laboratory (California) in the middle of the 50 of the last century, the second Soviet nuclear weapons center was founded in the Southern Urals. Now - the city of Snezhinsk in the Chelyabinsk region.

Over the years of its development, 60 has changed several official names successively, but has kept its status and main purpose unchanged: not just an understudy, a “younger brother” or a backup, safety platform for emergency cases, but a completely independent and self-sufficient research center developed design, experimental, production and testing base. And with a surprisingly solid, mobilized, talented team of theoretical physicists, experimenters, designers, technologists, and engineers.

For several decades, this city, its facilities and people working here were hidden from prying eyes by the strictest veil of secrecy. And they did not meet, they did not know in person those who were engaged in the same business in Livermore. They recognized and evaluated each other only by the results: nuclear tests and new types of weapons, which were handed over to the troops and put on alert.

At some point, the wall of alienation itself began to seem like a threat to the world, and it, on both sides, was almost completely dismantled. That historic day came when the creator of the American hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller, in the company of younger colleagues from Livermore, ended up in Snezhinsk and greeted Kuzkinu Mother in 57 megatons with his equally famous staff. And the bombs from Snezhinsk set off for a return visit overseas ...

It was just recently. And I want to believe, it did not go away, it would not go away, it would not plunge into the abyss of the second cold war spill, when they stopped hearing from each other’s banks.

Firsthand Father's lessons

According to Igor Zababakhin, the eldest of the two sons of the general and academician, "parents brought us up so that we never felt that we lived in a privileged family. When it came time to go to college, I thoroughly prepared for this. At the Physics Department of Moscow State University, where I advised I didn’t get a point to go through the contest. My father seemed to be worried, but he didn’t show his mind. I sat down at the textbooks more thoroughly and in the same summer I was able to enroll in MEPI. In September or October, when I started to study , the father seemed to have accidentally found This table turned out to be a government decree on encouraging the participants in the first (or the first, I don’t remember exactly) nuclear tests. In one of the points, along with the awards, prizes, free travel in transport for the very distinguished, it was said that children are given the right to enter any university in the country without entrance exams. The list also included the father’s last name, and showing it, he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders ...

“Once in the winter,” recalls Nikolai, the youngest of the brothers, “Igor was spinning around a soldier guarding the area on Sungul. He was about ten or twelve. It is not known how, but he fell into the wormwood and slowly began to sink. and immediately pulled him by the collar. When Igor was brought in for rubbing, Dad, without hesitation, gave the soldier his watch ...

Very disliked father dress form. Gathering at the parade - it was scary to watch and listen. But with what pleasure he wore old trousers and a shirt at home, while saying that wealthy people first gave the servants a tinker, and only then put it on themselves. "

According to Alexandra’s daughter, the father and mother loved to go hiking on the weekends, floated along the rivers and often took their children with them. “No help from my brother and me, but my parents could do everything. They cooked food on the fire, bought fish and chickens from the locals. Dad hunted. He was an avid hunter. But once he said that there were few beasts left in the forest and he personally drilled the trunk “Browning.” He knew perfectly well the forest, he could use his lenses to make a fire with his glasses, when matches were damp. In all the hikes and trips a diary was kept. The diaries were preserved ... "

By the way. "Puffs" of Sakharov and Zababakhin highly appreciated Kurchatov

Evgeny Ivanovich Zababakhin became a doctor of science on the same day as Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov. They did not prepare dissertations in the classical form, but defended themselves “by report”. Kurchatov personally initiated it - in August 1953 of the year. And not after, but during the preparation for the testing of the thermonuclear design proposed by Sakharov and called the “puff”. Yevgeny Ivanovich defended first, and the topic of his report entered the open press as “Zababakhin's puff”. Subsequently, he jokingly said that "he actively worked on his PhD thesis, received his doctoral degree without any effort, and even objected to being elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences."

Becoming the supervisor of the entire research institute, Yevgeny Ivanovich decisively refused to join the groups of authors represented at the Lenin or State Prizes. In our pragmatic time, the act of Zababakhin and the director of the institute, G. P. Lominsky, looks like a naive eccentricity: they refused to receive the monetary payments that were due to them for the rank of general, considering that the salary was sufficient for themselves to be in charge of the institute.

Direct speech. Evgeny Avrorin, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, RFNC-VNIITF Scientific Advisor (1985-1998):
- Yevgeny Ivanovich Zababakhin was one of the pioneers of our industry, one of its founders, and many scientific and technical directions for developing nuclear weapons are based on his ideas. As is well known, during the first nuclear explosion in the USSR, a nuclear charge was used, copied from an American one based on materials received from Klaus Fuchs. But already in the second test in the atomic charge, the ideas of the junior researcher Zababakhin were used.

The main direction in his scientific works is the study of the phenomena of unlimited cumulation. He discovered a new type of cumulative gas-dynamic flows, leading to the highest rates of cumulation. Such flows are carried out in periodic systems, called the Zababakhin layer, which are increasingly used in experimental practice. For a series of works on the phenomena of unlimited cumulation, the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1984 awarded him the Gold Medal named after MV Keldysh.

In my opinion, Evgeny Ivanovich was an ideal scientific leader. He had deep own scientific developments that determined many of the institute’s activities, scientific erudition and objectivity, sufficient to evaluate the proposals of others, support them and develop them in the form of new directions. In addition, he had a rare pedagogical gift, which he used not only to train young specialists, but also to educate all the employees around him, heads of sectors, his deputies.

It was very characteristic of him that when evaluating any work, especially that which was just beginning, Zababakhin demanded and achieved an extremely precise address himself. That is, he asked questions: why work is done? What can be the bottom line? and how much work will cost? Arguments like "this will be of great scientific importance" did not make any impression on him.

Evgeny Ivanovich’s life ended abruptly. On the last day he finished preparing a monograph on the phenomena of cumulation for publication, discussed with his staff the results of the year and plans for the future.

In our difficult time, his scientific and human authority is very lacking, his ability to find an unexpected approach to complex problems, his ability to find and develop their best qualities in people.

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  1. Same lech
    Same lech 21 January 2017 07: 23
    I like these trains because they can be driven into any of the tunnels on the territory of RUSSIA and it’s almost impossible to find satellite intelligence there ... real weapons.
    1. smershxnumx
      smershxnumx 21 January 2017 20: 06
      All this, fortunately, is in the past: the BZHRK and their warheads have been withdrawn from service. And the missile train itself remained as a reminder in the Museum of the Strategic Missile Forces and in the railway museum at the Warsaw Station in St. Petersburg.

      Fortunately, all this (already VERY modernized) will soon plow the expanses of our Motherland ...
    2. 73bor
      73bor 23 January 2017 16: 48
      And you don’t even need to drive into the tunnel, at any station you can’t distinguish it from ordinary cars, in places of constant deployment you can use VTZ or a grid!
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 21 January 2017 08: 51
    In our difficult time, his scientific and human authority is very lacking, his ability to find an unexpected approach to complex problems, his ability to find and develop their best qualities in people.
    ..And this is true ... Do not add, do not kill ... Thanks to the author for the article ..
  3. Rus2012
    21 January 2017 10: 54
    I first heard about this man from a half-joking story told by a participant in nuclear tests on Novaya Zemlya. They say that the Urals have brought their next "product" for a test detonation. It was in the 61st, and maybe also in the 60th - soon after the change of leadership in their "office". They laid the contraption in the prepared adit, concreted the entrances and exits, waited until it hardens, then checked it again and gave the command to detonate. And in response - no gu-gu. The witches who turned out to be nearby immediately commented: "Everything froze and did not bother ..."

    ... I've heard about this story for a long time. More precisely, I read in the memoirs of one of the "Northerners" from NovZemlya.
    As it turned out, it was only because of the new type of connector adopted for the warhead layout. The signal for the "phenomenon" did not pass. Then they returned to the old version ...

    Here -
    about it
    And two months later he unexpectedly summoned Nyrkov and his colleagues. It was then that they learned that Slavsky had a “special opinion” on the experiment.

    The most experienced specialists, on whose account there were tens and hundreds of tests, gave their conclusion: they say, the charge is scattered, there is none. But Slavsky did not agree. It seems that he, the minister, should rely on the opinion of scientists and designers, but he categorically stated: "The product did not work, at any cost find out the reason for the refusal, because similar charges are in military armament!"
    Narrated by Vladislav VERNIKOVSKIY: And then they began to look: why the refusal? They quickly discovered: there was a gap in the circuit, the connector did not dock, and because of this the command did not pass. Lord, I think, what now ?! After all, all Soviet charges had such connectors ...

    “And after your expedition, did you have to change the connectors of all the products on combat duty?” I ask.

    “Of course,” Vernikovsky answers. - Slavsky reported to the government, and there they made such a decision.
  4. Old26
    Old26 21 January 2017 16: 00
    I also heard (read) a story with an unexploded charge. That's just the time indicated was different. November 7, 1968
  5. ava09
    ava09 21 January 2017 16: 16
    (c) What these missiles were aimed at and what they could be erased into powder, we will not specify. All this, fortunately, is in the past: the BZHRK and their warheads have been withdrawn from service. (C)
    The author's "happiness", incomprehensible to me, what does it mean? That he is an American with their "values"? Or a Freudian slip?
  6. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 21 January 2017 20: 25
    Thank you for the article. It was indeed a Great Person. I didn’t know that the body of "Kuz'kina Mother" was being prepared for a 30-Mt product.
  7. Old26
    Old26 21 January 2017 22: 59
    Quote: Aviator_
    Thank you for the article. It was indeed a Great Person. I didn’t know that the body of "Kuz'kina Mother" was being prepared for a 30-Mt product.

    Not certainly in that way. In parallel, a superbomb was being prepared in KB-11 (Arzamas) and in NII-1011 (Snezhinsk). Ural residents were the first to start work. The bomb had an index of PH202. But work was continued in KB-11 and the bomb index was already AN602. Both that and another bomb had an estimated power of the order of 101,5 mt. It was decided to test it in half. The Arzamas people used the ballistic shells of the RN202 bombs taken from the Urals.
    The first case was used in the famous test AN602. The second building was used in 1962 with a charge of 20 mt.
  8. Vitalson
    Vitalson 22 January 2017 10: 32
    I think that if tsarism had not fallen, we would have neither T-34s, nor airplanes, nor nuclear weapons, and the Zababakhins, Koshkins and Korolevs with the Kalashnikovs would have died in obscurity from slave labor in some factory.
  9. Old26
    Old26 22 January 2017 12: 50
    Quote: Vitalson
    I think that if tsarism had not fallen, we would have neither T-34s, nor airplanes, nor nuclear weapons, and the Zababakhins, Koshkins and Korolevs with the Kalashnikovs would have died in obscurity from slave labor in some factory.

    You know, a couple of weeks ago I read in the newspaper "Argumenty Nedeli" an interview with Andrey Bitov, who emigrated from the USSR EMNIP in the 80s. He was asked a question about the two revolutions of 17. It is now fashionable to believe that the February Revolution was a Revolution, and the October Revolution was a coup. So, when asked which of the two revolutions became the cornerstone in the history of Russia, he answered approximately the following.
    February threw off tsarism. Oktyabrskaya - saved the country, did not let it fall into separate states, as happened in the 90s.

    And yes, it was in the USSR that such people grew up. Would there be nuclear weapons and all that? HZ, maybe it would have been, if the empire had been preserved, maybe not.
  10. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 25 January 2017 17: 37
    Quote: smerx24
    Fortunately, all this (already VERY modernized) will soon plow the expanses of our Motherland ...

    In in, and then the author somehow strangely put it, "All this, fortunately, in the past: the BZHRK and warheads for them have been removed from service."
  11. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 25 January 2017 17: 43
    Quote: Vitalson
    I think that if tsarism had not fallen, we would have neither T-34s, nor airplanes, nor nuclear weapons, and the Zababakhins, Koshkins and Korolevs with the Kalashnikovs would have died in obscurity from slave labor in some factory.

    Well, why are you like that. You can say in another way: "If it were not for the civil war, Russia would not have lost the color of the intelligentsia ..." and millions of people. In addition, all countries have gone from slave labor in the early 1900s to developed capitalism in the 2000s.