Military Review

Kolos portable air defense system

In 1945, Germany began manufacturing Fliegerfaust anti-aircraft grenade launchers. it weapon was a block of nine launch tubes caliber 20 mm. Before the shot, special unguided rockets were placed in the pipes. The volley of nine missiles, as conceived by the developers, was to ensure an acceptable probability of hitting an enemy aircraft. Nevertheless, the war was coming to an end and the first German anti-aircraft grenade launcher could not show itself in battle.

Kolos portable air defense system
Fliegerfaust with a block of rockets

The rapid development of weapons and military equipment, which began after the Second World War, led to the emergence of a mass of new classes of weapons. However, anti-aircraft grenade launchers were quickly declared unpromising and forgotten. It is unlikely that any of the gunsmiths in the second half of the forties could have imagined that the idea of ​​a reactive anti-aircraft grenade launcher in a slightly modified form would again become relevant in just a year or two or two decades.

In the mid-sixties in Vietnam, a war began with the participation of the United States. The US military actively used helicopters of several models designed to perform transport and attack tasks. Vietnamese soldiers badly needed simple and cheap weapons capable of hitting enemy helicopters. It should be noted that the Soviet radar and anti-aircraft missile systems supplied to Vietnam could not cope with this task.

In June, the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TsNIITochmash), located in Klimovsk, near Moscow, received an order from the Ministry of Defense in June 1966. The document, signed by the head of the military department, was required to create a lightweight, cheap and easy-to-use portable anti-aircraft missile system. The calculation of the new anti-aircraft system was to consist of one or two people, which determined the maximum permissible dimensions and weight. In addition, the military wanted to see anti-aircraft missiles without sophisticated onboard equipment. To compensate for the absence of guidance systems, it was necessary to use multiple rocket fire at volleys.

The project of a promising anti-aircraft complex received the symbol "Kolos". The main designers were steel AG Novozhilov and V.M. Karak. The development of the Kolos system began with a search for the optimal technical look. The designers from TsNIITochmash carefully studied a similar German project, and also analyzed the possibilities of domestic industry. As a result of all surveys and calculations, the main features of MANPADS were established, under which the best combination of weight, size and combat effectiveness could be achieved.

The Kolos portable anti-aircraft complex launcher was supposed to have seven guide rails for unguided 30 caliber mm. The trunks were proposed to be placed inside a single tubular casing. In order to reduce the weight of weapons and ammunition, it was proposed to develop a block of missiles for the new weaponry that serves as a clip.

Block of unguided rockets

Seven 30-mm guide rails were placed on the same circle. The barrels were located with a slight collapse relative to the axis of the weapon. It was assumed that such placement would increase the spread of shells and thereby increase the probability of hitting the target. In the breech breech provided for cameras to accommodate the missiles before launch, and behind them - the charging chamber, in which the block of missiles was to be located. Behind the charging chamber on the starter there was a folding nozzle that also served as a shutter. To protect the shooter from the hot parts of the weapon, the trunks were covered with a foam plastic cover and glass cloth.

On the bottom surface of the casing, the Kolos trigger device had two pistol-type handles designed to hold when firing. On the rear handle was located the trigger associated with a hammer-type firing mechanism. For guidance on the new MANPADS provided a sight with perspective rings. Such aiming devices made it possible to direct weapons with accuracy acceptable for firing unguided rockets.

Perhaps the greatest interest in the Kolos project is the HPC-30 rocket missiles. Ammunition caliber 30 mm was proposed to be installed in a single unit, facilitating the manufacture and loading. It was assumed that the missile unit would be equipped with ammunition at the factory and enter the troops in a fully ready to use form. Before firing a calculation of a portable anti-aircraft missile system, it was necessary to open the bolt of the weapon, place a block of rockets in the charging chamber and close the bolt. No additional handling of ammunition was required.

Starting device of Kolos anti-aircraft system

According to the idea of ​​the authors of the project, the block of shells should not only hold the missiles, but also throw them out of the launch device. For this, a propellant charge with specified characteristics should be in the cylindrical part of the block. According to the calculations of TsNIITochmash designers, the propellant charge was supposed to create a pressure of the order of 120 atmospheres and throw missiles from the barrels. Before exiting the barrel, the guiding rocket had to be accelerated to the speed of 110 m / s and unwind to 100 revolutions per second. Some time after leaving the barrel, in 17-22 meters from the starting device, the pyrotechnic rocket retarder was supposed to ignite the charge of its solid-fuel engine. The cruise speed of the HPC-30 rocket was determined at the level of 560 m / s.

The first variants of rockets had a lot of problems. The development of these munitions turned out to be very difficult, since in one product it was necessary to fulfill several specific requirements. Thus, the requirements of the minimum recoil affected the permissible values ​​of the initial velocity of the projectiles, and the decrease in the latter worsened the accuracy of fire. For this reason, as a result, it was decided to install projectiles in a single unit with a common propelling charge. The final decision to apply this idea was made at the beginning of 1967.

Thanks to its simple design and the use of light materials, the Kolos portable anti-aircraft missile system was fairly light for its size. With a total length of 1,5 meter without ammunition, he weighed an 9,2 kilogram, which allowed him to use it alone. The shooter could lay a launcher on his shoulder and attack the target without needing any machine. Equipped with a block of shells weighed 5,3 kg, missiles - 4,5 kg. For more convenience, the calculation of MANPADS should use two special packs in which weapons and ammunition were placed in the stowed position. The packs were large backpacks with a rigid frame. In one of them, it was proposed to transfer the anti-aircraft system and two blocks of missiles for it, in the second - four blocks of shells. The weight of each of the packs did not exceed 23 kg.

"Ear" in a firing position

The prototype Kolos MANPADS was manufactured in April 1967. From June 1967 to May 1968, his tests continued. Despite the use of unguided rockets, the characteristics of the complex turned out to be quite high and fully met the requirements of the customer. Dimensions and angles of fire fully complied with the technical task, and the accuracy and efficiency of shooting was better than required. By the power of 30-mm rocket shells caught up with 37-mm projectiles of automatic guns. At a distance of 500 meters, shells of Kolos missiles were punched up to 10 mm of armor at meeting angles up to 60 °. This allowed, if necessary, to use a new anti-aircraft system against enemy light armored vehicles at distances up to 2 kilometers.

The simultaneous launch of seven unguided missiles, as shown by tests, provided a fairly high probability of hitting the target. When attacking a helicopter hovering at an altitude of 300 meters at a distance of 500 m from the shooter, this parameter was estimated at 14%. When firing from the same distances on a moving helicopter, the probability of hitting decreased to 4%. Such indicators were considered acceptable for practical use. To increase the probability of hitting an enemy helicopter, it was proposed to simultaneously fire from several anti-aircraft complexes.

Having relatively small dimensions and acceptable accuracy of fire, the Kolos portable anti-aircraft complex was advantageous from an economic point of view. The manufacture of the launch device cost just 36 rubles, one unit of missiles - in 31 ruble 80 kopecks. Thus, the production of large batches of Kolos complexes would have cost the customer much cheaper than ordering other anti-aircraft systems of the time, and the price difference could more than compensate for the loss in performance.

However, none of the advantages of the Kolos anti-aircraft complex could help him get into the army of the Soviet Union or Vietnam. After the end of the test, the Kolos project was closed. Apparently, the needs of the USSR Armed Forces affected the fate of the project, and the needs of the Vietnamese troops were relegated to the background. After the Kolos system, the Soviet defense industry did not deal with the subject of MANPADS with unguided missiles.
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  1. inkass_98
    inkass_98 12 March 2014 08: 59
    Yes, damn it, I’m a dark man, I’ve never heard of such a shaitan-pipe. Thanks to the author for the enlightenment.
  2. Bongo
    Bongo 12 March 2014 09: 51
    The simultaneous launch of seven unguided missiles, as tests have shown, provided a fairly high probability of hitting a target. When attacking a helicopter hovering at an altitude of 300 meters at a distance of 500 m from the shooter, this parameter was evaluated at 14%. When shooting from a similar distance on a moving helicopter, the probability of hitting decreased to 4%.

    What purpose is an airship with 100 meters? Just at the end of the 60's, the Strela-2 MANPADS was adopted, which proved its effectiveness in numerous local wars.
    1. cdrt
      cdrt 12 March 2014 11: 44
      Quote: Bongo
      The simultaneous launch of seven unguided missiles, as tests have shown, provided a fairly high probability of hitting a target. When attacking a helicopter hovering at an altitude of 300 meters at a distance of 500 m from the shooter, this parameter was evaluated at 14%. When shooting from a similar distance on a moving helicopter, the probability of hitting decreased to 4%.

      What purpose is an airship with 100 meters? Just at the end of the 60's, the Strela-2 MANPADS was adopted, which proved its effectiveness in numerous local wars.

      What I read about Kolos was supposed to be a cheap replacement for MANPADS for a "special period" or for the partisans of the 3rd world countries. Actually, the efficiency was the same as that of the German "prototype", therefore, the topic died
    2. Hunghuz
      Hunghuz 12 March 2014 17: 23
      hi Dika apologize) but the Mujahideen shot at air targets even from RPG-7))) and fell .......) and here as many as 7 barrels)))))))
    3. dustycat
      dustycat 12 March 2014 19: 01
      One company of "pranksters" decided to test the effectiveness of the Chinese "swarm of bees" (who does not know this is a bundle of bamboo in each bamboo of which an arrow with a powder accelerator is inserted - an ordinary rocket for fireworks). Practical effective range 30-70m.

      The missiles really made it more powerful - so that they could fly actively accelerating for a couple of kilometers.
      The bamboo was replaced by aluminum tubes with a mass dimension of explosives.
      We took a standard "helicopter" target (who practiced from Strela, or ATGM, or the tankers and gunners of the BMP know what it is) and applied it from a distance of 1 km (the pit where they practiced was small).

      Of the 30 "arrows", 4 hit the target.
      It seems a little. ;-)

      But imagine the state of a turntable pilot being caught in such a "sheaf" of 8-0.
      And this is from simple tools at hand.
      Interestingly, this company of "pranksters" was going to offer THIS to Rosoboronexport as a weapon system.
      But the startup’s chief financial officer thought better of it.

      But it turns out there was already a prototype.
      Maybe he knew about "Kolos"?
  3. Kramoles
    Kramoles 12 March 2014 09: 54
    In the online game Battlefield 4, with the proper skill, it turns out to shoot down helicopters from RPG-7, and the probability of defeat is the same.
    1. Bongo
      Bongo 12 March 2014 10: 00
      In reality, it is not yet known from which more helicopters were shot down, from MANPADS or RPG-7.
      1. cdrt
        cdrt 12 March 2014 11: 45
        Quote: Bongo
        In reality, it is not yet known from which more helicopters were shot down, from MANPADS or RPG-7.

        Hmm ... well "Black Hawk down", where else? Our losses in Afghanistan from them, in my opinion, were of a trace value
        1. samoletil18
          samoletil18 12 March 2014 16: 40
          Quote: cdrt
          "Black Hawk down", where else?

          "Apocalypse Now"
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Turik
      Turik 12 March 2014 12: 33
      In the online game Battlefield 4

      In this game, the parachute can be used already at a height of 7 meters, and in the "parkour" mode - 3 times per minute.

      You at least watch some video with helicopters. Now attack helicopters usually fly at an altitude of 1,5-2 km, at a speed of 50-100 meters in GIVE ME A SEC.
      For this purpose, it is hard to get out of a four-barreled anti-aircraft machine gun, and even more so from an RPG.

      Pilots value their skin and equipment, and like noobs do not descend to the ground, the benefit of optics allows you to shoot everyone with a strong height.
      1. dustycat
        dustycat 12 March 2014 19: 16
        Quote: Turik
        Now attack helicopters usually fly at an altitude of 1,5-2 km,

        Actually, the battalion MZA drove helicopters to heights below 50m.
        Complex guidance systems make the turntable freeze in one place (ten seconds to solder, but enough for MZA).

        Therefore, in most modern attack helicopters, the observation / guidance unit is placed above the rotor - so that you can peek out the target from behind the hillock, "jump" / shoot and again hiding to observe where you hit.

        A pinwheel at an altitude of 1,5-2 km is a training target, no matter how fast it flies.
        Moreover, when attacking a position at a speed of 50-100m / s, the turntable will have to go to the target from a constant bearing for a very long time (5-15 seconds).
        With a range of shots from the "Kolos" of 0,5-1,5 km, reaching the line of the aimed shot and not leaving the line of sight is not an option - the genitals of the pilots of the turntable, although iron, are still in limited quantities and separate from the body to none the pilot doesn't need them.
  4. Vasia kruger
    Vasia kruger 12 March 2014 09: 59
    Here it is, I’ve never heard of this thing. Learning the light.
    Although I even heard about anti-aircraft flamethrowers ...
    1. Duke
      Duke 12 March 2014 11: 51

      Although I even heard about anti-aircraft flamethrowers ...

      Development for the British Admiralty.
      As written in the description of the photo - the flame rises to a height of 30 meters, the feasibility of this invention remains in question.
      It was assumed that it would stand on deck and drive away enemy aircraft.
      They also write that this device was tested on the converted French fishing schooner La Patrie.
  5. xomaNN
    xomaNN 12 March 2014 14: 50
    Very intriguing pattern wink And in a ground target in a battle would have been flung out be healthy. But the trend of guided missile weapons is inevitable!
    1. dustycat
      dustycat 12 March 2014 19: 25
      Quote: xomaNN
      But the trend of guided missile weapons is inevitable!

      How to say..
      For example, as a company mine-gun on a robotic turret.
      Guidance on the height and angle of the meeting point turret.
      The shot is cheap.
      The effect is on the ruble.
      This is if you equip each rocket with a cable of 30 meters - so that the rotor blades themselves wound it and pulled the projectile.
      This is not the position of the DShK or MZA for you - no matter how you disguise them, you can see.
      This is literally a hell out of a snuffbox. In this case, from the bushes.
  6. samoletil18
    samoletil18 12 March 2014 16: 49
    It could be that the "arrows" would not work. And so for the foe is another reason not to go where they were not invited. Who knows, maybe some misinformation went to the Pentagon, with a probability of defeat close to 100%.
    To the author +. Interesting material, I have not heard about such a development, although I am very interested in the history of Soviet weapons.
  7. Jager
    Jager 12 March 2014 17: 11
    Let's take into account the development time of the system (and then we were just thinking about the projects of attack helicopters) + massive use + simplicity and cheapness of products ... It's quite a weapon, an order of magnitude cheaper and simpler MANPADS, with a limited scope. So no one set the task for the designers to create a "wunderwaffe".
    I think a more modern project would probably find its buyer. For example, in Africa, modern "Leopards" or "Abrams" were seen in a coffin. the good old T-55 is enough for them for a showdown.
    1. cobalt
      cobalt 12 March 2014 18: 32
      And train the shooter for long. We have developed and adopted also such a contraption as an anti-helicopter mine. Mine anti-helicopter cumulative directional destruction uncontrollable. Designed to disable low-flying air targets (aircraft, helicopters, other aircraft motor vehicles) moving at speeds up to 360 km / h. The defeat of the target in a mine explosion is caused by a shock core flying in the direction of the target at a distance of up to 150 meters.

      The target sensor is a combined acoustic infrared. The sensitivity of the acoustic sensor is not more than 0.6 decibels, which allows you to detect and confidently select the noise of the motor glider motors at a distance of 0.6 km, helicopter up to 3.2 km. If the noise is recognized as the noise of an aerial target motor, then when the target approaches a distance of less than 1 km, the warhead is turned towards the target and infrared target sensors (4-6 sensors) are turned on, which determine the exact direction to the target and the distance to it. The interception of another target at this time is excluded. The combination of simultaneous operation of acoustic and infrared sensors eliminates the response of mines to thermal missile traps fired by a target.
      When the target enters the affected area (hemisphere with a radius of 150 meters), mines are detonated and the strike core, moving at a speed of about 2500 km / h, strikes the target. The goal is considered to be a sound source and infrared radiation at the same time (aircraft engine).
      If the target did not enter the affected area, then when removed to a distance of more than 1 km. infrared sensors are switched off and the mine again goes to the target standby position.

  8. Kornilovets
    Kornilovets 12 March 2014 17: 33
    And there were cases of combat use of this "pipe"? :)
  9. Humpty
    Humpty 12 March 2014 20: 02
    Early put under the cloth the idea of ​​this device, despite the apparent archaism. It did not fit into the doctrine.
  10. vietnam7
    vietnam7 13 March 2014 12: 12
    But our designers, at the request of their Vietnamese comrades, developed a city-part (partisan), in the early 2000s I read weapons about it in the magazine, it seemed to be used successfully, and 69 were placed on gas for our troops.
  11. Biggi_2006
    Biggi_2006 April 13 2014 22: 16
    One "Arrow" is worth as many as hundreds of "Kolosov", in addition, the effectiveness of the "Arrow" was not ah and required high skill of the shooters. In general, the history of the long-term use of Strela-2 and Strela-3 showed that, on average, no more than 1,5-3% of the targets fired were hit, not counting the successful debut in the Yom Kippur War, where the effectiveness of the use of “Arrows” was facilitated by the effect of surprise and terrain conditions ... In general, the main task of MANPADS is not to destroy, but to disrupt aimed strikes on protected targets .. Kolos would have coped with this task. In addition, the ability to effectively use the "Kolos" on ground targets makes it a good support weapon, so they shouldn't have refused. When storming settlements, such a device would not be superfluous ... yes, and smudge the convoy of Hummers or armored personnel carriers, that's the very thing ... From the "Strela", then you definitely can't shoot at cars ... Cheapness and the possibility of handicraft production is a plus. In general, under certain conditions, Kolos could replace the "Arrow", AGS-17 and RPG-7, of course, in a full-fledged army, such universalization is useless, and in no case should it be worth completely replacing the Kolos Arrow in the army, but in partisan detachments and in paramilitaries it was quite a valuable device. So we could have slapped an experimental game.