Military Review

Bulat and Gold: Precious Metals in Domestic Arms

46

L-112E passive homing radar for X-31 missiles (photo from Wikipedia)


In the talk about many of the most technologically advanced types of products of the military-industrial complex manufactured today, the wording often sounds: "worth its weight in gold."

At the same time, of course, we have in mind the incredible high cost of today's fighter jets, missiles or military electronic systems. Nevertheless, to some extent this statement can be taken in the literal sense: the content of precious metals in modern weapons and military equipment is becoming higher.

Once upon a time, the times passed when precious metals sometimes became an integral part of military equipment, albeit not sophisticated in its characteristics according to our current concepts, but it often turned into a true work of art by gunsmiths. It is clear that at that time they were used exclusively for decorative elements - rifles and pistols with rich ornaments, drafts and daggers with a gold notch ... All this was, of course, beautiful, but to the combat properties weapons had no relation. Since the twentieth century, such splendor has been supplanted by purely utilitarian, reliable and extremely simple products from high-strength steels and similar “mundane” metals.

In place of silver and gold came, in addition to cast iron and steel, so valuable in tank building and aviation industries titanium, beryllium, aluminum and tungsten with molybdenum. However, not so much time has passed stories weapons development, as precious metals again become a completely indispensable component. It happened, as you might guess, with the mass equipment of military equipment with electronic equipment. And here, as it turned out, without the "noble" can not do. This combination of "damask steel and gold" in a new way.

After all, they are not only expensive and beautiful metals, perfectly suitable for the manufacture of jewelry and other luxury goods. First of all, these are materials with high thermal conductivity and low resistance (gold), high electrical conductivity (silver), chemical resistance, resistance to oxidation in air, acid resistance (platinum), the ability to resist many aggressive environments and a number of other qualities indispensable in creating high-precision electronics, which also must withstand work in extreme combat conditions.

At the present time, in addition to creating any modern combat aircraft, guided missiles, electronic warfare systems, armored vehicles, where the presence of the corresponding "filling" is implied by definition, components and components created using precious metals are certainly available in mine-torpedo armaments, navigational and navigational equipment, bench, test, polygon equipment. And even in such seemingly prosaic samples of military equipment as engineering vehicles or other means of mobility of military units, they probably also exist.

Here are a couple of concrete examples.


The 83P anti-submarine missile developed for the Vodopad missile and anti-submarine complex turns out to be a real “storehouse” of precious metals. What it just doesn’t have is a hundred grams of gold, platinum and palladium in a serious amount, and silver alone is a kilogram and a half. What a luxury? But there is no luxury - to the point of location of the attacked enemy ship, this rocket was delivered using a conventional solid-fuel engine. And now, directly to the target, its warhead, which was a small-sized torpedo UGMT-1, was "selected" using an electric motor fed by a special silver-magnesium battery, which was launched when it came into contact with sea water. If you consider that the ammunition weighed seven hundred kilograms, you can imagine the necessary power and, accordingly, the dimensions of such a battery. The remaining precious metals, for the most part, were used in the system of active-passive guidance of the torpedo, which itself had to find the enemy submarine, next to which it was splashed and lay a course on it.

Generally speaking, almost the most precious metals have been used and are used in the production of electronic systems associated specifically with the Naval fleet. An example is the mobile coastal radar station of the Cape family, used to detect and track surface targets, up to the fastest and smallest. They can be used both for escorting ships, and for determining their exact coordinates and establishing affiliation with “friends” or “strangers”. Another example is the MGK-400 sonar system installed in submarines, designed, as you might guess, to detect and detect enemy targets - from surface and submarines to sea mines.

In both of these devices, the same, expensive metals were used with might and main: palladium, platinum, gold and silver. The reason is simple - in addition to extremely high requirements for the accuracy of the information issued, they are presented with no less high demands regarding reliability during operation in extremely aggressive marine environments. No oxidation, damage, or changes in the conductivity parameters are allowed - that is why most of the contacts, connecting cables, and other parts are made of "noble metals", which are only capable of providing such "super resistance".

However, progress does not stand still: today, as you know, it is far from being developed, and at the stage of practical implementation the latest equipment and equipment are no longer for pilots or rocket launchers, but for "ordinary" infantry. The domestic model of such is the well-known "Warrior". All such complexes are literally crammed with electronic systems, and, therefore, are manufactured using all the same precious metals. The Americans, according to available information, are already developing “smart” automatic rifles equipped with so thin and “advanced” electronics that almost any recruit should turn into a sniper in their hands.

With each new generation, modern military equipment is becoming more and more computerized, and therefore “gold” - after all, this metal is contained in motherboards, processors, power supplies and other nodes of “smart” devices. It is unlikely that we will ever again see serial weapons trimmed and decorated with precious metals, but this does not mean that there are none at all.
Author:
Photos used:
Wikipedia / Passive radar homing head L-112E for missiles X-31
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 22 2020 13: 51 New
    +4
    Army and weapons have always been expensive things. But the most precious thing in the army is human life ...
  2. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee April 22 2020 14: 08 New
    +4
    The Schooner transceiver (“Gateway”) only had 2,5 kg of silver and about 0,5 kg of gold in the antenna ...
  3. Altona
    Altona April 22 2020 14: 13 New
    +5
    I recall a special calculator shining with glossy gray hammer paint in the KPU corridor, it’s such a drawer with legs measuring 1,5x0,7x1,0m approximately, year 1989. On it was a plate that in this device contains 127 grams of gold (probably three 9 purities) and 359 gram of silver (I don’t know what purity except 925). And this thing was served by round screens, behind which officers sat and looked at the air situation in automatic mode. In manual mode, this is when a tablet player with a headset writes reverse numerals on the screen from plexiglass. In general, it was a computer like that.
    1. ccsr
      ccsr April 22 2020 14: 26 New
      +4
      Quote: Altona
      On it was a sign that in this device contains 127 grams of gold

      Do not forget that in the army there are orders of the Moscow Oblast to collect and return precious metals, and on the basis of this, all materials containing gold and silver were removed from the decommissioned equipment, and the rest went into scrap metal. We even collected the solutions from processing the film in containers and handed over for processing, because it was strictly forbidden to pour them into the sewers - there were too many silver salts there. For this, some money was then transferred to the unit. In my time, this was established in the army, I think that they are doing it now.
      1. Amateur
        Amateur April 22 2020 14: 57 New
        +4
        that in the army there are orders of the Ministry of Defense for the collection and delivery of precious metals,

        Not only in the army, but also in civilian life. All precious metals in the racks were specially registered in accounting. When decommissioning the equipment, it was necessary to remove all parts, separately pack them, and then, according to the act, hand them over to special collection points. Even burned microcircuits were subject to delivery.
        The headache was still that.
      2. Pessimist22
        Pessimist22 April 22 2020 15: 16 New
        +2
        I bought radio components at the beginning of the zero, now I do X-ray images legally, processed 1300 kg of film and 500 liters of fixer in the winter, took it for refining to Novosibirsk, it turned out 360 thousand rubles.
      3. Aviator_
        Aviator_ April 22 2020 16: 08 New
        -3
        For 30 years, no one has been dealing with the delivery of fixers, and the film has practically disappeared, although the matrix has not yet surpassed it in the quality of the image.
        1. ccsr
          ccsr April 22 2020 18: 09 New
          +4
          Quote: Aviator_
          For 30 years no one has been dealing with the delivery of fixers, and there’s practically no film left,

          On May 17, 2012, Russia launched its eighth reconnaissance satellite, Cobalt M.
          Cobalt M satellites weigh 6.7 tons and contain three descent vehicles for returning the film. Yes, a quarter of a century after the United States stopped using this method, Russia continues to use photographic films rather than digital photographs on some of its reconnaissance satellites.

          https://topwar.ru/14772-pochemu-rossiya-do-sih-por-ispolzuet-foto-plenku-v-svoih-razvedyvatelnyh-sputnikah.html
          1. Aviator_
            Aviator_ April 22 2020 19: 14 New
            0
            although the image quality has not yet exceeded its matrix

            That's why they use the film. The size of silver halide is 0,3-0,4 microns, the pixel size is 4 microns, or even more. And it is unlikely that silver was restored from the spent fixer after the development of these films.
            1. ccsr
              ccsr April 22 2020 19: 31 New
              +1
              Quote: Aviator_
              And it is unlikely that silver was restored from the spent fixer after the development of these films.

              I will not prove anything to you, but I know well that the spent solutions were collected in containers and then they were taken for delivery. I think that the size does not greatly affect the release of silver from the solution.
              1. Aviator_
                Aviator_ April 22 2020 20: 41 New
                +5
                You did not understand. The resolution of the film is higher than that of any modern matrix by more than 10 times, which is why it is used in such cases. This is exactly what I wanted to explain to you by comparing the sizes of elementary photosensitive elements. Yes, used solutions always always gave up. Now this is not. Now nobody even collects glass bottles and jars for the glass industry and puts them back into glass production - it is more profitable to make glass from sand again than to process battle. Such a perverse economy has established itself.
                1. ccsr
                  ccsr April 23 2020 11: 09 New
                  +2
                  Quote: Aviator_
                  This is exactly what I wanted to explain to you by comparing the sizes of elementary photosensitive elements.

                  I know this from the first tests of domestic optoelectronic intelligence tools - then on board the Diamond they showed a film, and only then it was scanned and transmitted electronically via a radio channel. I even received an award from the industry for participating in these tests.
                  Quote: Aviator_
                  Now this is not.

                  If the “Cobalt” is launched, then apparently the solutions are handed over - I think so. Although of course this is the technology of the last century, and now drones have seriously pressed satellite reconnaissance due to the low cost in the operational link.
                  1. Aviator_
                    Aviator_ April 23 2020 11: 11 New
                    0
                    I would like to believe that the spent fixer is not thrown out, but, given the number of these solutions, it is hard to believe.
                    1. Aag
                      Aag April 24 2020 11: 06 New
                      +2
                      In childhood, in a fixer, the baubles were silver, and the girls had copper rings)).
                2. gaudin
                  gaudin April 23 2020 19: 12 New
                  +1
                  it is more profitable to do glass again from sand than to recycle the battle.
                  Not profitable, saving on battle is 30% or more on energy resources. Glass melting is an energy-intensive production.
                  Now even nobody collects glass bottles and jars for the glass industry
                  This is due to logistics, in many countries glass is collected.
                  1. Aviator_
                    Aviator_ April 23 2020 19: 16 New
                    0
                    Not profitable, saving on battle is 30% or more on energy resources. Glass melting is an energy-intensive production.

                    That's what I'm talking about. To clean the sand and melt it into glass is a very expensive procedure. In the USSR, even bottles and cans were collected. True, they didn’t take a substandard for some reason.
  4. Thrifty
    Thrifty April 22 2020 14: 57 New
    +1
    So, while it is impossible to replace precious metals with something else, precisely because of the properties of metals! They tried to create a whole family of plastics, including high-temperature ones, and created some samples. But, at a price they come out an order of magnitude more expensive than the same high-temperature relays, and their operation time is half as much! Therefore, gold and silver, like platinum, osmium and palladium at this level, have no replacement technology.
  5. Pvi1206
    Pvi1206 April 22 2020 15: 16 New
    +3
    money is beneficial when you spend it ...
    and precious metals - when you use them for the good of the country ...
  6. gridasov
    gridasov April 22 2020 15: 17 New
    -3
    Obviously, the time will not come soon when the so-called scientists will understand that the physical properties of many substances can be changed by changing their level of magnetization, which determine both electrical conductivity and resistance as various kinds of external influences. This topic has been raised more than once. Therefore, it is useless
  7. Horst78
    Horst78 April 22 2020 15: 45 New
    +1
    And so during the collapse of the USSR, almost all torpedoes were dismantled into precious metals (and many other things besides torpedoes) and now they will begin to disassemble it (exercises, lost, fire, etc. from the list) :-( I hope not, but net is blocked on the acceptance of "scrap military equipment)
    1. nikvic46
      nikvic46 April 22 2020 20: 13 New
      +1
      Glory: Why talk about military equipment when, in the 90s, old electrical cabinets were hacked, parts were brought to the market.
  8. dgonni
    dgonni April 22 2020 15: 59 New
    +2
    I remember in the late eighties and early nineties, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, from nothing to do, they calculated how much gold is in one rack in reference books. Something about 9,5 kg came out. So our missile defense is strong like no other.
  9. Podvodnik
    Podvodnik April 22 2020 16: 39 New
    +5
    anti-submarine missile 83P


    Shot such a contraption. Before the event I look, the miner reads the form. Come on, let’s take a look .... Yo-mayo. There in the dashboard there are only a few dozen kilos of silver! They remembered the value on the exchange, multiplied. Bottom line: a mansion flies out from under the water at least two floors, flies as many kilometers as planned. and "stupidly drowning." And this is only for the "scrap" of silver. And if you add everything else? The product is decent money.

    PS: its torpedo worked as it should (acoustics observed). And then "she drowned" (c)
    1. Nyrobsky
      Nyrobsky April 22 2020 17: 26 New
      +4
      No, the two-story mansion does not pull. winked Today, at the official rate of a gram of silver 36 rubles 93 kopecks. A kilogram, respectively, 36930 rubles. Centner 3693000 rub. hi
      1. ANB
        ANB April 22 2020 21: 24 New
        +3
        The battery 260 has three quintals of silver. In practice, 2503 are the same.
        1. Nyrobsky
          Nyrobsky April 22 2020 22: 18 New
          +2
          Quote: ANB
          The battery 260 has three quintals of silver. In practice, 2503 are the same.
          If these torpedoes to the Americans fly on board and then figs with him, with this silver. For such a thing, do not mind yes
          1. Fizik M
            Fizik M April 23 2020 00: 34 New
            +2
            Quote: Nyrobsky
            If these torpedoes to the Americans fly on board and then figs with him, with this silver. For such a thing, do not mind

            combat on 2503 COPPER-MAGNESIUM
            silver was not enough, had to be changed to copper
            shitty replacement came out ...
          2. ANB
            ANB April 23 2020 01: 00 New
            0
            This is me only for statistics.
            In combat 2503, by the way, it is no longer silver-zinc, but disposable copper-magnesium. Dry-charged, activated by sea water. Is still used 260 I do not know. So also save, if that :)
            By the way, practical torpedoes should not sink. They are caught, recharged and reused. Drowning practice is a serious jamb.
    2. Fizik M
      Fizik M April 23 2020 00: 33 New
      +1
      Quote: Podvodnik
      its torpedo worked as it should (acoustics watched).

      ie recorder capsule no one jerked up ...
      1. ANB
        ANB April 23 2020 01: 02 New
        -1
        Yes, this is strange. Arsenal and torpedoes for such tricks were supposed to rake. And the crew is usually unsuccessful for shooting.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin April 23 2020 01: 56 New
          0
          And for what the crew? They do not seem to participate in the preparation? Not their cant.
          1. Fizik M
            Fizik M April 23 2020 03: 01 New
            +1
            Quote: garri-lin
            And for what the crew? They do not seem to participate in the preparation? Not their cant.

            organizers
            without an airplane or a helicopter, the capsule can only be found "not according to the regular documents", but since it was done at the Feodossky training ground: after the end of the torpedo’s time, stop the stroke (+ reverse the inertia) and smoothly float the bubble into the middle group
            - in this case, the registrar with the "bubble" floats nearby and it is immediately detected
          2. ANB
            ANB April 23 2020 08: 45 New
            -1
            And to the heap. Look below specified that the three.
        2. Fizik M
          Fizik M April 23 2020 03: 12 New
          0
          Quote: ANB
          And the crew is usually unsuccessful for shooting.

          generally three for the firing rate
          Quote: ANB
          Arsenal and torpedoes for such tricks

          nothing to do with the arsenal, and most likely torpedoes too (questions to the head of the combat exercise)
          1. ANB
            ANB April 23 2020 08: 51 New
            0
            In case of drowning, as a rule, the main reason is improper preparation.
            If there were no attempts to search, then the torpedoes are to blame.
            But, since it is no longer possible to objectively investigate the cause of drowning, everyone is punished.
            “Now I’ll figure it out properly. And I will punish anyone horrible” :)
            1. Aag
              Aag April 24 2020 11: 32 New
              0
              I don’t remember exactly, it was necessary to ask the quartermasters, lawyers, there was a material liability for employees for loss, damage to property in a multiple amount. The largest frequency ratio was applied to optical devices, systems. Most often this case came across because of sheepskin coats, mehavuh ...
          2. Podvodnik
            Podvodnik April 23 2020 23: 02 New
            +1
            nothing to do with the arsenal, and most likely torpedoes too (questions to the head of the combat exercise)


            And what, can a capsule and air bags stand on UMGT-1? I have not heard about this. Practical USET-80 was fired. Acoustics tracked the progress of the torpedo and the acoustic beacon after its emergence. Searched along with torpedo. Starp, as I recall, he noticed through the periscope. Given on the bearing / distance. But this is with USETka. And what would happen with the UMGT .... A missile was fired at a remote control target at a given minimum distance. I don’t remember caring for torpedoes, for a long time it was ....
  10. Magistr
    Magistr April 22 2020 16: 50 New
    -2
    My uncle, the deceased, worked as a driver in the military unit during the Soviet era (by a water carrier), and so he had a shed in the courtyard full of different radio components ... I was wondering why he got this junk .. Now I understand! My aunt recently handed it over to scrap (100 thousand), I think she was deceived once every 10-20. Well, here I need a special to understand this whole heap ..
  11. Undecim
    Undecim April 22 2020 18: 53 New
    +2
    About 320 tons of gold and 7500 tons of silver are used annually in the world in the production of electronics alone.
  12. Motorist
    Motorist April 22 2020 21: 14 New
    +2
    low resistance (gold), high electrical conductivity (silver)

    I always thought that electrical conductivity (conductivity) is inversely proportional to resistance, i.e., in principle, low resistance is high conductivity. And here, you see, for precious metals this is not the same thing ... request
    Correct, electromechanics, if I am mistaken!
    1. KVIRTU
      KVIRTU April 30 2020 23: 22 New
      +1
      That's right, of course. And on the topic, at one time he was the head of ACS 86Zh6, 1991 onwards, this is RTV, for 2 trailers more than 2 kg of gold, mainly in circuits of the 133 series.
  13. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 April 22 2020 23: 23 New
    +1
    Weapons, especially those that are spent as ammunition, should always be ready for a “shot” as a cartridge for a rifle, regardless of the complexity of the filling and the shelf life, which, in a couple, is measured for decades, that is, the ammunition taken from the warehouse should be ready for instant application just like just made.
  14. Fizik M
    Fizik M April 23 2020 00: 30 New
    +2
    it doesn’t even draw on a weak article, rather opus .
    the key issue of the widespread use of precious metals, primarily in contacts, is the impact of external factors, and where this question first came up “edge” is space, aviation and air defense equipment
    with marine conditions and simpler and more complicated

    and as for the “Waterfall”, the author of “a bit wrong”, “quite a bit” - by 2 (two) ORDERS
    for silver there is more than 90kg

    PS in general, before "singing" you need to know at least a little
  15. Genie
    Genie April 25 2020 09: 05 New
    0
    In his youth he was fond of aircraft modeling. The military threw us all sorts of things. Silver-zinc batteries, platinum-iridium wire, carbon fabric. And these were the distant 70s.
    1. Genie
      Genie April 25 2020 09: 07 New
      0
      Each battery was labeled with silver content. SC-12, if not mistaken, about 65 gr. contained silver.