Space Odyssey of Ukraine ends
A year ago, employees of the state design bureau "Yuzhnoye" them. Yangel celebrated the 60 anniversary of the enterprise. In the congratulatory addresses on the occasion of the anniversary it was noted that during this time, in collaboration with the Southern Machine-Building Plant. Makarov, the design bureau specialists managed to create 13 combat missile systems, seven space missile complexes, more than 70 types of spacecraft, about 50 types of rocket engines and propulsion systems for various purposes, more than 150 new materials and technologies. In addition, more than 900 space launch launches were launched and more than 400 research and military satellites were launched into orbits.
This year, the parade of memorable dates would be logical to continue with the 20 anniversary of the creation of the international project Sea Launch, in which Ukraine was once represented by Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and Yuzhmash Production Association. However, there is nothing to celebrate. Due to the crisis in the Ukrainian-Russian relations, the project is “frozen” and is unlikely to be revived in its previous form. At least, it’s no longer talking about the further use of Ukrainian Zenit missiles for launching, and the Southern Machine-Building Plant that produced them is now on the verge of final liquidation.
Rockets and closets
As a matter of fact, without orders the enterprise has been idle since last year, and in January its employees were sent on leave at their own expense due to accumulated wage arrears. Forced downtime lasted until April. Then, after repayment of the debt and to the accompaniment of generous promises from the first persons of the state to fill up YuMZ with work, the workers returned to the workshops. But, apparently, not for long, because they have nothing to do there. And, judging by the latest events, the case will not be limited to simple idleness.
Vladimir Tkachenko, an assistant to the general director of the enterprise for general issues, told reporters that the factory has been shut off for more than two weeks. In this regard, it was necessary to stop work in foundries, in areas related to the forge and in places where metal hardening and cooling take place. For the same reason, the bathrooms were closed, depriving the staff of basic household amenities.
At the same time, rumors of a possible power outage, supported by recent power outages at pumping stations, are being spread. But the new wage arrears are no longer rumors, but a reality: after April, payments have stopped again. “They said that restructuring was expected, and from August they would cut staff by 30 – 40%. So far, the workers are not paid a salary, apparently expecting that the people themselves will quit, ”says the head of the independent trade union of Yuzhmash, Yevgeny Derkach.
Representatives of military registration and enlistment offices, men guarding the draft of the men right at the main entrance hall, have now become an additional incentive for voluntary dismissal. And they prefer to grab the employees of the design office. Either because they come to work later than the others, or because of their uselessness for curving production. In turn, the “deviators”, relying on the support of colleagues and even the leadership, stubbornly unwilling to part with the last cadres, keep all-round defense: they carry out a telephone alert about the danger and do not leave the factory territory before the “catchers” leave.
Dnepropetrovsk owes its unofficial title of the capital of the Soviet rocket production to the Korean War. It was she who forced the then leadership of the military-industrial complex headed by the Minister of Arms Dmitry Ustinov in 1950 to urgently convert the still unfinished Dnipropetrovsk automobile plant into a top-secret “mailbox No. 586”. In the same year, instead of trucks and dump trucks, it launched the production of the first Soviet combat missile P-1 (which was held as “vertical takeoff vehicle”), which Sergei Korolev and his assistants copied from the V-2 trophy. A little later, the plant begins to produce P-5M - the first rocket in the world capable of carrying a nuclear charge.
A few years later, a special design bureau OKB-586 (now Yuzhnoye Design Bureau) was created on the territory of the “plant number 586”. It is headed by Mikhail Yangel, a former deputy Korolev, who took up the development of a rocket on high-boiling fuel components, which allowed to keep the “product” on alert, that is, fueled with fuel, for a long time (more than a month).
In the 1959 year, after successful tests for the armament of the Soviet army, a single-stage medium-range ballistic missile P-12 was adopted. Four years later, its innovative for the time modification of the P-12U for the silo launcher takes up combat duty in the newly created strategic missile forces. A little earlier, the P-16 is created - the first two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile capable of “covering” the territory of the United States and thus depriving the main strategic opponent of the Soviet Union of the advantage of an unanswered strike.
By that time, the Dnepropetrovsk Machine-Building Plant was already fully focused on products developed by the Yangel team. As Secretary General Nikita Khrushchev told reporters fairly after visiting the company: “Our production of rockets has been put on the conveyor! Recently, I was at the same factory and saw how there are rockets coming out, like sausages from machine guns. ”
This result was made possible thanks to the well-coordinated work of the tandem in the person of the head of the OKB Yangel and his former chief engineer Alexander Makarov, who was appointed director of the plant in 1961. “It was they who created the model of a unified experimental design and production base, which to this day is an innovation in the sphere of production and design,” writes another ex-director of Yuzhmash, former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.
The main joint work of Yangel and Makarov was R-36M (SS-18 Satan, according to NATO classification) - a missile system with a heavy-duty multipurpose intercontinental ballistic missile, which allowed the use of various types of combat equipment (head units), including those separated with individual targeting warheads , and implemented a strategy of guaranteed retaliation. The “Satan”, which had no analogues, with its autonomous control system and full ampulization of fuel systems after refueling (this allowed the rocket to remain in full combat readiness for a decade and a half), which became the main element of the USSR’s “missile shield”, in the beginning of 70 Americans, called "factory of fear" by YuMZ, urgently go to negotiations on nuclear missile disarmament.
One of the most sensational then novelties was the so-called mortar launch invented by Yangel, when the multi-ton colossus in its launch variant from the transport and launch container was first “fired” from TPK under pressure of powder batteries, and then its engine was started. This enabled designer Vladimir Utkin, who completed the project of “Satan” after the death of Mikhail Yangel in 1971, together with his brother Alexey later created the RT-23 UTHF “Molodets” (SS-24 Scalpel) - a combat railway missile complex, in the number of 12 trains with 36 launchers on alert in the Strategic Missile Forces of the USSR and Russia in 1987 – 1994 (all of them were decommissioned and disposed of under the terms of the START-2 agreement).
No less active, Yuzhmash, 80% of whose production in 1960 – 1980-s were military missiles, participated in space programs. The Zenit rocket created there as a modular part of the first-stage unit of the launch vehicle Energia was used in the project of the first (and, unfortunately, the last) Soviet reusable spacecraft Buran. And liquid Cyclone light launch vehicles or based on the P-12 and P-14 Cosmos and Intercosmos launched space vehicles, many of which (AUOS, Tselina or Typhoon series), into low near-earth orbit. ) Dnepropetrovsk specialists were created again. The side shops, which produced the tractor first under the “Belarus” brand (due to the secrecy of the enterprise), and then its own — YuMZ (totaling more than two million cars), as well as other peaceful “consumer goods” did not lag behind.
With the collapse of the Union, the glorious history of Yuzhmash, like many other giants of the military-industrial complex, could have ended overnight. Hundreds of combat missiles produced there annually were no longer needed by anyone — as, incidentally, tens of thousands of tractors. The majority of subcontractors turned out to be beyond new frontiers, and the state order changed the “wild market”. The situation was saved by the presidential election of 1994 of the year. The new head of state, Leonid Kuchma, did everything for the survival of the unfamiliar Yuzhmash, which was also one of the few flagships of the young Ukrainian economy.
The main theme for the plant and Yuzhnoye Design Bureau has since become commercial space. One of the first projects was the Sea Launch - the creation of a marine spaceport at the equator with the help of a floating platform, where there are the best conditions for launching (the Earth’s rotation speed can be used as efficiently as possible). Created in 1995, the Sea Launch Company consortium, in addition to Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, included the Boeing Commercial Space Company (the space subsidiary of the American aviation industry), the Russian RSC Energia and the Norwegian shipbuilding company Aker Kværner. Four years later, the first commercial launch was successfully carried out, and in just 15 years (until May 2014 of the year) 36 launches (of which 33 were successful) were made.
Shortly after the first launches of the Sea Launch, the Yuzhnoye design bureau had the idea of its land analogue, originally called the Start from the Desert (later the more familiar Land Launch was agreed). It was a joint project of Russia, Ukraine and the United States on the use of the launch complex at the Baikonur cosmodrome to launch the upgraded Zenit-2SLB and Zenit-3SLB launch vehicles. In the course of this program, six successful launches of spacecraft were carried out from 2008 to 2013 year.
On the basis of the legendary Satan, a Dnepr launch vehicle was created, from 1999 to 2015, the year performed the 22 launch, with the help of which more than 140 spacecraft belonging to 20 states were launched into orbit. And already at the very end of Kuchma’s second presidential term (in 2003), Ukraine signed an agreement with Brazil on long-term cooperation to create the Cyclone-4 RSC for spacecraft launches at the Alcantara cosmodrome in Brazil.
Along the way, the Yugmash workers earned money on the maintenance and extension of the service life of the missiles that were in service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, “adapted” the Czech trolleybuses and trams to Ukrainian realities, and also mastered the production of wind turbines, food equipment and landing gear for the An-140, An -148 and An-158. This together gave a noticeable workload of production capacity and salaries enviable by the standards of Dnepropetrovsk.
The confidence of the workers of Yuzhmash in their own prosperous future and the five-year plan of Yushchenko’s rule, which tired them during their infrequent visits with tedious lectures about the Tripoli culture and the famine, did not shake. “The caravan is going, and the money is dripping,” they reasoned. Especially since the money was falling more and more tangibly - the Russian “defense industry”, revived in the second half of the 2000's, with its purchases began to awaken the memories of the blessed Soviet times to the factory workers. And when Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who visited Yuzhmash already under Yanukovich (at the end of 2013), started talking about creating a joint rocket and space corporation, the former happiness seemed very close.
To the ground
But February 2014 struck, and all the plans were covered with a yellow-blackish-white basin with a red-black tint. In early March last year, the plant was visited by the newly appointed governor Igor Kolomoisky. He walked around the shops with a worried look, signing a certain “memorandum of cooperation” with the General Director of Yuzhmash Sergey Voit. As a result of this excursion, orders at the plant did not increase, but from there they began to export metal from strategic reserves (approximately the same way, pipelines 600 thousand tons of technical oil were pumped out of pipelines controlled by the Kolomoisky state company Ukrnafta last year). At the same time, information appeared on the Web about the possible sale to third countries of the documentation on the Voyevoda BBBR produced in the Dnieper (the Soviet name for the famous Satan).
For some time the naive countrymen of Kolomoisky thought that everything would change. And, in principle, they were not mistaken. Here are just a change for the worse. Back in April of last year, Kuchma, who knew all the ins and outs of the survival of his native enterprise, warned: “We have too much tied up with Russia to refuse to cooperate with it. But, if we lose contracts with the Russian Federation, we need to give an alternative. In Europe, I do not see sales markets for Yuzhmash products. ”
Already in August, the Ukrainian Security Council decided to end military and scientific-technical cooperation with enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Russia. This extremely inspired patriots like the chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Council of Entrepreneurs, Vladimir Don, who said: “Today, exports from this enterprise to Russia have decreased by 80%. This is a product that is associated with weapons. This is logical, but we cannot sell to our potential enemies. weaponfrom which will kill our soldiers, our soldiers, our citizens. It is necessary to apply a series of measures. The fallacy of the positions of the plant’s management lies in what they think: the state will help. No one will help. ”
The fact that the state really threw the industrial giant to its fate, the staff of the enterprise was convinced pretty soon. “As a result of a consistent reduction in the production of rocket and space technology, cash inflows have more than quadrupled, from 1 billion 907 million UAH in 2011 to 450 million UAH in 2014. In this case, under contracts with Russia, the reduction was more than 60 -fold - from 1 billion 719 million to 28 million UAH. Further production of the Zenit launch vehicle (Sea Launch and Land Launch projects) has been suspended. Renewal is questionable. Russia is reducing cooperation on other projects (Dnepr, the Federal Space Program). As a result of the loss of the main customer, at the end of 2014, the deficit of working capital amounted to about 700 million UAH. The company's debts on 01.01.2015 amount to about 640 million UAH, including wages, related payments and social payments - more than 140 million UAH, ”YuMZ website reported (after a short time, the information was deleted for some unknown reason).
President Petro Poroshenko, who appeared at the plant a month after his February stop, routinely promised both an order from the Ministry of Defense (“The defense order has a proposal for Yuzhmash. You can guess what kind of production nomenclature is in question”) and civilian (“I he said, an order for 45 million UAH for trolleybuses for Dnipropetrovsk and Dnipropetrovsk region will be offered "). In both cases, Poroshenko deceived. About the state order ("guess what kind of nomenclature") still can not hear anything, but with the trolleybuses of Dnepropetrovsk people they "rolled" completely shamelessly. 6 July Yuzhmash had to sign a contract for the supply of ten cars, but the auto company "Bogdan Motors", controlled by Oleg Svinarchuk (Poroshenko's business partner), suddenly filed a complaint because of the lack of necessary documents from the plant. After that, the Antimonopoly Committee hastily canceled the contract.
The affairs of the Dnepropetrovsk machine-building plant and in foreign markets are no less “successful”. Back in December, the American company Orbital Science Corporation, 2014, stopped cooperation with Yuzhmash due to the explosion of the Antares launch vehicle engine with the Cygnus transport ship. Against this background, the statement that Ukraine intends to transfer its tightly frozen Alcantaur space project from Brazil to the US looks even funnier.
“It was the only major investment project of Ukraine abroad, not only confirming our country as a leader in the aerospace industry, but also giving the prospect of loading and development of our enterprises for many years,” ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov wrote on his Facebook page. “At the command of their owners, they put an end to the most advanced industry of Ukraine - the aerospace industry,” he stated.
According to political analyst Andrei Zolotarev, the situation with Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoye Design Bureau is fraught for Ukraine with a loss of the status of the space power. “Bazaar” capitalism does not need space. He is interested not in the prospect, but in profit now and today, ”the expert believes, confident that in the process of reforms Ukraine will receive a new model of the economy, which will be inscribed in the Western market. The only successful option of such a "fit" is "total de-industrialization."
So the devastation, sung by Bulgakov, who was born in Kiev, is not really in the southern masseuses of the closet, but in the heads of those who, in full accordance with the words of the party hymn, the Communists, so hated by them, undertook to destroy the world they did not create and leave behind the chaos that they created perhaps not even the famous “Satan”.
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