Military Review

The mysteries of the space gun. Artillery installation "Shield-1"

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In the past, the development of the rocket and space industry was directly related to military projects. Considering the threats of the future, superpowers seriously prepared to fight in orbits, and even created a special weapon for this. In the mid-seventies, the USSR launched the Almaz military space station into orbit, on board of which was the Shield-1 artillery mount - the first and only one of its kind.



Reconstruction of the system "Shield-1" / Р-23М


Secret Project


According to known data, weapons for the space station were developed back in the early seventies and tested in 1974-75. However, for a long time after this, the Diamond and Shield-1 projects remained secret. Later, in the nineties, separate information began to appear, but they allowed us to draw up only the most general picture.

To date, new information has appeared. Moreover, even a prototype (or layout) of an artillery mount was shown. However, the available data is still not complete, and sometimes contradict each other. Nevertheless, open information already allows us to present the goals, progress and results of the project.

It is known that the Shield-1 product was developed at OKB-16 (now Design Bureau Tochmash) under the guidance of A.E. Nudelman. The aim of the project was to create a special artillery mount suitable for use on spacecraft.

The mysteries of the space gun. Artillery installation "Shield-1"


At that time, new military spacecraft were being created, and the customer was seriously afraid of opposition from a likely enemy. Using his spacecraft, the enemy could disable or damage Soviet satellites or orbital stations. To protect against such a threat, it was proposed to use certain weapons. First of all, the idea of ​​installing an automatic small-caliber gun was worked out. Then it was proposed to create a self-defense rocket system.

Lack of information


For a long time, only the fact of creating a gun for the spacecraft was known. It was also known that this system had an 23 mm caliber and was based on one of the existing guns. This means that as part of the Shield-1, HP-23 or P-23 products developed by OKB-16 could be used.

In October 2015, the Zvezda television channel made a great gift to all lovers of space technology and artillery. In the next issue of the Military Acceptance program, for the first time they showed an experimental (or prototype) model of the artillery system for the Almaz series spacecraft. In addition, the transmission revealed some design details.


Space Cannon from Tochmash Design Bureau


However, the surprise from Military Acceptance was mixed. The program answered some questions, but left new ones. Announced information about the name, ammunition, design, etc. did not match the known data on domestic weapons. At the same time, the available amount of information on the topic has seriously replenished.

Riddles from the "Star"


In the television program, the space gun was designated as R-23M "Kartech". However, in the available literature under this name appears modification aviation R-23 guns for a special shot with ready-to-use striking elements - buckshot. However, in the case of the television program, the name of the product seems to have been obtained directly from the development company.

The declared characteristics of the space system are curious. The television program stated that it had a caliber of 14,5 mm and showed a rate of 5000 rds / min. All this does not at all resemble the characteristics of the P-23, if it was not a matter of deep modernization.

Together with the cannon launcher, they showed ammunition tapes. It was claimed that for the space gun a unitary telescopic cartridge was created with a fully recessed shell, according to the type of product 23X260 mm for the P-23 gun. However, the cartridges shown were noticeably smaller than the 23-mm rounds. At the same time, they were clearly intended for the demonstrated gun, as evidenced by the dimensions of the cartridge box and the supply path.


Gun on frame, cartridge case removed


The product description in the TV show raises questions, but the demonstration of the real product is commendable and grateful. Prior to the Military Acceptance, the exact appearance of space weapons remained unknown.

Product from the screen


Consider the installation shown by the "Star", as a whole, and its individual components. Fortunately, the proposed Shield-1 product was shown in a fully assembled and partially disassembled state, which allows a better study of it.

The artillery installation includes several main components. This is actually an automatic gun, a frame for its installation and means for working with ammunition. The installation layout is interesting. A frame with a gun is placed at the bottom, and on top of them a box of complex shape is installed, containing a cartridge belt. A sleeve is removed from the side of the box supplying the tape to the weapon. On the left side of the gun provides a rigid semicircular guide for the tape. On the right is a pipe for ejecting cartridges forward.


Gun Cartridge Tape


Recall, the basic P-23 was an automatic revolver gun with three movable chamber. The rotating cartridge chamber was located at the rear of the receiver, and the tape receiver was placed above the breech of the barrel. In automation, a system of three gas engines operating in series was used. Special telescopic ammunition was fed into the chamber by a shift back; the sleeve was thrown forward. Ignition was carried out using electric trigger. A special scheme made it possible to reduce the dimensions and mass of the gun while obtaining high combat characteristics.

Apparently, the museum space gun really had a caliber 14,5 mm. In this case, in essence, it was a large-caliber machine gun made on the basis of the P-23 gun. The main design decisions were saved, but the product was scaled to the caliber 14,5 mm - and at the same time they created a telescopic cartridge similar to the existing 23x260 mm. A similar design could really show a rate of fire at the level of 5 thousand rds / min.

According to well-known data, the Shield-1 gun installation was to be rigidly mounted on a carrier spacecraft. Guiding weapons was carried out by maneuvering and turning the entire ship. It was proposed to compensate for the return of weapons with shunting engines. Management was carried out using a separate remote control at the central post of the carrier ship.

Gun in orbit


The Shield-1 product was intended for the Almaz station. The only prototype of such an installation was mounted at the Almaz-2 station, also known as Salyut-3. The launch of this station took place on 26 on June 1974. A few days later, the Soyuz spacecraft with the crew of P.R. Popovich and Yu.P. Artyukhina.


Cartridges of a special design, cannons of shells with bullets are visible


For a number of reasons, the gun mount was not tested with the crew. Shooting was carried out only on 25 of January 1975 - and immediately before the Salyut-3 arch from orbit. Already after the issuance of the brake impulse, the unit, on command from the Earth, fired several shots. Over the next few minutes, the prototype burned in dense atmospheric layers along with the carrier.

Unarmed space


The first and last tests of the Shield-1 installation took place in 1975. This development was not further developed. By this time, the Shield-2 project had been launched, the purpose of which was to create a self-defense system based on the space-to-space guided missile. As far as we know, this complex was not brought to real tests.

Over time, the military revised their plans for the use of outer space and, among other things, abandoned the armament of the spacecraft. Further work on guns or missiles for satellites and stations was canceled. As a result of this, the Shield-1 / P-23M / Kartech installation remained one of a kind. To date, there are no weapons in orbit. Even pistols are excluded from the NAZ astronauts.

Almost 45 years have passed since the first and last tests of the space gun. Still complete and accurate история The Shield-1 project is not freely available, which is why it has to be collected bit by bit, evaluating various data and filtering out some of them. It is hoped that in the future, the domestic space and rocket and artillery industries will nevertheless talk about one of the most noteworthy projects and answer the remaining questions. The Shield-1 project and other bold developments are too interesting and important for history to remain oblivious.
Author:
Photos used:
Russianspaceweb.com, m / v "Military Acceptance", m / v "Star"
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  1. Klingon
    Klingon 3 November 2019 06: 08
    +5
    it's time to reanimate the project, maybe. the enemy is not asleep, who knows what kind of * payload * drags an X-37B with him, for example
    1. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 3 November 2019 06: 27
      +5
      Using his spacecraft, the enemy could disable or damage Soviet satellites or orbital stations.

      Quote: Klingon
      who knows what kind of * payload * drags an X-37B with itself, for example

      Turn space into a polygon? But on the other hand, the appointment of the X-37V does raise a lot of questions. And space is such an area where full control is quite difficult. What to do here? act on the basis of international moral principles? But what is this morality we have convinced more than once. And if various dirty tricks are being prepared for us on Earth, then there - in space, we must be prepared for everything.
      It is time to restore the project of our own space station, so as not to be unwanted guests at someone else's Sabantui.
      1. smart ass
        smart ass 3 November 2019 11: 42
        +7
        How does morality and international law work, you can ask the Serbs, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians
      2. Chaldon48
        Chaldon48 3 November 2019 15: 12
        +1
        Yes, it would not be bad to have your own station, with its help, flights to the Moon would be easier.
      3. Chit
        Chit 3 November 2019 18: 04
        -2
        Restoring it, of course, is not harmful ...
        Is money good for this?
        For some reason, only the Crimean aphorism of Dmitry Anatolyevich, already cast in granite, comes to mind.
  2. Alf
    Alf 3 November 2019 07: 46
    +11
    However, the surprise from Military Acceptance was mixed. The program answered some questions, but left new ones. Announced information about the name, ammunition, design, etc. did not match the known data on domestic weapons.

    VP generally cannot be watched without a mat. The host is constantly yelling, choking on words, supplying information in pieces and without a system.
    1. Pike
      Pike 3 November 2019 09: 38
      +5
      Aggressive feed marker modern gear
      1. AUL
        AUL 3 November 2019 11: 10
        +6
        Especially countless talk shows where everyone yells. Who has a wider throat - he is right!
  3. Tibul
    Tibul 3 November 2019 08: 35
    +1
    In the early 70s, there was a desire to install a laser cannon on Diamond, but at that time there was still no development on this type of weapon, especially since it requires a lot of energy and large sizes. It seems to me that the author is a little wrong, it was not from the Earth that the shot command was in automatic mode, and the astronauts P. Popovich and Yu. Artyukhin fired a shot. And the fact that different information is everywhere is the machinations of enemies who want to rewrite history, but there are many. Americans openly say and write “the winner writes the story”, well, let them write for themselves, for internal use. And here is our “Diamond Group” they want to forget:
    1. Mityay65
      Mityay65 3 November 2019 15: 18
      +2
      Quote: Tibul
      I think the author is a little wrong

      A colleague, can you share a link about this?
      I also heard such things in the deaf years that the astronauts experienced.
      And the gun de, showed itself well ...
      But at least kill, I don’t remember where, from whom I didn’t dream about it ...
      1. Tibul
        Tibul 3 November 2019 18: 07
        +2
        Now I can’t remember exactly, and I don’t trust all the resources, including Wikipedia. But with materials about space, much less Diamond, I follow. Rather, it is something like nostalgia, because I served in Baikonur just at the Proton launch site and Diamond went with me (Salyut-2). Most likely, the information was in an article dedicated to the greatest designer Chelomei, this is his brainchild. In addition, a unique telescope with a 2-meter lens stood on the Diamonds, with the help of which it was possible to see even the side numbers of at least airplanes, even though the cars were really standing. When you overlay a digital video image, you get unsurpassed quality.
        It’s a pity in my komenta after the colon the photo “Diamond group” which I loaded did not appear.
  4. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 3 November 2019 09: 54
    +2
    All this talk about "non-militarized" space-nonsense, designed for downs like Greta Tumberg. Wherever there is a person, there will be weapons. Will be in space too. Look, on this topic, an interesting series "Space \ Expansion" https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/prostranstvo-2015-805092/
    1. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 3 November 2019 12: 04
      0
      Quote: Monster_Fat
      All this talk about "non-militarized" space-nonsense, designed for downs like Greta Tumberg. Wherever there is a man, there will be weapons.

      I understand your grotesque, but I can remind you that weapons are not required in the manufacture of microcircuits ... Or the surgeon who performs the operation. It is not required in a coal mine. I didn’t hear that someone took an automatic machine to extinguish fires, to a livestock farm ...
      To destroy a person, it’s not necessary to climb into space - in the world there are enough ways to kill him, the most dangerous one when the degradation of brain activity begins - outwardly, a person is still like a rational creature, but inside he is already an animal,
      worse, a virus.
      1. Mityay65
        Mityay65 3 November 2019 15: 37
        +1
        Quote: ROSS 42
        To destroy a person does not have to climb into space

        You consider the war as some kind of barbaric-primitive action to destroy a person, in the spirit of the primitivism of modern pacifists or strategists of World War II or Vietnam.
        Modern war does not mean at all the destruction of man. It is enough to destroy the communication lines, communications, monitoring and control systems, bring life support systems, transport and the banking system to chaos. Destroy satellite navigation systems. Leave the adversary without eyes, orientation and warning systems, make him deaf and stupid ...
        For victory in World War III, mass destruction of the population or troops will not be needed - this is barbarism and crime in general.
        1. ccsr
          ccsr 3 November 2019 17: 54
          +1
          Quote: Mityai65
          For victory in World War III, mass destruction of the population or troops will not be needed - this is barbarism and crime in general.

          But neo-Malthusianism interprets the problem of overpopulation of the planet in a completely different way, and does not even exclude that extra mouths may die during wars. So what about "barbarism" you got excited - it just began to look more "civilized", but the essence has not changed, and the ultimate goal is still to remove from the planet the population that is excessive in their views.
          1. Karen
            Karen 3 November 2019 18: 04
            0
            Quote: ccsr
            So what about "barbarism" you got excited - it just began to look more "civilized", but the essence has not changed, and the ultimate goal is still to remove from the planet the population that is excessive in their views.

            He wrote earlier: Americans in many countries pay sterilization of women with their pills ... In Armenia, for a long time ...
      2. Vol4ara
        Vol4ara 3 November 2019 16: 35
        0
        Quote: ROSS 42
        Quote: Monster_Fat
        All this talk about "non-militarized" space-nonsense, designed for downs like Greta Tumberg. Wherever there is a man, there will be weapons.

        I understand your grotesque, but I can remind you that weapons are not required in the manufacture of microcircuits ... Or the surgeon who performs the operation. It is not required in a coal mine. I didn’t hear that someone took an automatic machine to extinguish fires, to a livestock farm ...
        To destroy a person, it’s not necessary to climb into space - in the world there are enough ways to kill him, the most dangerous one when the degradation of brain activity begins - outwardly, a person is still like a rational creature, but inside he is already an animal,
        worse, a virus.

        It is required, in all the areas you have listed, weapons are required and some of these areas are directly related to the production of weapons. Otherwise, you will be allocated a place in the landfill of history, and instead of the production of microcircuits, you will be engaged in their disposal
  5. ccsr
    ccsr 3 November 2019 11: 37
    +2
    Author:
    Ryabov Kirill writes
    The first and last tests of the Shield-1 installation took place in 1975. This development has not received further development.

    It is natural to drag an extra load into orbit, and even spend the station’s working body on correcting the orbit after such a firing would be completely stupid.
    By this time, the Shield-2 project had been launched, the purpose of which was to create a self-defense system based on the space-to-space guided missile.

    It was a truly workable system, the most optimal for the space station in order to protect it.
    As far as we know, this complex was not brought to real tests.

    Naturally, they did not finish it, because they curtailed the entire Almaz program due to its futility in the military version. The refusal is primarily due to the fact that unmanned reconnaissance satellites turned out to be much cheaper and more efficient in terms of operating and upgrading reconnaissance equipment during the production of the series.
    Further work on guns or missiles for satellites and stations was canceled.

    So it’s cheaper and more reliable to undermine the entire unmanned satellite - and the enemy will suffer, and they won’t recognize any of our secrets. That's why all this has been curtailed and is unlikely to be taken up again in the foreseeable future - the game is not worth the candle.
    1. Mityay65
      Mityay65 3 November 2019 16: 08
      0
      Quote: ccsr
      to drag excess cargo into orbit, and even spend the station’s working body on correcting the orbit after such firing would be completely stupid

      No. For the short-range defense of the spacecraft (up to 30-40 km in range), you will need several space-to-space guided missiles with GOS with cryogenic cooling of the matrix, probably radar, computers for high-speed ballistic calculations in real time (this is more complicated than ballistic missiles) orbit correction system, explosive supply, etc. All this is dead weight, significantly exceeding the weight of the fuel, which will be needed for correction after a shot, given the large difference in mass of the objects.
      I also ask you to take into account that the shelf life of rockets and GOS is limited in space flight conditions (temperature difference up to 180 degrees).
      The gun has a response time to open fire instantly after detecting a target. The space-to-space rocket has been put into combat condition for at least 10 minutes. For interception conditions in space, this is critical.
      The rocket must be constantly supplied with energy and heat removed or heated. She even in sleep mode consumes spacecraft resources.
      The satellite interceptor will carry out evasion maneuvers and launch anti-missile missiles. But against the fire of the gun he is powerless.
      Conclusion: for short-range defense of a spacecraft, a gun is better than space-to-space missiles.

      Quote: ccsr
      cheaper and more reliable to undermine the entire unmanned satellite

      Is it that you are scattered by treasured companions?
      So you can’t get enough of GLONASS for you ... How can a satellite be undermined if it ceases to fulfill its target function? Then the goal of the adversary is achieved ...
      1. ccsr
        ccsr 3 November 2019 17: 49
        +2
        Quote: Mityai65
        No. For short-range defense of the spacecraft (up to 30-40 km in range)

        From this distance you will never get into a space object from a cannon, and a rocket is unlikely to help - these systems were provided only for close combat, and even then with great restrictions on the orbits and speeds of movement of the target and the station itself.
        Quote: Mityai65
        I also ask you to take into account that the shelf life of rockets and GOS is limited in space flight conditions (temperature difference up to 180 degrees).

        In general, they could be built into the station building and put into combat position on command.
        Quote: Mityai65
        The satellite interceptor will carry out evasion maneuvers and launch anti-missile missiles.

        Why complicate things - it is much easier to arrange an explosion near the station, and it will fail.
        Quote: Mityai65
        But against the fire of the gun he is powerless.

        This is all a chimera, that's why they refused it.
        Quote: Mityai65
        Is it that you are scattered by treasured companions?

        If there was a threat of capture of our satellite, then nothing else remains to be done to avoid this, and for this there was an explosive in the satellites. But as far as I understand, the Americans themselves considered such an undertaking very dangerous, and therefore all these "star wars" passed into the electronic warfare phase.
        Quote: Mityai65
        Then the goal of the adversary is achieved ...

        So for them this operation is expensive, and it is still unknown what it will cost them, given the advent of new space debris, which could damage their expensive satellites.
  6. xomaNN
    xomaNN 3 November 2019 12: 18
    +1
    Our space armored train must be on the siding! And now too am
  7. Old26
    Old26 3 November 2019 13: 42
    0
    Well, what was shown by "Zvezda" in the program "Military Acceptance" is not a fact that it was the last option. What was known in the 70s was that there was a Nudelman cannon. And the cannon, according to the GRAU designation system, is a weapon of caliber from 20 mm and above.

    To date, there are no weapons in orbit. Even pistols are excluded from the NAZ astronauts.

    Gunshot - yes. But the knife and the main machete is laughing
    1. Mityay65
      Mityay65 3 November 2019 16: 14
      +1
      Quote: Old26
      the main machete is

      I think there are handcuffs for zagashniks. Disposable plastic ...
      P / S I do not understand why there is a machete, but probably it is necessary. For a fight in zero gravity, something stabbing rather than chopping is better .. brr ...
  8. Old26
    Old26 3 November 2019 19: 26
    0
    Quote: Mityai65
    Quote: Old26
    the main machete is

    I think there are handcuffs for zagashniks. Disposable plastic ...
    P / S I do not understand why there is a machete, but probably it is necessary. For a fight in zero gravity, something stabbing rather than chopping is better .. brr ...

    It was originally a machete as an alternative to an ax. Then this machete became a butt. Now again, as an alternative to an ax. Although at one time they were going to replace this triangular machete and a folding knife with other
  9. sergo1914
    sergo1914 3 November 2019 22: 48
    0
    The astronauts "researchers" were shooting. As a rule, fighter pilots. Who cares - look at the biographies of the "researchers" of those years. But they shot well. School-s.
  10. Paul Siebert
    Paul Siebert 4 November 2019 11: 02
    +2
    The level of engineering training of Soviet designers is amazing! Forty-five years ago, create what is considered science fiction today!
    And not on paper, but in metal! And put into orbit! The current generation of lawyers and economists - managers nervously smokes on the sidelines.
    The level of modern engineering dedication and education needs to be raised. From the "guessing" of the exam - to the stars!
  11. Hazarov
    Hazarov 3 December 2019 11: 49
    0
    Mdya To test the law of universal gravitation, they launched a cannon into orbit and mocked it! Dear igrulya! And what was the name of the idiot who demanded such a fool?
    1. shinobi
      shinobi 6 January 2020 08: 51
      0
      Normal means on fighter jets, but not on spacecraft? Not a bit like a punch? And such stations are essentially a space fighter.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  12. shinobi
    shinobi 6 January 2020 08: 47
    0
    In essence, an automatic shotgun with mechanics on a short barrel stroke. This mechanic is compact in itself, like the MG-43 or KPV, and allows you to play with a rate of fire over a wide range.
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. The comment was deleted.