Transport-loading machines of the C-25 anti-aircraft missile system with B-300 missiles at a parade in Moscow
The military and political leadership of the USSR was well aware of the risks associated with the development of bomber aircraft, which resulted in a corresponding decree of the Council of Ministers. The document from 9 August 1950 required in the shortest possible time to create an anti-aircraft missile system capable of providing effective air defense of a large city. Moscow was to be the first protected object, and later it was supposed to deploy the Leningrad air defense system. The Special Contractor No.1 (SB-1), now the Almaz-Antey State Design Bureau, was appointed the lead contractor. The project managers were S.L. Beria and P.N. Kuksenko. By the first letters of the last names of the leaders, the project was named “Golden Eagle” Several other organizations were involved in the development of various elements of the long-range air defense missile system.
In accordance with the earlier versions of the project, several basic elements were to be included in the Berkut air defense system. At a distance of about 25-30 and 200-250 km from Moscow, it was proposed to place two rings of the radar detection system. The basis of this system were to be the station "Kama". Two B-200 guidance radars were to be used to control the anti-aircraft missiles. It was supposed to hit enemy planes with the aid of B-300 guided missiles. The launch positions of the missiles were to be located near the radar guidance stations.
According to available data, the Berkut complex was supposed to include not only the missile, but also the aviation component. For some time, the development of an interceptor aircraft based on the Tu-4 bomber was conducted. The interceptor was supposed to carry G-300 air-to-air missiles. The development of the aviation component of the Berkut system ceased at the early stages of the project. According to some information, it was also planned to create an early warning radar aircraft based on the Tu-4. Apparently, this project remained at the stage of preliminary studies.
C-200 B-25 guidance radar
In accordance with the terms of reference, the Berkut air defense missile system was to ensure the defense of Moscow against a massive air raid by the enemy. The maximum number of aircraft involved in the raid was set at the level of 1000 units. The complex’s missiles were supposed to hit targets flying at speeds up to 1200 km / h at a distance of up to 35 km and altitudes of 3-25 km. Fulfillment of such requirements allowed to securely protect the capital from any massive raid using modern and promising long-range bombers of a potential enemy.
The B-300 guided missile was to be part of the Berkut air defense system. The development of this munition was commissioned by OKB-301 under the guidance of S.A. Lavochkin. The technical task required to create a rocket with a launch mass of not more than 1000 kg, capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 30 km and at altitudes up to 25 km. Already the first calculations showed that the current level of development of science and technology will not allow to fulfill such requirements. With a miss around 50-75 meters (such were the capabilities of the proposed control equipment), a combat unit with a mass of at least 250-260 kg was required. Another 170 kg weighed the equipment, because of which the structural elements of the rocket, the engine and the fuel remained slightly more than 500 kg. All this did not allow to fulfill the specified requirements for the range and height of target destruction.
The rocket’s guaranteed compliance with the requirements was ensured only with a starting weight over 3,5 tons. Having received approval, OKB-301 employees began developing two variants of the B-300 rocket. The first option involved the creation of a single-stage rocket with a starting weight of 3,4 tons and a flight duration of 60 seconds. In addition, a two-stage rocket with a solid-fuel accelerator (1,2 t) and a march stage weighing about 2,2 t was proposed. According to the results of the comparison, a single-stage option was chosen.
The finished B-300 rocket (factory index “205 product”) had a total length of about 11,45 m, a body with a diameter of 650 mm and a starting weight of 3,58 t. In the nose of the rocket there were X-shaped air rudders, in the middle - X-shaped wings with ailerons. In the tail of the rocket, they provided for additional gas rudders necessary for control in the first seconds of the flight. The liquid engine for the B-300 rocket was developed at the OKB-2 NII-88 under the supervision of A.I. Isaeva. The engine developed traction up to 9000 kg. To simplify the design of the rocket, the engine was equipped with a fuel injection system with an air pressure accumulator.
The rocket of the Berkut air defense missile system was equipped with a radio command and control system. The ground elements of the complex were to monitor the movement of the target and the missiles, process the information received and develop the commands for the guided munition. The B-300 rocket was equipped with an E-600 high-explosive fragmentation warhead capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 70-75 meters. The warhead was equipped with a non-contact radio-explosive. It is known about the development of a cumulative warhead.
Missiles B-300 on launch positions
The rocket was supposed to launch vertically using a special launcher. The launching table for guided missiles was a relatively simple metal structure with a set of mounts for a rocket. The ground equipment and the rocket were connected by cable through a quick-release connector. The rocket was to be mounted on the launching table with the help of a special transport trolley with a lifting mechanism.
For the detection of air targets could use any radar available in the troops. Accompanying targets and guiding missiles should be carried out using radar B-200. A characteristic feature of the station B-200 steel antenna polygonal shape. The antennas consisted of two trihedral beam shapers. Radar B-200 was equipped with two such antennas: azimuth and elevation. The first one was 8 m wide, the second 9 m wide. Constantly rotating, each antenna scanned a sector 60 ° wide. The beam width was 1 °.
The radar B-200 was also designated by the abbreviation CRN - “Central Guidance Radar”, since it was intended to control an anti-aircraft missile. The CRR had 20 firing channels, each of which was made as a separate unit of computing equipment. The firing channels of each radar B-200 were reduced to four groups, each of which was equipped with its own antenna transmission of commands.
At the end of July 1951, a little less than a year after the start of work, the first launch of the B-300 rocket took place at the Kapustin Yar test site. Experimental products were launched in a vertical position from the launch pad. The first three test launches were designed to test the operation of rocket systems in the initial stages of flight. Three times in a row, experienced rockets normally rose from the launch pad, promptly threw off the gas rudders, and also showed the characteristics corresponding to the calculated ones. The following five test launches were intended for testing the declination system in the vertical plane using gas rudders. In this series, only the second start passed without any problems.
A study of the results of test launches made it possible to establish that the rocket hardware and ground cable lines were responsible for the four failures of the tests. In late August and early September, the X-NUMX of the B-51 rocket system was tested at the stand of Plant No. 300, which soon made it possible to resume flight tests. From September 301 to October 19, 5 more test launches were conducted. In November-December, they conducted the last series of test launches of the first stage of flight tests. Of the 10 launched 12 missiles carried a full set of equipment, and 4 equipped with radio fuses. A series of 2 launches avoided serious problems, but the rocket tweaking continued.
The fourth, fifth and sixth series of launches, carried out in 1952 year, were aimed at developing various elements of the rocket equipment, primarily radio-electronic systems. Until the end of 52, two more series of launches were carried out, in which the B-200 radar was used. In the ninth and tenth series of test launches (1953), missiles produced by serial plants were used. The result of ten series of test launches was the recommendation for the start of mass production of the new rocket and other elements of the new Berkut anti-aircraft complex.
Serial production of B-300 missiles was carried out at the plants No. XXUMX, No. XXUMX, and No. XXUMX. Until the end of 41, the industry managed to manufacture over 82 missiles. Soon after the appearance of the order to start mass production, the Berkut project received a new designation - C-464. The new project manager was A.A. Raspletin.
At the end of the spring, 1953 passed new tests, the purpose of which was to determine the real characteristics of an anti-aircraft missile system. Converted Tu-4 and Il-28 aircraft were used as targets. When attacking targets like the Tu-4, anti-aircraft gunners simultaneously fired at two targets. One of the converted bomber was hit by the first missile, and the second was blown up near a burning target. On the destruction of the other three aircraft took from one to three missiles. When shooting at Il-28 targets, one aircraft was destroyed by one rocket and three others by two.
The deployment of Moscow air defense based on the C-25 air defense system proved to be an extremely difficult task. To ensure the most efficient operation of the system, it was decided to create two defense rings around the capital: one in 85-90 km from the center of Moscow, and the other in 45-50 km. The outer ring was intended to destroy the bulk of the attacking enemy aircraft, while the inner ring was to shoot down the burst bombers. The construction of positions for the C-25 ADMS was conducted from 1953 to 1958 year. Two ring roads and an extensive road network were built around Moscow for maintenance of anti-aircraft systems. In total, 56 anti-aircraft missile regiments were deployed around Moscow: 22 on the inner ring and 34 on the outer.
The positions of each of the 56 regiments made it possible to deploy 60 launchers with anti-aircraft missiles. Thus, 3360 missiles could be on duty at the same time. When using three missiles on one target, the C-25 air defense system was able to repel an attack of thousands of enemy aircraft. According to some reports, each regiment had three B-300 missiles with a special warhead with a power of 20 kilotons. Such a missile could surely destroy all enemy planes within 1 km from the blast point and seriously damage those at a greater distance.
In the mid-sixties, the C-25 air defense system went through a major modernization, as a result of which the letter “M” was added to its name. The largest modifications underwent central radar guidance B-200. All electromechanical devices used on it were replaced by electronic ones. This has a positive effect on the characteristics of the radar guidance. In addition, the C-25M SAM system received an updated rocket with new radio-electronic equipment. The new rocket could hit targets at ranges up to 40 km and an altitude from 1,5 to 30 km.
7 November 1960, the B-300 rocket, was first shown to the general public. Several products of this type were carried on tractors on Red Square. Until the mid-eighties, the B-300 missiles were present at every military parade. For more than two decades, more than 32 thousand B-300 missiles were delivered to the air defense regiments defending Moscow. For a long time, these products remained the most widespread type of guided missiles in the USSR.
The creation of the C-25 “Berkut” complex and the deployment of the Moscow air defense system on its basis became the first successful domestic project in the field of anti-aircraft missile systems, and the B-300 rocket became the first Soviet serial product of its class. As with any first development, the C-25 air defense system had some drawbacks. First of all, doubts were caused by the stability of the complex to the means of electronic warfare, which appeared shortly after its launch into service. In addition, an ambiguous solution was the uniform distribution of rockets around Moscow without taking into account the increased risks of attack from the north and west. Finally, the deployment of the air defense system of the country's largest city was an extremely expensive project. It was originally intended to build two air defense systems based on the C-25 complex: around Moscow and around Leningrad. Nevertheless, the colossal cost of the project ultimately led to the fact that only one such system was put on duty, and the construction of the second one was canceled.
The B-300 missiles and their modifications defended the sky of Moscow and the Moscow region until the eighties. With the advent of the new C-300P systems, outdated systems began to gradually be removed from duty. By the mid-eighties, all the regiments of the air defense of Moscow switched to new technology. The high efficiency of new radar stations and anti-aircraft systems, as well as the development of air defense throughout the country, allowed for more effective protection of the capital and surrounding areas.
Vasilin N.Ya., Gurinovich A.L. Anti-aircraft missile systems. - Minsk: Popurri LLC, 2002