Military Review

How does the A-60 and other combat lasers in Russia

How does the A-60 and other combat lasers in Russia

The potential of using laser in military developments cannot be overestimated. it weapon future, and the nearest. Therefore, the adoption of such systems should be a priority for a state that considers itself strong. How were things with such projects in the USSR and Russia, tried to understand the "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".


The use of high-power lasers has occupied the minds of the Soviet military since the 1960s. Therefore, it is not surprising that the best scientists of the USSR fought against this problem. In 1964, the Nobel laureate in physics Nikolai Basov is taken to create the most powerful laser called "Terra-3". By the beginning of the 70-ies, the device from the laboratories moved to the landfill near Lake Balkhash and successfully passed almost all the tests. For example, in the presence of the USSR Minister of Defense Marshal Grechko, the Terra-3 falls from an impressive distance into a five-kopeck coin.

It was thought that the project had a bright future, but it turned out that it was not possible to realize the full potential of the device with the current power generators. Yes, the Terra-3 was able to shoot down small satellites, but she could not shoot a ballistic missile.

In the middle of 1990, the project faced new problems, this time financial ones. After several years, the activity of perspective development was curtailed, technologies were classified and left in Russia, and all property was transferred to Kazakhstan, on whose territory and work was carried out.


Almost simultaneously with the start of work on Terra-3, the related project Omega, which was supervised by Mikhail Prokhorov, also a Nobel winner in physics, a colleague of Basov, started.

By 1973, the giant device was assembled. At that time it was absolutely unique and advanced: a special laser locator, a huge lens with a neodymium coating. The installation was able to semi-automatically find a target in the air, evaluate and identify it, but most importantly - the defeat of the target — she, like her colleague Terra-3, lacked strength. Almost immediately, the laser was replaced by a fast-flowing carbon dioxide, which had much greater power and this gave a result.

In all subsequent tests, the Omega easily hit the imitations of the enemy’s missiles and aircraft, but with all the obvious advantages, it did not have any visible superiority over the traditional proven anti-aircraft missile systems, all the more the cost of each Omega-like mobile unit was disproportionately higher than the air defense system. Financing of the project was reduced, then completely closed, but the used developments brought invaluable benefit to further projects of laser weapons.

LSG and Skif-DM

Regardless of the projects of stationary and fixed laser systems, there was a program of autonomous systems, called the “Powerful Power Plants”. One of these lasers was equipped with a special experienced ship "Dikson", which according to all documents was held by an ordinary logging truck of impressive size. All work on the restructuring of the ship and installation of the laser were entrusted to the design bureau "Nevskoe", the project itself was named "Theme" Aydar ".

It turned out that rebuilding the ship for the needs of the military is not such an easy task. The laser required colossal power in 50 megawatts, which could not be given to the tanker’s power plants. Then it was decided to install three additional jet engines from the Tu-154 aircraft. Hydrogen, which would inevitably appear due to the operation of the installation, was also not included in the plans of the developers; to solve this problem, the entire ship was literally “requested” by ventilation. To adjust the copper reflector of the laser beam, a state-of-the-art computer was built, which automatically corrected aiming at the target. The whole project cost the treasury a few hundred million rubles!

In the summer of 1980, the laser fired its first shot at a conditional target. It turned out to be accurate, but too weak - only 5 percent of the declared power. It did not take long to puzzle over this: it turned out that power was lost due to evaporation of moisture from the surface of the sea.

A few years earlier, the USSR Ministry of Defense had been puzzled by the development of a project of a spacecraft capable of shooting down enemy missiles and satellites with its laser. Technology, allowing at the time to carry out his plan, has not yet been. Now, when the practical utility of the laser gun was obvious, the military once again set the task of bringing a powerful laser into space. To create it, and were taken device operating time on the ship "Dikson".

15 May 1987, the Polyus spacecraft (Skiff-DM) was launched from the Baikonur launch site. And less than in 10 minutes his hot splinters fell into the Pacific Ocean, it seemed, burying the entire laser program of the Soviet Union.


Fortunately, the program is not completely closed. It was simply transferred from the spacecraft to the aircraft. The A-60 is the crown of the development of the laser program and the first Soviet, and then the Russian, flying laboratory, created on the basis of the Il-76MD military transport aircraft. The Skif-D laser setup, which this flying laboratory possesses, is a lightweight and modified version of the Skif-DM, which has not been put into orbit.

Naturally, the design of IL-76MD had to be greatly changed for the needs of the program. There is a laser pointing in front of it, there is a special “build-up” with sliding doors on the roof of the aircraft, inside the aircraft there is a main laser. This was done to ensure that the ship does not lose its aerodynamics.

The crisis of the early nineties forced the use of a unique laboratory as an ordinary cargo plane. But since 2005, the ship is again undergoing tests, now in the framework of the new classified program "Falcon-Echelon". In 2009, the laser beam launched from A-60 successfully hit a conventional target flying 1500 kilometers above the ground. In addition to space objects, a flying laser laboratory is capable of hitting low-flying aerial targets, such as airplanes and conventional enemy ballistic missiles.

The resumption of A-60 flights is not accidental; laser weapons appear to be the most promising vector for the development of missile defense systems. A dozen of these flying laboratories in the future will be an important factor in deterring missile weapons and reconnaissance satellites of a possible enemy.

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  1. sv68
    sv68 8 November 2014 07: 54
    but how is the a60 arranged? The article clearly does not correspond to the name — except for the collected and already known information material — zero.
      RADIOACTIVE 8 November 2014 14: 30
      but you can’t reveal the secrets of the country, probably about 50 years nothing will be known about this plane hi
      1. Vita_vko
        Vita_vko 9 November 2014 08: 45
        Read here.http: //
        Everything is described in sufficient detail, including schemes. Especially about the design of American lasers. About the Russians at the level of conceptual decisions. The physics is the same, so the design is not much different.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Alekseev
      Alekseev 9 November 2014 18: 58
      Quote: sv68
      information is zero.

      That's right!
      In addition, I would like to know from competent comrades what the expression means: a target simulating an airplane, a rocket, etc. Was hit by a combat laser?
      He that burned it, caused an explosion, a fire, disabled the control system or what? what
  2. gregor6549
    gregor6549 8 November 2014 08: 53
    And how can this article be combined with the many cries of patriots cheers that only stupid Americans are throwing money away or sawing them doing laser weapons?
    1. Iline
      Iline 8 November 2014 10: 10
      A big problem in the military use of lasers is power supplies. And so far no one has been able to solve it in principle. And the fact that the developments are going on and our scientists are not far behind - it pleases. Maybe someday it will be possible to realize it in a reasonable size and with sufficient characteristics.
      1. Duke
        Duke 8 November 2014 11: 31
        A 1 MW continuous gas-dynamic CO laser developed by KBKhimavtomatika (KBKhA) with a power of 17 MW was created within the framework of the NPO Astrophysics program on a space-based laser installation for the 19F0600D Skif-D space station. KBKhA has created an onboard space gas-dynamic laser RD-10,6, operating on gaseous propellants (leading designers - V.P. Koshelnikov, G.I. Zavizion, V.Yu. Guterman). A high-power laser operating on the principle of converting the thermal energy of an active gas medium obtained during nonequilibrium expansion in a supersonic nozzle array into electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of 0600 μm. GDL RD-0600 underwent a full cycle of bench testing at a special stand with an optical path. It is possible that the tests of the prototype of the RD-100 CO laser with a power of 1 kW were carried out at the 1AXNUMX aircraft-flying laboratory (not confirmed).
        A family of GDL bench models with radiation power from 10 to 600 kW was created with a specific power output of 5 – 10 J / g, as well as an onboard space GDL RD-0600 operating on gaseous fuel components. GDL RD-0600 has passed the full volume of bench testing. To test the GDL, a special stand with an optical path was created to study the interaction of radiation with various materials. At the stand, the methods of mirror alignment, measurement of the GDL parameters, and beam focusing on the object were worked out. A complex of theoretical and experimental studies has been performed for CO2 GDL lasers based on liquid components: dicyanacetylene and nitrous oxide, with the aim of creating a laser unit with enhanced specific energy characteristics (source).
        TTX RD-0600:
        Radiation power - 100 kW
        The oxidizing agent is oxygen
        Fuel - Gaseous Carbon Monoxide
        Ballast - nitrogen gas
        Gas temperature in the generator - 1580 K
        Total fuel consumption - 12 kg / s
        Length - 1820 mm
        Width - 2140 mm
        Height - 680 mm
        Laser RD-0600 developed by KBHA.
        Judging by all sorts of fragmentary data on the A-60 / 1A2 aircraft, a laser developed by the KBKhA for the "blinding" system of space surveillance equipment is being tested within the framework of the Sokol-Echelon design and development project of the Almaz-Antey air defense concern. Within the framework of this R&D work, the experimental laser complex 1LK222 was created and tested (the lead developer is GSKB Almaz-Antey). Based on the results of the work at the end of 2011, working design documentation for the 1LK222 product and its component parts was developed in the volume agreed with the Customer (Ministry of Defense of Russia); prototyping and testing of layouts of individual devices 1LK222; an assessment of the achievable characteristics of the 1LK222 product was carried out using complex mathematical modeling; hardware and software for the product 1LK222 was developed; the technical parameters and the order of functioning of the 1LK222 product were clarified, taking into account the maintenance of the main objects of work. In the future, it is planned to create a stationary complex stand of the 1LK222 product formation and guidance systems.
        1. pahom54
          pahom54 8 November 2014 12: 02
          Duke, you are always informative ...
          1. Duke
            Duke 8 November 2014 20: 45
            Quote: pahom54
            Duke, you are always informative ...

            IM trying thank you.
        2. RADIOACTIVE
          RADIOACTIVE 8 November 2014 14: 32
          I saw a similar installation at our institute, only we used it for cutting metal
      2. timer
        timer 8 November 2014 20: 23
        I agree with the comment. I propose the following solution to this problem-to collect all interested individuals, university institutes and private organizations in an open competition-competition with a clearly defined goal (with technical parameters). That is, who will be selected by an expert commission composed not only of scientists, but and the participants themselves, will receive funding and a production base. This method will reduce the time for receiving ideas, developing, optimizing costs, and achieving goals.
        By the way, the Americans under the wing of the Ministry of Defense hold such a competition in robotics all the time!
    2. The comment was deleted.
  3. pahom54
    pahom54 8 November 2014 09: 36
    "The USSR Ministry of Defense was puzzled by the development of a spacecraft project capable of shooting down enemy missiles and satellites with its laser. There were no technologies allowing to carry out the plan at that time"...

    Lying. Already at the end of the 80s, there were technologies for creating and launching combat platforms with a laser gun, the laser beam achieved the required power thanks to nuclear pumping ... All this was, and thanks to Gorbi and EBN, it floated, or rather, closed. .. So if now it’s good to rummage in the archives, but to pick up people - this problem could be solved again, in a new quality ...
    1. turanchox
      turanchox 8 November 2014 12: 54
      you probably oversaw all the laser projects of the USSR
      1. studentmati
        studentmati 8 November 2014 19: 53
        Quote: Turanchox
        you probably oversaw all the laser projects of the USSR

        Just Yuri in the know. I think the irony is baseless. Interesting continuation!
    2. Duke
      Duke 8 November 2014 20: 48
      Quote: pahom54
      The laser beam achieved the required power due to nuclear pumping.

      There is still chemical pumping.
      Chemical reaction energy lasers are a type of gas lasers through which gaseous reactants are continuously pumped through the working zone. During a chemical reaction between the reactants, molecules are formed in an excited state, which transform into the ground state with the emission of a photon. Gas lasers can produce large radiation powers at relatively compact sizes. One of the problems of gas lasers is poor environmental friendliness due to abundant toxic exhaust.
  4. svp67
    svp67 8 November 2014 09: 43
    But since 2005, the ship has been tested again, now within the framework of the new classified program "Sokol-Echelon"
    Ay, ay ... it's like "it flows" with us. "Regimes" eat their bread in vain ...
  5. lwxx
    lwxx 8 November 2014 11: 18
    Slowly, more and more facts are emerging that the USSR was not so backward as we had been sucked in for the last 25 years. It is unfortunate that during the time of EBN Gorbach sold a lot to the west.
  6. nva8
    nva8 8 November 2014 11: 36
    I agree!

    It is unfortunate that many of those who consider RUSSIA to be backward so far.
  7. mrDimkaP
    mrDimkaP 8 November 2014 11: 39
    And compression and other SLK?Сжатие_(лазерный_комплекс)
  8. kafa
    kafa 8 November 2014 13: 49
    The topic is certainly interesting. it is desirable that more details about current affairs. I like it wink and "Dixon" is just ned ... oh, just b ... in short, who has not seen that has not lost his sight smile
  9. Siberia 9444
    Siberia 9444 8 November 2014 14: 20
    The objective of the laser complex was to counter optical-electronic systems for monitoring and controlling weapons of the battlefield in harsh climatic and operational conditions for armored vehicles.
  10. cergey51046
    cergey51046 8 November 2014 14: 31
    Alcoholic Yeltsin gave our laser to the Americans.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 8 November 2014 15: 52
      Not Americans, French. Laser systems for detecting and suppressing optics were in the Soviet army, there are in the Russian and French (sold technology), and on the way from the Chinese (stolen corny)
  11. Idel
    Idel 8 November 2014 16: 12
    In the 90s, the A-60, while at the Chkalov air base, was disabled. An analysis of the reasons led to the conclusion that it was a diversion. Persons involved in this have not been established .....
  12. mivail
    mivail 8 November 2014 22: 06
    Russian land is rich in talents. No wonder the GDP said that the next rearmament program will have more weapons based on new physical principles.
  13. Mentat
    Mentat 9 November 2014 20: 02
    "Laser weapons" is nothing more than a common myth among a technically weakly savvy population.

    If closer to practice, all these projects that we have, that in the West (whatever they scream there) are the development of conceptual models of beam weapons. In order for it to really work, not just technological breakthroughs are needed, but new discoveries in fundamental physics.

    Laser radiation is not suitable for military purposes: it quickly loses power, it is very easily parried.
    1. viruvalge412ee
      viruvalge412ee 15 November 2014 20: 20
      We’ll learn a little bit and all p-t ALL and us too
  14. viruvalge412ee
    viruvalge412ee 15 November 2014 20: 14
    Laser of the future = it is unique!