First, these are the biographies and achievements of two Russian fathers of modular arithmetic, who in the USSR picked up the scientific torch lit by Antonin Svoboda - I. Ya. Akushsky and D. I. Yuditsky.
Secondly, this is the story of the modular missile defense supercomputers, which were created for the famous A-35 anti-missile system, but did not go into production (we will try to answer why this happened and what came to replace them).
Thirdly, this is the history of victories and defeats of General Designer of missile defense GV Kisunko - a great personality and, as expected, tragic.
Finally, analyzing the topic of missile defense machines, one cannot fail to mention Kartsev, an absolutely brilliant person, whose developments in daring surpassed even the legendary Cray machines of Seymour Cray, called The Father of Supercomputing in the West. And, of course, the topic of the younger sister of missile defense - air defense will come up along the way, too, you can't do without it. Of course, a lot has been said and written about air defense in our country, the author can hardly add anything to authoritative sources, so we will touch on this topic only in the minimum necessary volume.
Let's start directly with the formulation of the problem - how the first work in the field of anti-missile defense was initiated weaponswho is Grigory Vasilyevich Kisunko and what role did typical squabbles and showdowns of Soviet ministries play in the development of the famous systems A, A-35 and A-135.
The history of air defense / missile defense dates back to 1947, when there was no talk of nuclear ICBMs and their interception, the question was how to protect Soviet cities from repeating the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (note, by the way, that the tasks of the air defense in our country were solved quite successfully). That year SB-1 was formed (later KB-1, even later - NPO Almaz named after AA Raspletin).
The initiator of the creation was the almighty Beria, the design bureau was organized specifically for the graduation project of his son, Sergei Lavrentievich. A lot has been written and said about the personality of Beria Sr., we note only the fact that, in parallel with his main activity of catching enemies of the people, he was keenly interested in the latest achievements of military technology - from a nuclear bomb to radars and jet engines and oversaw and promoted a huge number of advanced developments ( although in a peculiar manner peculiar to him, let us recall the famous TsKB-29 and OKB-16).
His son graduated from the Leningrad Academy of Communications named after S.M.Budyonny in 1947 and developed a guided projectile aircraft launched against large sea targets (a kind of transitional link between the V-1 and modern anti-ship missiles). The head of KB-1 was P. N. Kuksenko, the head of the diploma project. The Kometa system became the first example of Soviet guided missile weapons.
Note that Sergei was a talented and pleasant young man, by no means a fan of opening doors with the horrifying name of his father, and many who worked with him have the warmest memories of this period. Even Kisunko (about whose harshness and intolerance towards all sorts of idiots endowed with power and about what it cost him in the end, we will talk later) spoke very positively about Sergei.
Kisunko himself was a man of difficult fate (although, having read the biographies of domestic designers, you are no longer surprised by this). As humbly stated on Wikipedia, he
in 1934 he graduated from nine classes of school, for family reasons left his studies and went to the city of Lugansk. There he entered the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the Pedagogical Institute, from which he graduated in 1938 with honors with a degree in physics.
Family circumstances consisted in the fact that his father Vasily was recognized as a fist and another enemy of the people and was executed in 1938 (as we remember, this story was also repeated by the parents of Rameev, Matyukhin, and not only them, well, the Soviet designers were unlucky for relatives, completely traitors and pests), however, Grigory Vasilyevich turned out to be a guy who did not miss and forged a certificate of social origin, which allowed him (unlike Rameev) to enter a higher school.
Unfortunately, he ended up in graduate school in Leningrad, right before the war, volunteered, enrolled in the Air Defense Forces, survived, rose to the rank of lieutenant, and in 1944 was appointed a teacher at the very Leningrad Academy of Communications. He got along well with the students, and when the very KB-1 was organized, Sergei lured several of his classmates and his beloved teacher into it. So Kisunko began to develop guided missiles, in particular, he worked on the S-25 and S-75.
A letter to seven marshals
In September 1953, after the arrest of Beria and the removal of his son from all work, the famous "letter of seven marshals" was sent to the Central Committee of the CPSU, which was discussed in the scientific and technical committee of TSU. In a letter signed by Zhukov, Konev, Vasilevsky, Nedelin and other heroes of the war, a fair fear was expressed about the development of the latest ballistic weapons and a request was made to start developing measures to counter it.
As Boris Malashevich wrote (Malashevich B. M. Essays on the history of Russian electronics. - Issue 5. 50 years of domestic microelectronics. Brief foundations and history of development. - M .: Tekhnosfera, 2013), based on the transcript of the scientific secretary of the NTS N.K. Ostapenko, “the meeting was held with an unprecedented emotional intensity,” and this is still very, very mildly said. The academics almost killed each other.
Mints immediately stated that the letter -
"The ravings of the marshals frightened by the last war ... The proposal cannot technically be implemented ... This is as stupid as firing a shell at a shell."
He was supported by the general designer of air defense missiles Raspletin:
"Incredible nonsense, stupid fantasy is offered to us by the marshals."
Colonel General I.V. Illarionov, who took part in the creation of air defense systems, in the early 1950s, recalled:
“Raspletin said that ... he considers the task impracticable not only at the present time, but also during the lifetime of our generation, that he had already consulted on this issue with MV Keldysh and SP Korolev. Keldysh expressed great doubts about achieving the necessary reliability of the system, and Korolev was fully confident that any missile defense system could be easily overcome by ballistic missiles.
"The missilemen," he said, "have many potential technical capabilities to bypass the missile defense system, and I simply do not see the technical capabilities of creating an insurmountable missile defense system either now or in the foreseeable future."
"The missilemen," he said, "have many potential technical capabilities to bypass the missile defense system, and I simply do not see the technical capabilities of creating an insurmountable missile defense system either now or in the foreseeable future."
Note that in his skepticism, Korolev was partly right, an absolutely insurmountable missile defense system is really impossible, which, however, did not cancel the need to have at least some - even a leaky chain mail is better than a naked body, especially since the missile defense system played, as we already rather, they spoke of an important moral and symbolic role. Its presence and the need to overcome it made you think hard before playing with the red button.
As a result, the conservative commission, according to tradition, wanted to release everything on the brakes, Professor A.N.Shchukin expressed this general idea as follows:
"It is necessary to answer to the Central Committee in such a way that the meaning sounds, as they say in such cases in Odessa: yes - no".
However, here Kisunko took the floor, for the first (but far from the last) time in his career, having entered into open confrontation, both with the luminaries of the old school and with officials. As it turned out, he managed not only to read the letter of the marshals, but also to make all the preliminary calculations and stated that
"The missile warheads will become targets for the defense system in the near future ... all of the above parameters of radar stations are quite achievable."
As a result, the commission split.
On the side of Mints and Raspletin was their practical experience (well, and, accordingly, the years acquired and influence in the Party), on the side of Kisunko - brilliant theoretical calculations and energy, and the audacity of youth (he was 15-20 years younger than most of those present), as well as inexperience. Unlike the luminaries, by that time, most likely, he was not familiar with two failed attempts to create draft designs for missile defense. We are talking about the radar "Pluto" and the Mozharovsky project.
"Pluto" tried to develop NII-20 (created in 1942 in Moscow, later NIIEMI, not to be confused with the Central Institute aviation telemechanics, automation and communications, later VNIIRT) in the mid-40s, it was a monstrous early warning radar (up to 2000 km). The antenna system was supposed to consist of four 15-meter paraboloids on a rotating frame mounted on a 30-meter tower.
Surprisingly, about the same amount was later independently counted by Kisunko, who immediately told the academics that all they needed to do was build a 20-meter radar and trick it into the bag (it is obvious that, remembering Pluto, the academics pretty grimaced at such insolence).
Together with the Pluton station project, options for building a missile defense system were proposed and worked out and requirements for weapons were formulated. In 1946, the project ended ingloriously with the statement that the idea contains many elements of novelty with unclear solutions, and the domestic industry is not yet ready for the construction of radar macrosystems.
The second disastrous project by that time was the concept of NII-4 (laboratory of jet, missile and space weapons of the USSR Ministry of Defense, Sputnik-1 was also designed there), investigated in 1949 under the leadership and initiative of G.M. Mozharovsky from the Military Air Engineering Academy. Zhukovsky. It was about protecting a separate area from V-2 ballistic missiles, the only ones known to the world at that time.
The project included the basic principles, rediscovered later by the Kisunko group (however, according to indirect information, he gained access to information about the project in the mid-1950s and borrowed a couple of ideas from there, in particular, the circular expansion of anti-missile fragments): a missile with a conventional warhead against missiles with radar support. In the technical realities of the turn of the 1940s-1950s, the project was completely unrealizable, which was recognized by the authors themselves.
In 1949, Stalin ordered to curtail all work in favor of the earliest possible creation of the Moscow air defense system (the Berkut project, later the famous S-25), and the topic of missile defense was forgotten until the marshals' letter.
At the meeting, Kisunko was supported (but very carefully!) By the chief engineer of KB-1 F.V. Lukin:
“Work on missile defense should be started as soon as possible. But don't promise anything yet. It is difficult to say now what the result will be. There is no risk in this, missile defense will not work - you will get a good technical groundwork for more advanced anti-aircraft systems. "
And also his chief, chief of KB-1 P. N. Kuksenko. And most importantly - the hardest artillery in the person of Marshal-Minister Ustinov. The result of the meeting was the creation of a commission, which included the compromise A. N. Shchukin, two opponents of missile defense - Raspletin and Mints, and the only supporter of missile defense FV Lukin.
As Revici writes:
“Obviously, the commission in the appointed composition was obliged to ruin the case, but thanks to the good politician FV Lukin, this did not happen. AA Raspletin's categorical position hesitated, he said that "he will not take up this matter, but, perhaps, one of the scientists of his design bureau can begin a detailed study of the problem."
In the future, this resulted in a real battle for specialists between Raspletin and Kisunko.
As a result, the work was initiated, but the general designer of the missile defense acquired a lot of high-ranking enemies to the grave that day (however, he was lucky to outlive them all). What is much sadder is that these enemies not only did not help in the development of missile defense, but also sabotaged the project in every possible way in order to dishonor the young upstart and prove that the missile defense system is an empty squandering of the people's money. Largely because of this, the whole subsequent drama began, grinding many talented computer designers.
Figures on the board
So, by 1954, the following pieces were on the board. On the one hand, there was the Ministry of the Radio Engineering Industry and its henchmen.
V.D. Kalmykov. Since 1949 - Head of the Main Directorate of Jet Armaments of the USSR Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry, since 1951 he has been in responsible work in the USSR Council of Ministers apparatus for the management of defense industries. Since January 1954 - Minister of the USSR Radio Engineering Industry. Since December 1957 - Chairman of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Radio Electronics. Since March 1963 - Chairman of the State Committee for Radio Electronics of the USSR - Minister of the USSR. Since March 1965 - Minister of Radio Industry of the USSR. The result of the confrontation (not only with the Kisunko group, the showdown at the ministerial level there was the most severe of all with everyone) - the undermining of health and premature death in 1974 (65 years).
A.A. Raspletin. The chief designer of the SNAR-1 ground artillery reconnaissance radar (1946), the B-200 multichannel and multifunctional radar (the S-25 air defense complex, 1955), then the radars of the S-75, S-125, S-200 complexes, began work on S-300, but did not have time to finish. The result of the confrontation is a stroke and death in 1967 (58 years old).
A. L. Mints. In 1922 he created the country's first army tube radiotelegraph station, which was adopted in 1923 under the ALM index (Alexander Lvovich Mints). Since 1946 - Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences. Later, Colonel-Engineer Academician A. L. Mints was appointed head of Laboratory No. 11 as part of FIAN, which develops microwave generators for electron and proton accelerators. Basically, he became famous for the design of radio stations, one of the main designers of early warning radars, the designer of the first synchrophasotron in Dubna. The result of the confrontation - a surprisingly long and happy life, died in 1974 at the age of 79. However, Mints did not put his whole soul into this struggle, his area of scientific interests was different, he was kind enough with prizes, so he only took part in the showdown with Kisunko.
The Reds team, elderly socialist labor drummers - from left to right: Kalmykov, Raspletin, Mints. Photo: wikipedia.org
On the opposite side of the board were Defense Ministry officials and their protégés.
D.F. Ustinov. All titles are not enough to list any book, People's Commissar and Minister of Armaments of the USSR (1941-1953), Minister of Defense Industry of the USSR (1953-1957). Minister of Defense of the USSR (1976-1984). Member (1952-1984) and secretary (1965-1976) of the CPSU Central Committee, member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee (1976-1984), laureate of 16 orders and 17 medals, etc. The confrontation almost did not affect him, and he died peacefully in 1984 at the age of 76.
F.V. Lukin. Already mentioned many times here, in 1946-1953. chief designer of complex systems "Vympel" and "Foot" of radar and calculating devices for automation of firing of naval anti-aircraft artillery of cruisers, since 1953 deputy chief - chief engineer of KB-1, took part in work on air defense systems S-25 and S-75 , participated in the development of the first serial Soviet computer "Strela", promoted modular arithmetic and supercomputers. The result of the confrontation - did not survive the cancellation of the 5E53 project and died suddenly in the same 1971 year (62 years old).
And finally, the main character is the one who made all this mess - G.V. Kisunko. From September 1953 - Chief of SKB No. 30 KB-1. In August 1954, he began to develop proposals for a project of an experimental anti-missile defense system (system "A"). From February 3, 1956 - chief designer of the "A" system. In 1958 he was appointed chief designer of the A-35 missile defense system. The result - surprisingly survived not only all the showdowns and the final removal from the development of missile defense systems, but also all their participants and died peacefully already in 1998 at the age of 80. However, here a role was played by the fact that he was much younger than all those involved, at the time of the conflict he was only 36 and this did not affect his health so much.
On the side of the Ministry of Defense were the groups of developers Yuditsky and Kartsev, on the side of the Ministry of Radio Industry - nobody (they did not consider it necessary to develop a computer for missile defense at all). ITMiVT and Lebedev took a neutral position, first wisely avoiding titanomachy and withdrawing their projects from the competition, and then simply joining the winners.
Separately, it should be noted that neither Raspletin nor Mints were villains in this story, rather, they were used by the MCI in their competitive struggle with the Moscow Region.
Now the main question is - what, in fact, was the scandal about and why did these ministries get so caught up in it?
Naturally, the main issue was the issue of prestige and colossal, monstrous funding. MRP believed that it was necessary to improve the existing (and developed by their people) air defense installations and not mess with some newfangled missile defense, the Ministry of Defense believed that it was necessary to design a missile defense system from scratch - from radars to computers. The Ministry of Defense could not interfere with the development of the computers of the Ministry of Defense (although it successfully buried Kartsev's project, together with Kartsev himself, the only machines that he allowed to build were used not for missile defense, but for a useless project for controlling outer space), but it could interfere with them implementation, which was done with the involvement of the heaviest artillery - the Secretary General Brezhnev himself, which we will talk about in the following parts.
Kisunko's personality also played a role in the confrontation. He was young, cocky, harsh in words, zero sycophant and absolutely politically incorrect person who did not hesitate to call an idiot an idiot in the presence of anyone at a meeting of any level. Naturally, such an incredible transverseness could not but turn a huge number of people against him, and if it were not for the most powerful Marshal Ustinov, Kisunko would have ended his career much faster and much more sadly. The consequence of his age was his openness to all innovations and unconventional thinking, whose audacity was amazing, which also did not add to his popularity. It was he who proposed a radically new and then seemingly insane concept of building a missile defense system, relying not on nuclear, but on conventional anti-missiles with incredible guidance accuracy, which was supposed to be provided by super-powerful computers.
In general, the history of the creation of missile defense systems was also influenced by an objective circumstance - the fantastic complexity of the task, moreover, with the development of delivery vehicles from a potential adversary, it all increased in the course of development. An effective system of almost 100% protection against a real massive nuclear strike could hardly have been built at all, in principle, but we certainly had the technical possibility of developing such a project.
How was the question of the application and development of a supercomputer raised?
As we remember, with the computerization in the USSR by the beginning of the 1960s, everything was sad, there were few cars, they were all incompatible, they were distributed by directive among ministries and design bureaus, crowds of scientists fought during computer time, the machines were secret and semi-secret, there were regular computer courses. as well as literature, there was no. There were almost no developments in the leading universities.
In the United States at the same time, in addition to IBM, mainframes for the military and business were produced by Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA and General Electric, not counting smaller offices such as Bendix Corporation, Philco, Scientific Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard and a few more, the number of computers in the country numbered in the thousands and any more or less large company had access to them.
If you rewind to the start of the missile defense project in 1954, then everything became completely dull. By this time, the very idea of computers and their capabilities in the USSR was not yet fully realized, and the idea of them as simply large calculators dominated. The general technical community got some idea about computers only in 1956 from the book by A. I. Kitov "Electronic digital machines", but the tail of misunderstanding stretched after computers for another ten years.
In this respect, Kisunko was a true visionary. In those years, analog devices were the pinnacle of control machines in the USSR, for example, in the most advanced S-25 air defense system, control was carried out, like in anti-aircraft guns of the Second World War - an electromechanical analog calculating device (more precisely, this was at first, but then a group of people exported from Germany specialists improved the project, Dr. Hans Hoch, due to analytical tricks with coordinates, simplified the targeting computer, which made it completely electronic).
In 1953-1954, when Kisunko put forward his project, the number of computers in operation in the country was numbered in units, and there was no question of using them as managers, in addition, the possibilities of both BESM-1 and Strela were more than modest. These facts, undoubtedly, were among the main reasons why Kisunko's projects were perceived, according to A.A. Raspletin's sarcastic expression, as
"I catch some mythical colored butterflies over a green-pink lawn."
Kisunko not only focused on digital technology, but built the entire concept of his project around the still-existing powerful computers.
The question remains - where to get a computer?
First, Kisunko visited Lebedev's ITMiVT and saw BESM there, but stated that
"This craft is not suitable for our tasks."
However, in ITMiVT, not only Lebedev was involved in computers, but also Burtsev, who has his own approaches to building high-performance systems. In 1953, Burtsev developed two computers "Diana-1" and "Diana-2" for the needs of air defense.
Vsevolod Sergeevich recalled:
“We went with Lebedev. At NII-17 to Viktor Tikhomirov. He was a wonderful chief designer of all our aircraft radar equipment. He assigned us the Topaz observation station, installed on the plane to cover the tail of the bomber. At this station, we took data from the surveillance radar for three years and for the first time carried out the simultaneous tracking of several targets. For this purpose, we created ... "Diana-1" and "Diana-2", with the help of the first machine, the target and fighter data were digitized, and with the help of the second, the fighter was aimed at the enemy aircraft. "
This was the first experience of using a computer in air defense in the USSR.
For Kisunko Burtsev built two machines - M-40 and M-50. It was a two-machine complex for early warning radar control and target tracking and anti-missile guidance. M-40 began to perform combat missions in 1957.
In fact, it was not a new machine, but a radical modification of the BESM-2 for the air defense forces, quite good by the standards of the USSR - 40 kIPS, with a fixed point, 4096 40-bit words of RAM, a cycle of 6 μs, a control word of 36 bits, a tube system of elements and a ferrite-transistor, external memory - a magnetic drum with a capacity of 6 thousand words. The machine worked in conjunction with the equipment of the exchange processor with the system subscribers and the equipment for counting and keeping time.
A little later, the M-50 appeared (1959) - a modification of the M-40 for working with floating point numbers, in fact, as they would say in the 1980s, an FPU coprocessor. On their basis, there was a two-machine control and recording complex, on which data from field tests of the missile defense system, with a total capacity of 50 kIPS, were processed.
With the help of these machines, Kisunko proved that he was completely right in his idea - the experimental complex "A" in March 1961 for the first time in the world eliminated the warhead of a ballistic missile with a fragmentation charge, in full accordance with the plan the third world, initiating the Cuban missile crisis).
It is noteworthy that in the exchange of information with external devices for the M-40, the principle of a multiplex channel was first used, thanks to which, without slowing down the computing process, it was possible to work with ten asynchronous channels that connected the machines with the missile defense complex.
And the most interesting thing was that the elements of the complex were located at a distance of 150-300 km from the command post and were connected to it by a special radio channel - a wireless network in 1961 in the USSR, it was really cool!
During the decisive test, a terrible moment happened. Igor Mikhailovich Lisovsky recalled:
“All of a sudden ... the lamp exploded, providing control of the RAM. V.S.Burtsev provided training for replacing lamps and a hot reserve. The officers on duty quickly replaced the faulty unit. Grigory Vasilievich gave the command to restart the program. The combat program provided for periodic recording on a magnetic drum of intermediate data necessary to resume the program in the event of a failure. Thanks to his excellent knowledge of the program and calm orientation in the created environment, Andrey Mikhailovich Stepanov (the programmer on duty) in a matter of seconds ... restarted the program during the combat operation of the system. "
Monument to the world's first V-1000 anti-missile missile system "A" on a standard SM-71P launcher in Priozersk, Sary-Shagan training ground Photo: militaryrussia.ru
This was the 80th experimental launch and the first successful interception of an R-12 rocket with a warhead mockup at an altitude of 25 km and a distance of 150 km. Radar "Danube-2" of the "A" system detected a target at a distance of 975 km from the prolonged point of its fall at an altitude of over 450 km and took the target for auto-tracking. The computer calculated the parameters of the trajectory of the R-12, issued target designation for the RTN and launchers. The flight of the V-1000 antimissile was carried out along a regular curve, the parameters of which were determined by the predicted trajectory of the target. The interception took place with an accuracy of 31,8 m to the left and 2,2 m upward, while the speed of the P-12 warhead before the defeat was 2,5 km / s, and the speed of the anti-missile missile was 1 km / s.
It's funny to note the parallels with the Americans, and this time not in their favor. They started 2 years later, but in the same circumstances - in 1955, the US Army turned to Bell with a request to study the possibility of using MIM-14 Nike-Hercules anti-aircraft missiles to intercept ballistic missiles (the need for this was realized, as and we, it was much earlier - even when "V-2" rained on the heads of the British). The American project developed much more smoothly and had much more computational and scientific support - over the course of a year, Bell engineers conducted more than 50000 interception simulations on analog computers, all the more surprising that Kisunko's group not only kept up with them, but also overtook them in the end! What is also interesting - the Americans initially relied on low-power nuclear charges, the Kisunko group proposed to work much more elaborately.
What is no less interesting is that the United States also had its own version of the battle of ministries (though much less tragic and bloodless): the conflict between the US Army and the Air Force. The programs for the development of anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons of the army and the air force were separate, which led to the waste of engineering and financial resources on similar projects (although it generated competition). It all ended with the fact that in 1956, Defense Secretary Charles Erwin Wilson, by a willful decision, forbade the army to develop long-range (over 200 miles) weapons (and their air defense systems were cut down to a hundred-mile radius).
As a result, the army decided to make its own missile (with a range less than the minister's limit) and in 1957 ordered Bell to develop a new version of the missile, called the Nike II. The Air Force program, meanwhile, was harshly slowed down, new minister Neil McElroy overturned the previous decision in 1958 and allowed the army to complete its missile, renamed the Nike-Zeus B. In 1959 (a year later than project "A") the first test launches took place.
The first successful interception (more precisely, the recorded passage of an anti-missile missile at a distance of about 30 m from the target) was recorded at the end of 1961, six months later than Kisunko's group. At the same time, the target was not hit, since the Nike-Zeus was nuclear, but, of course, the warhead was not installed on it.
It's funny that the CIA, the army and the navy gave estimates that by 1960, the USSR had deployed at least 30-35 ICBMs (in the NIE 11-5-58 report, there were generally monstrous numbers - at least a hundred, so the Americans were frightened by the flight of Sputnik- 1 ", after which Khrushchev said that the USSR was stamping missiles" like sausages "), although in fact there were only 6. All this greatly influenced the anti-missile hysteria in the United States and the acceleration of work on missile defense at all levels (again, curious that both countries, in fact, scared each other to a pulp almost simultaneously).
Their answer to Project A is LIM-49 Nike Zeus. Photo: wikipedia.com
By superhuman efforts, it was possible to clarify information about the Nike-Zeus Target Intercept Computer, in particular, its manufacturer was found only in The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States, Volume 10. It was developed jointly by Remington Rand (future Sperry UNIVAC), together with AT&T ... Its parameters were impressive - the latest at that time twistor memory (instead of Lebedev ferrite cubes), fully resistor-transistor logic, parallel processing, 25-bit instructions, real arithmetic, performance is 4 times higher than the M-40 / M-50 bundle - about 200 kIPS.
It is all the more amazing that with computers much more primitive and weaker, Soviet developers achieved much more impressive success in the first round of the missile defense race than the Yankees!
Then a problem arose, about which Kisunko had been warned by the master-builder of missiles Korolev. A typical missile of the early 60s was a single or double target, a typical missile of the mid 60s was a flying cylinder with a volume of about 20x200 km from several hundred reflectors, decoys and other tinsel, among which several warheads were lost. It was necessary to increase the power of the entire system - to increase the number and resolution of radars, increase the computing power and increase the charge of the anti-missile (which, due to problems with radars and computers, also gradually slipped towards the use of nuclear weapons).
As a result, already during the testing of the prototype of the "A" complex, it became clear that the power of the computer had to be increased. Incredibly, a thousand times over. 50 kIPS did not solve the problem anymore; at least a million was needed. This level was easily reached by the insanely expensive and complex legendary CDC 6600, built only in 1964. In 1959, the only millionaire was the grandfather of all supercomputers, the equally insanely expensive and huge IBM 7030 Stretch.
An unsolvable task, and even in the conditions of the USSR?
Far from it, because in 1959 Lukin had already ordered Davlet Yuditsky to build the most powerful computer in the world, a modular supercomputer for the Soviet missile defense system. We will continue the story about it in the next part.