Military Review

How does the secret laser tank of the USSR

42




In 1990, the Soviet designers presented a prototype of a self-propelled laser complex (SLK) 1K17 "Compression", which after almost two years of government testing was recommended for use.

The top-secret machine (many of the technologies used in it are still under the heading of secrecy) was designed to counteract the enemy's optical-electronic devices. Its development involved employees of the NGO "Astrophysics" and the Sverdlovsk plant "Uraltransmash." The first ones were responsible for the technical stuffing, the second was faced with the task of adapting the platform of the newest for that time self-propelled guns 2С19 "Msta-S" to the impressive size of the SLK tower.

The "Compression" laser unit is multi-range - it consists of 12 optical channels, each of which has an individual guidance system. Such a design practically negates the opponent’s chances to defend against a laser attack with a filter that can block a beam of a certain frequency. That is, if the radiation was carried out from one or two channels, then the commander of an enemy helicopter or tankusing a light filter, could block the "blinding". It is almost impossible to counteract 12 rays of different wavelengths.

In addition to the "combat" optical lenses located in the upper and lower rows of the module, there are objectives of the aiming systems in the middle. On the right is the probe laser and the receiving channel of the automatic guidance system. Left - day and night riflescopes. And for work in the dark, the installation was equipped with laser illuminators, range finders.

To protect the optics during the march, the frontal part of the SLK tower was closed with armored plates.

According to Popular Mechanics, a rumor was spread about the 30-kilogram of ruby ​​crystal, which was specially grown for use in the Compression laser. In reality, 1K17 used solid-state laser with fluorescent pump lamps. They are quite compact and have proven their reliability, including on foreign installations.

The most probable working body in the Soviet SLK could be an yttrium-aluminum garnet doped with neodymium ions - the so-called YAG laser.

Generation in it occurs with a wavelength of 1064 nm - infrared radiation, in difficult weather conditions less susceptible to scattering compared to visible light.

The YAG laser in pulsed mode can develop impressive power. Due to this, on a nonlinear crystal it is possible to obtain pulses with a wavelength twice, three times, four times shorter than the original one. In this way, multiband radiation is formed.

By the way, the tower of the laser tank was significantly increased compared to the main one for the 2C19 Msta-S SAU. In addition to optoelectronic equipment, powerful generators and an autonomous auxiliary power unit for their power supply are located in the back of it. In the middle of the logging are the jobs of operators.

The rate of fire of the Soviet SLK remains unknown, since there is no information about the time required to charge capacitors that provide pulsed discharge to the lamps.

By the way, along with its main task - disabling electronic optics of the enemy - SLK 1K17 could be used for targeting and marking targets in poor visibility conditions for "its" equipment.

"Compression" was the development of two earlier versions of self-propelled laser complexes, which were developed in the USSR since the 1970-s.

So, in 1982, the first SLC 1K11 Stilette was put into service, the potential targets of which were optical-electronic equipment of tanks, self-propelled artillery installations and low-flying helicopters. After detection, the installation produced a laser sensing of the object, trying to find optical systems using glare lenses. Then SLC hit them with a powerful impulse, blinding or even burning a photocell, a photosensitive matrix or the retina of the aiming fighter's eyes. Laser pointing horizontally was carried out by turning the tower, vertically - using a system of precisely positioned large-size mirrors. The 1K11 system was based on the tracked mine landing gear chassis of the Sverdlovsk Uraltransmash. Only two cars were made - the laser part was being finalized.

A year later, the Sangwin SLC, which differs from its predecessor by a simplified target targeting system, was put into service, which had a positive effect on the weapons. However, more important innovation was the increased mobility of the laser in the vertical plane, since this SLC was designed to destroy optical-electronic systems of air targets. During the test, Sanguin demonstrated the ability to stably determine and hit the optical systems of a helicopter over a distance of more than 10 kilometers. At close distances (up to 8 kilometers), the installation completely destroyed the enemy’s sights, and at the extreme ranges blinded them for tens of minutes.

The complex was installed on the Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft chassis. A low-power probing laser and a receiving device for the guidance system were also mounted on the tower, fixing the reflections of the probe beam from the glaring object.

By the way, in 1986, the Aquilon shipborne laser complex was created at the time of the Sanguine. He had an advantage over ground SLC in power and rate of fire, since his work was provided by the power system of a warship. Aquilon was designed to disable the optical-electronic systems of the coast guard of the enemy.
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https://rg.ru/2017/10/18/kak-ustroen-sekretnyj-lazernyj-tank-sssr.html
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  1. Strashila
    Strashila 21 October 2017 08: 10 New
    +7
    If memory serves ... then in the days of the USSR, there was more than once a sensation in the West that when approaching Soviet ships, western helicopter pilots lost their sight.
  2. igordok
    igordok 21 October 2017 08: 18 New
    +5
    ... or the retina of an aiming fighter’s eye.

    According to the Convention of 10.10.1980 (Geneva) "Convention on the Prohibition or Restriction of the Use of Specific Conventional Weapons Which May Be Considered to Be Excessive Damage or Indiscriminately and Protocols to the Convention: Protocol I on Undetectable Shards, Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons and Protocol IV about blinding laser weapons "

    4 app. Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol (Protocol IV)
    Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol
    (Protocol IV)
    Article 1
    It is forbidden to use laser weapons specifically designed for use in hostilities solely or in order to cause permanent blindness to the organs of vision of a person who does not use optical devices, i.e. unprotected organs of vision or organs of vision that have devices for correcting vision. The High Contracting Parties shall not transfer such weapons to any state or any non-state entity.
    Article 2
    When using laser systems, the High Contracting Parties shall take all possible precautions to avoid cases of permanent blindness to the organs of vision of people who do not use optical devices. Such safeguards include training for the armed forces and other practical measures.
    Article 3
    The prohibition of this Protocol does not cover blinding as an accidental or collateral effect of the legitimate use of laser systems for military purposes, including the use of laser systems against optical equipment.
    Article 4
    For the purposes of this Protocol, "permanent blindness" means irreversible and irreparable loss of vision, which causes serious disability that cannot be cured. Serious disability is equivalent to a decrease in visual acuity below 20 / 200 according to Snellen's tables, measured in both eyes.

    You can’t burn out your eyes specially. But if the operator or sniper accidentally hit the beam, this is his problem
    1. polpot
      polpot 21 October 2017 13: 32 New
      +3
      Conventions are such a thing that they do not like to observe
    2. NIKNN
      NIKNN 21 October 2017 15: 39 New
      +7
      Quote: igordok
      not using optical instruments,
      reads convention
      either the retina aiming fighter
      With convention everything is OK. smile
  3. Zubr
    Zubr 21 October 2017 08: 32 New
    +4
    "How the secret laser tank of the USSR works" is said too much .. smile Normal, good review article .. smile If I am not mistaken, we have now begun resuscitation under the 1K17 program.
    1. Vita vko
      Vita vko 21 October 2017 08: 44 New
      +3
      Quote: Zubr
      have now begun resuscitation under the 1K17 program

      As far as I know, research on laser weapons did not stop even in the difficult 90s of our country.
      1. Zubr
        Zubr 21 October 2017 08: 57 New
        +2
        And who argues that? I meant exactly the program for the product 1K17.
        1. Jedi
          Jedi 21 October 2017 09: 44 New
          +6
          Quote: Zubr
          If I am not mistaken, we have now begun resuscitation under the 1K17 program.

          I just wanted to ask a question about the fate of the project. If you have any information - maybe share it or give a link? Sincerely. hi
          1. Zubr
            Zubr 21 October 2017 10: 13 New
            +3
            There is such an article from February 7 of this year. Already on a new elemental base and allegedly already being tested.

            And here is the reference
            https://topwar.ru/108743-v-rossii-vozrozhden-proe
            kt-lazernogo-kompleksa-szhatie.html
            1. Jedi
              Jedi 21 October 2017 10: 15 New
              +6
              Thank you! good drinks
              1. Zubr
                Zubr 21 October 2017 10: 18 New
                +2
                Have a good weekend... smile drinks soldier
                1. Jedi
                  Jedi 21 October 2017 10: 21 New
                  +6
                  Mutually, colleague! drinks soldier
  4. andrewkor
    andrewkor 21 October 2017 09: 12 New
    +2
    Anyone who illuminates something, himself shines to the fullest and inevitably brings back fire on himself. Not without reason the light-emitting diodes became non-illuminating.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 21 October 2017 09: 52 New
      +6
      Quote: andrewkor
      Anyone who illuminates something, himself shines in full and inevitably brings back fire on himself.

      Tormented to seek 8)))
      Imagine a nightly attack by a tank brigade at the deployment line of a subunit. Scanning lasers of the "younger brothers" PAPV shine. Control systems "Kastetov" shine. The backlight systems of active nightlights shine. The backlight systems of laser rangefinder-designators shine. Under conditions when they also shoot at you using shells and anti-aircraft missiles, and you drive through a minefield set by REF, it’s very, very intense to search for the “Compression” scanning laser
      1. Pan_hrabio
        Pan_hrabio 21 October 2017 13: 43 New
        +1
        Search for the "Compression" scanning laser


        But in my understanding, “Compression” will still attract attention as soon as it turns on combat lasers.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 21 October 2017 16: 05 New
          +2
          Quote: noviczok
          Search for the "Compression" scanning laser


          But in my understanding, “Compression” will still attract attention as soon as it turns on combat lasers.

          I'm afraid it will be just a flash, inconspicuous on the battlefield.
      2. Svateev
        Svateev 21 October 2017 18: 40 New
        0
        Quote: Spade
        Scanning lasers of the "younger brothers" PAPV shine. Control systems "Kastetov" shine. The backlight systems of active nightlights shine. The backlight systems of laser rangefinder-designators shine.

        Good thing is: we do not need to look for them. Here we take turns extinguishing them all.
        Good evening, colleague!
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 21 October 2017 21: 42 New
          +4
          Good evening.
          In fact, not everything is so rosy, PAPV and “Squeeze” disable nightlights, and with success, the eyes of the gunners are very effective. This is not to mention purely combat ATGM, anti-tank guns and guided artillery shells.
          In short, at that time it was a very effective thing. Especially when you consider the presence of “Sanguine”, which tightly blocked the ability to support the attack by helicopters, then the most common helicopter ATGM was “Tou” with an optical coordinator. Yes, and Helfaer until 1998, too, required the presence of optics for its guidance. The 114L missile with an active radar seeker only then appeared in the troops.

          Gorbachev just leaked the topic. Undeservedly fastened to a ban on a "blinding laser." As a gesture of goodwill, damn it.
          Then, however, they seemed to remember closer to the second Chechen one, because the same PAPV could also effectively fight snipers. But, apparently, the topic did not go.
          And so in the field of sniper detection, scanning laser systems are used by the French. Solid stationary on a tripod and portable, the size of a laser rangefinder. The Germans wanted to stick a "cat's eye" into the KOEP, which is now on their BMP "Puma", but subsequently refused. The Chinese seem to have put on a tank.

          Well, here we are ... They write, it’s on “Infauna”. And that’s it. Well, plus a dozen security solutions. Any kind, from portable ones the size of binoculars to stationary ones. For some reason, the army is not interested in them. "Expensive, and women still give birth to soldiers"
          1. Doliva63
            Doliva63 22 October 2017 01: 46 New
            +4
            I remember that in the PT division of SMEs in the state there were platoon sighting on BMP. I had such an internship in the 84th, then in the GSVG until the 90th I met at the training grounds. In addition to stationary (on BMP), there were also portable systems. It cannot be said that everywhere, but in the army this thing was.
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 22 October 2017 11: 02 New
              0
              Quote: Doliva63
              there were portable systems

              This is PAPV.

              In the platoon sight batteries ATGM. Including motorized rifle regiments. On the BRDM.
              Those who are on the BMP, according to rumors, were present in microscopic quantities in the troops
              1. Doliva63
                Doliva63 22 October 2017 12: 35 New
                +4
                Well, it was a long time ago that I don’t remember what PAPV was, I remember that the tactical laser complex was, like, called. He also had a name. But I wrote this to the fact that there were more and wider lasers in the SA than they usually write about it. And yes, I’ve never met at BRDM - such a paradox of probability laughing
                1. Lopatov
                  Lopatov 22 October 2017 13: 20 New
                  0
                  Quote: Doliva63
                  And yes, I’ve never met at BRDM - such a paradox of probability

                  Not "on BRDM." They were just the same. The platoon of sight on them only moved, and in service - portable PAPV
                  1. Doliva63
                    Doliva63 23 October 2017 09: 49 New
                    +4
                    Clear. Did not met. request And who were on the BMP, instead of the mask of the gun, they had such an “iron shutter”, it opened before the “shot”. And 3 more sets in the carriage were portable. Before the battalion, like, they could have stopped.
          2. Svateev
            Svateev 23 October 2017 20: 21 New
            0
            Quote: Spade
            For some reason, the army is not interested in them.

            So everything is the same: the laser beam is visible in the thermal imager
            1. Svateev
              Svateev 23 October 2017 20: 23 New
              +1
              and in modern NVD, a near-infrared laser (SWIR) is visible

              And because the laser does not have time to find the sniper, they themselves will be "found" faster.
              But in electronic warfare systems that protect against missiles, the laser is used to suppress the ECO guidance missiles.
              1. Lopatov
                Lopatov 24 October 2017 08: 01 New
                0
                Quote: Svateev
                And because the laser does not have time to find the sniper, they themselves will be "found" faster.

                There is a scanning laser, its appearance in the field of view will be completely different. Not a single beam, but a continuous flare, like the IR headlights. And look at it for a long time will not work 8)))
                1. Svateev
                  Svateev 2 November 2017 22: 46 New
                  0
                  Quote: Spade
                  Not a single beam, but a continuous flare, like the IR headlights.

                  IR light in PSO-1 looks like a small spot. No continuous flare. And the scanning laser in modern devices looks exactly the same, well, it scans for itself - the beam rushes about ...
                  And the backlight is when the sensitivity is too high, at maximum, and the device sees the scattered radiation.
                  1. Lopatov
                    Lopatov 2 November 2017 23: 16 New
                    0
                    Quote: Svateev
                    The IR light in PSO-1 looks like a small spot. No continuous flare.

                    And this is a scanning laser. And he will give a much greater flare. You can only try to see it by shooting, and then looking at the freeze frame.

                    The principle is approximately the same as on old picture tubes. Which with vertical and horizontal scanning.
                    1. Svateev
                      Svateev 11 November 2017 23: 10 New
                      0
                      Quote: Spade
                      scanning laser. And he will give a much greater flare.

                      Only at that moment when it shines directly into your lens. And when he “walked” away from you, it looks exactly the same as in my photos above. Its location is very clear, no problem aiming at it.
  5. san4es
    san4es 21 October 2017 12: 29 New
    +6
    Combat lasers of the USSR. History of creation.
    (slightly off topic hi )
  6. Bormanxnumx
    Bormanxnumx 21 October 2017 16: 31 New
    +2
    Top-secret car (many of the technologies used in it are still under the stamp of secrecy)

    People are trying to access the original drawings of armored vehicles of the 30s-40s to restore museum exhibits, saying to them: "They say such ideas are written there that we even use them now, so you can’t look at the drawings - a military secret)))))) "- and then a top-secret car)))))))
  7. papanin
    papanin 21 October 2017 19: 37 New
    +1
    Systems like 1K17 "Compression" are not currently being developed. The main disadvantages of the principle of operation of these systems are the physical limitations for the propagation of laser radiation (absorption in the atmosphere, diffraction divergence), the cost of the system, unmasking, the lack of specialists (they are, but they are already over 70). Go over the engineering vacancies of Astrophysics, Orion, Geophics and try on the salary of a phone sales manager - conclusions ...
    At the moment, in the field of laser confrontation, we have made a bet on the detection and determination of the coordinates of the laser radiation source with the determination in the automatic hazard mode. Further measures are taken ... .. depending on the available means of suppression.
    http://www.typhoon-jsc.ru/index.php/production-an
    d-services / special-purpose / mdm2e
    1. Svateev
      Svateev 23 October 2017 20: 30 New
      0
      Quote: papanin
      Go over the engineering vacancies of Astrophysics, Orion, Geophics and try on the salary of a phone sales manager - conclusions ...

      And if you look at the vacancies of scientific employees of the institutes of the Ministry of Defense, then you really want to cry ...
  8. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 21 October 2017 20: 25 New
    +1
    All this is good, but for optical pumping of a laser, not fluorescent but gas discharge lamps are used. However, "Popular Mechanics" doesn’t allow such mistakes.
  9. Catherine II
    Catherine II 21 October 2017 22: 49 New
    0
    there was still a problem with power supplies (however, there is always a problem with them)
    But with modern it was possible to increase the efficiency.
    But already painted the shortcomings and difficulties of production ...
    I am afraid it remains only to develop the theme in more affordable options ..
    1. andrewkor
      andrewkor 22 October 2017 07: 02 New
      +1
      Everything has already been invented before us: the thermal pyramids of engineer Garin!
  10. barsik92090
    barsik92090 22 October 2017 00: 49 New
    +3
    [quote = Jedi] [quote = Zubr] Just wanted to ask a question about the fate of the project. If you have any information - maybe share it or give a link? Sincerely. hi[/ Quote]
    The main thing here to deal with the court is the activities of Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the direct executor of the defeat of the Astrophysics NGO, market protege Chemodanov, during which the robbery of property, positions, salaries of employees and the transfer of secret developments to Western "delegations" for thanks and promises of "close cooperation" began.
    1. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 22 October 2017 01: 16 New
      +3
      Quote: barsik92090
      Here, the main thing to understand in court is the activities of Gorbachev, Yeltsin and

      And who is Suitcases?
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 22 October 2017 11: 07 New
      +2
      Quote: barsik92090
      and the transfer of secret developments to Western "delegations" for thanks and promises of "working closely."

      Oddly enough, it was during this period that the French suddenly sprang up with their anti-sniper system with a scanning laser. Immediately very, very perfect
  11. iouris
    iouris 22 October 2017 13: 05 New
    0
    Apparently, the word "secret" is superfluous.
  12. Falcon5555
    Falcon5555 23 October 2017 01: 55 New
    +3
    Generation in it occurs with a wavelength of 1064 nm ...

    A pulsed YAG laser can develop impressive power. Due to this, pulses with a wavelength of two, three, and four times shorter than the initial one can be obtained on a nonlinear crystal.

    How is it?
    The "Compression" laser machine is multi-band - it consists of 12 optical channels, each of which has an individual guidance system. This design virtually negates the chances of the enemy to protect against a laser attack with a light filter that can block a certain frequency beam. That is, if the radiation was carried out from one or two channels, then the commander of an enemy helicopter or tank, using a light filter, could block the "blindness". To counteract the 12 rays of different wavelengths is almost impossible.

    Let's say the first beam is 1064 nm. Second: 1064/2 = 532 nm - visible green light. Third: 1064/3 = 355 nm and the rest - ultraviolet (the last two - even conditionally beyond the x-ray border). This means that the "enemy helicopter commander" is enough to block all the ultraviolet light (with ordinary glass), and only two more lines - it seems not so difficult if you believe all this. But this is similar to RenTV.
  13. kunstkammer
    kunstkammer 25 October 2017 12: 48 New
    +1
    Quote: igordok
    irreparable vision loss, which causes severe disability that cannot be cured.

    I propose to add the following: "And also any other weapons or devices that lead to any loss of precious health are prohibited."
    Monitoring the implementation of the new agreement rests with the command of NATO and the IMF.