Military Review

In areas closed to swimming


"Marshal Krylov" in Vladivostok

April 12, the country and the whole world celebrate the 50th anniversary of manned space flight. This is the greatest event of the 20th century! But not everyone knows at least half the success of this event can be safely given to the Navy the fleet THE USSR. Imagine for a minute: a start from Baikonur, a flight over the eastern part of the continent, the Far East and a spaceship are over the Pacific Ocean.

Few people know that a little earlier, in the same year 1959, by the Government Decree in the Pacific Fleet, a unique ship connection was created that was directly involved in the testing of our missile weapons. It was named simply and completely unforgettable: 4 is the Pacific Hydrographic Expedition, TOGE-4. From that moment on, everything on this expedition began to take place under the heading "Top Secret", starting with the true name and ending with a non-disclosure subscription of any information about the activity. For these purposes, dry cargo ships of Polish construction were converted in 1959 in the shortest time possible, and in the autumn of the same year these ships arrived in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

"Sakhalin" and the United States aircraft in the range "Water area"

There was no more beautiful ships in the world. No state has yet built more advanced and more seaworthy ships. They appeared in the ocean at the very beginning of the rocket-space era, worked their age and it seems that they died quietly, like a tea clipper once. Astern, hundreds of thousands of miles remained, most of their life and work remained behind the scenes, thousands of people were involved in these events, but so far very few people know what kind of ships these are - the space-rocket ships?

12 April 1961, the first cosmonaut of the Earth flew aboard the Vostok ship around the globe. Total 108 minutes, but from this start date the new era in stories of humanity. This era began earlier, even from Tsiolkovsky, Von Braun’s rockets, but it was during these years that practical exploration of near space began. The military component was developing the most powerful way - nothing can be done, the United States also did not sit idly. And all these beautiful names “space fleet”, “pioneers of space” were only a beautiful screen. Both states were in a hurry, sometimes going for weeks and days. They did not spare money: it seemed that who would curb the cosmos would be the victor in the war of the future. The rockets became guaranteed to take off (almost guaranteed - it was then that an accident occurred, which was later called a “non-Dinin catastrophe”), in most cases - to fall into a given area. It remains the case for the "small" - whose rocket will fly farther and fall more precisely. So was the cold war, a war on fear and threats. Someone considers this war to be a fiction of journalists and politicians, but the one who served on the TOGE ships knows that everything was more than serious. “TASS is authorized to declare that the Pacific area is ... closed for swimming” and that’s it! Everything was allowed in this area! It is a pity that the shooting was not conducted during such “hostilities”: ships, aircraft of the USSR and the United States entered into open confrontation. Was a firearm used? No, the matter is not in the number of killed and wounded: it is enough just not to let the parameters of the head of the rocket drop or to reduce the accuracy of these readings and the industry of the Soviet Union would begin to devour new millions of rubles. For the sake of justice, I will say that there were notes of protest about the use of laser weapons against the crew of the aircraft by the US government. Why does not happen between people ...

Many veterans remember the so-called “incident with“ General Vandenberg ”. Most of the time we “worked” with another ship of the USA - “General Arnold”, but then he got up for repair, he was the most active. And the commander of "Arnold" knew our tactics well, knew all the existing dangers. “Vandenberg” was not so experienced ... In the fall of 1976, TOGE’s ships came and took positions in the test site. Expedition commander Captain 1 of rank Engels Yakovlevich Krasnov and his deputy captain 1 of rank Vladimir Sergeevich Litvinov were on the flagship Siberia. Planned 2 or 3 start. This time it was decided to place the ships not according to the typical triangle pattern, but put them along one line.

Send the first 3 heads. Their turn, the spread was insignificant within the group of ships, and NATO members know the shooting plane, the standard order schemes, they have already occupied this triangle known to them. Toward the end, the “General Vandenberg” became to the point of aiming and in their opinion, if a rocket flies at him - he will calmly hold her with two antennas and track her. If there is a patrol ship, then he, as soon as the rocket fell to a point, was in full swing there. In contrast to them, our pilot had to perform a very difficult task: there was no navigation, he smelled, the wind, according to calculations, should fly as close as possible to the missile's aiming point, fall as low as possible and transmit a signal to the ship.

The rocket is flying, it is already over the USSR, flew over Kamchatka. Having accepted all this by communication, Litvinov rises in the navigational cabin to clarify the positions of the ships. Ready 30 min. And suddenly: "The General" is at the point of our aiming! To Krasnov: "Comrade commander, do you know?" - "I know! And they should also know! ”From the point of falling to the“ General ”there were only a few meters, and in the head part there were tens of kilograms of explosives! The commander of the helicopter said: “I am flying directly to the aiming point and see that I have an American ship on my nose. I do not understand anything, it should not be so - usually it is far away! Navigator, check the calculation! Navigator: "Fly as we can, everything is right." The Americans poured out on the deck, waving their hands, clicking cameras, posting posters: “How are you, Moscow?” - like children. And suddenly, as babakhnet! The pilots saw how the Americans rushed from the deck of the ship into the interior, knocking each other. Then the reconnaissance of the fleet came, there was an excerpt from a newspaper, where it was written that the fragments came to them on deck, there was panic on the ship, the situation was critical.

By the end of the 50-s with the creation of carriers and warheads of a new generation in the "cold" confrontation between the USSR and the USA, an approximate balance of forces was reached. Achieved, including because the United States has ceased to be inaccessible to Soviet missiles. The balance of power, naturally, was unsteady and changeable. The nuclear parity of the two superpowers was maintained, but its quantitative and qualitative level changed from year to year. The booster rockets, their stuffing, improved from year to year and the day came when the range for testing missiles at the range and accuracy of the fall, located on the territory of the Soviet Union, was too close to the launch pad. With an increase in the firing range to 10000 and 14000 km, the site of the fall of the head parts of the missiles had to be transferred to the Pacific Ocean. One of the now existing institutions of the Ministry of Defense began a research work (R & D) on equipping a special test site in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. To ensure the necessary control and required special ships.

These events were most directly related to the seamen of the 4, and then the 5 of the Pacific Hydrographic Expedition - TOGE, as it was called. But I must say that another task was set before the ships - the task of ensuring the launches of spacecraft: manned and cargo, providing them with centralized communications. And a separate paragraph of history is participation in the tests of our reusable spacecraft, first BOR, and then “Buran”.

The base of the expedition was a cozy bay, on the shore of which a small village Tarja was sheltered. In the summer of 1959, ships anchored here, unusual because of the abundance of antennas of unusual configuration on them. These were the first ships of the “space” expedition, with which the appearance in this small village (then Soviet, then Primorsky, and finally, the city of Vilyuchinsk of the Kamchatka region) of the first street, Mira Street, is directly connected. The first commander of the expedition, captain 1 of the rank, Yuri Ivanovich Maksyuta, was persistent, collapsible log houses were transported from the west coast of Kamchatka (difficulties with building materials were considerable). But then the entire construction program was even revised - the head of the USSR Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev kept the birth of the city of Vilyuchinsk on personal control. These ships began to be called the ships of the measuring complex, and in the "open", in fact, no one ever opened them, the OIC (oceanographic research vessel, the EOS (expeditionary oceanographic vessel), the EOC, and even BPIK). -measure ship).

First, the expedition included the expeditionary and oceanographic ships "Siberia", "Sakhalin", "Suchan" (later - "Spassk") and "Chukotka". On the night of 2 and October 3, the 1959 ships left the base and headed for the area near the Hawaiian Islands to perform the first combat mission. It was briefly as follows: measuring the trajectory of an intercontinental ballistic missile, determining the coordinates of the point of incidence of the head part, recording, processing and decrypting the incoming telemetric information. This area and became a test rocket range. Its coordinates were called in TASS messages. It was this message that, as a rule, overseas naval sailors ignored - American destroyers and frigates constantly followed TOGE ships wherever they could - either politely, sometimes impudently, then congratulating the commanders of their ships on their birthday, then saying: "I am such and such , arrived to follow you, hello ... ". Basic patrol aircraft R-3 "Orion" became for our sailors the most common phenomenon.

In the area, ships were most often located in the corners of a right-angled triangle so that the calculated point of incidence was on the hypotenuse. Each of the legs had, respectively, 20 and 10 miles. When gained experience, the distance was reduced more than twice. The coordinates were determined by the stars or the Sun with a clear view of the horizon line. This happens after sunrise or sunset, total 15-20 minutes. In such conditions, the navigational training played the most important role, but they learned how to determine the place of the falling of the head parts of the missiles with an accuracy of several meters. For that time it was a great achievement!

From Kapustin Yar and Baikonur the design bureaus of Korolev, Yangel, Chelomei let their products. Rocket overcame huge distances in 30-40 minutes. During this time, the sailors transmitted the launch time and the nature of the flight with an accuracy of fractions of seconds. The last stage and the head usually fly alongside and visually look different. Against the sky at an altitude of 30-60 kilometers above the horizon, a bright star suddenly flashes. For 6-12 seconds, it approaches, increasing in size 4-6 times. And now - a ball of fire rushes nearby at a small height and crashes into the water. A column of water from the explosion rises by forty meters. Radar antennas clearly track the entire final stage of the flight of the “blanks” of the head section. For additional fixation of the last and most important signal about the undermining of the nuclear charge simulator in the air, the Ka-15 helicopter operated with an onboard station. The ships were fully equipped with special stations, radio direction finders, hydrophones, echo sounders, equipment of a secret communication and much more than others.

The ships of the expedition were very intensively loaded with combat work, returning to the base mainly to replenish stocks of fuel, food and spare parts (spare parts and accessories). After entering 9 on January 1961 of the year and having worked for 58 missiles in the ocean for 24 hours, the ships returned to the 7 base in March. A week later, 13 March 1961, all four ships again left Kamchatka. Before going out to the ocean, Y. Maksyut was warned: changes in the work plan are possible ... Already in the ocean, having opened the package with the order-task for the hike, the command of the formation understood: something unusual was coming.

To the appointed point was ordered to go at full speed. Upon arrival in the area of ​​the ships are not located in a triangle, as usual, but in line. And only when the ships of the expedition took the given positions, explanatory information was received: 12 will have to work with the Vostok spacecraft on April ...

At the 25 minute after the start of Yu. A. Gagarin, the sailors accepted and immediately transmitted to the flight control center (MCC) the first onboard telemetry signals: “Pulse - 76, breathing - 18”. After another 10 minutes, they began to decipher the entire complex of data received from the board of the Vostok. When, after appropriate treatment, they were transferred to the center, they received in response: “He is already on the ground. Thanks for the service! ”And only a week later, when the sailors returned to the base, they saw from the pages the face of the one who became the first messenger of the earth in space. That was the beginning.

In 1963, the expedition was replenished with new ships - to the already existing 7-thousanders were added “Chazhma” and “Chumikan” with a displacement of 13 thousand tons. Two connections were created: 4-I and 5-TOGE, or, as the Maxutovts used to say, “Connection C” and “Connection H” - according to the first letters of the ship names. Subsequently, a unified OGE-5 was formed on their base, and then the 35-I brigade of the ships of the measuring complex. “Chazhma” and “Chumikan” always stood on the roadstead of Krasheninnikov bay and did not go to the pier - only “kids” moored there. For the appearance of the antennas “Chazhma” and “Chumikan” the entire expedition in Primorsky was called “balls”. The inhabitants of Primorsky knew for sure: the “balls” went into the ocean - in a couple of weeks someone would be launched into space, that's for sure. Or - "TASS is authorized to declare ...".

Speaking about their merits to the Motherland, it suffices to give only the statistics of the ship of the Chazhma measuring complex: for 30 years from 1963 to 1993, the year was spent in the ocean of 13 years and 10 months; national tasks of launching and operating 252 of space objects were successfully completed - Of these, 42 manned, 29 passed 614 miles - this is three times from Earth to the Moon! The ship's Ka-000 helicopters (later Ka-15pl) were a sure sign: a week before going out to sea, they every day diligently chirped over Primorsky while performing training flights. Then one of the "balls" went to the ocean. Or all at once.

In 1984, a new, absolutely amazing ship came on the expedition, sparkling with white sides, buzzing daily with helicopters over the bay - “Marshal Nedelin”. This ship has absorbed all the experience of working with space objects, the vast experience of the shipbuilding industry in Russia and the Soviet Union. The project of special construction was truly unique, both in terms of electronic filling and in terms of nautical qualities. Named in honor of the first commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Marshal Nedelin Mitrofan Ivanovich, who tragically killed October 24 1960 on the test of one of the ballistic missiles. It is this fatal explosion that is most often called the “Nedelinskaya disaster”. I think that not only Soviet designers and generals made conclusions from this accident. And when a new ship began to be born, it was decided to assign the name Nedelin to him. In 1983, a group of officers of the ship under construction, was visiting the relatives of the marshal, gave souvenirs and an invitation to be guests in the crew. The portrait of M. I. Nedelin was always hung in the cabin. And at the factory, workers jokingly called the ship "Mitrofan": "Tomorrow," Mitrofan "goes to state tests."

Four years later TOGE added another ship of this project, the Marshal Krylov.

Much has changed in our lives. In 1994, the expedition ceased to exist. The state was sorely lacking money to maintain a large fleet. TOGE ships were sold "on needles" to India. The life of the Marshal Nedelin ship has tragically ended. But still in service, and still performs important state tasks, the last ship of the unique compound, the Marshal Krylov.

Over the years, thousands of our people have passed through the Toge ships, someone served as an urgent, someone gave all the years as an officer or midshipman. The expedition worked out hundreds of different technologies and experiments: from the first marine aviation, to a tropical form of clothing and a special "sea" soap. Sailors sacredly keep the history and traditions of their formation, meet, remember. In 2009, they organized a series of events dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the TOGE. The Organizing Committee of the Togolese Veterans for the Year of Yu.A. Gagarin is currently working. We will be glad to all calls of veterans of the ships of the measuring complex. Our phone is (496) 533-52-04. Since 2002, the website of veterans of TOGE: Now the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sevastopol, Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Nizhny Novgorod, Kostroma, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Angarsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk, Ufa, Ivangorod and many others are with us.
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  1. Anatoly
    Anatoly 18 March 2011 21: 48
    Thanks so much for the article! This is about us!

    On the grave of the first commander of the TOGE-4 Admiral Yu.I. Maksyuta, this inscription:
    "God, keeping the ships, may have mercy on us!"

    CARTRIDGE 14 September 2011 13: 08
    This is the bright past of our Navy!