The instrument engineering design bureau, a leading enterprise of the defense-industrial complex of Russia for the development of high-precision weapon systems, is named after academician Arkady Shipunov. KBP and Shipunov were born in one year - 1927. And headed the company Arkady G. 29 March 1962 of the year. Over the years since that date, the enterprise team has created and commercialized more than 140 samples of unique military equipment and weapons, surpassing foreign models in scientific and technical level and efficiency. Some of them have no analogues in the world.
Not a single military parade did without Shipunov’s inventions and developments. In all programs that the KBP deals with, the Russian defense industry surpasses the West, spending, which is important, much less money. One example. For the helicopter weaponry, the Americans allocated billions of dollars to their military-industrial complex 13, Shipunov asked 50 millions of dollars and made the system better.
Under the scientific and technical guidance of Shipunov, the development of special robotic systems with elements of artificial intelligence was carried out. Ideas are not just relevant, they are still ahead of their time. The results of research and developments of Arkady Georgievich today are widely used in the creation of civilian products - metalworking and sewing equipment, medical laser devices, biotechnological industries. Employees of the company sometimes jokingly call themselves "bearings", paying tribute to its creator. It says a lot.
In the house where the memorial plaque is now located, Arkady Georgievich lived several lives - a scientist, organizer, founder of the scientific and design school of system design of high-precision and small-arms weapons. One of the speakers at the opening of the memorial plaque called Arkady Georgievich a great family man: he was, in fact, the father for those who worked with him, and of course, he loved his family very much.
Our freelance correspondent Nikolai POROSKOV asked to tell about the outstanding designer Shipunov's daughter - Tatyana Saklakova, Candidate of Technical Sciences, an engineer by education, who has worked all her life at defense enterprises in Moscow.
“My father lived in this house since 1962, when he was sent to work here as chief designer and chief of the KBP,” says Tatyana Arkadyevna. - From this house he went every day to work in a great mood, often singing or whistling a cheerful song. This home was returning home from work tired but pleased.
I remember how in the spring my father went to the annual clean-up cleanup on the territory. He always chose scrap from the tools and pounded them merrily, breaking up large pieces of ice left over from the winter. After some time, Nikolai Fedorovich Makarov, the creator of the famous PM pistol, approached him from a neighboring house - the courtyard was common. Conversations about work began, my father talked something cheerfully, people gathered around, after some time they left the instrument, the number of listeners invariably grew.
From this house, along with Vasily Petrovich Gryazev, my father went on foot to work, making his famous “march” to the combine plant instead of physical exercises. And this is 11 km. A car met them at the plant, since the last kilometers to the KBP were not suitable for walking.
- How did two prominent scientists, the designer get along, find a common language, how did the two bears get along in the same lair?
- The fact is amazing, maybe not having an analogue. Gryazev is an outstanding designer, as Shipunov himself called him. Arkady Georgievich is a bigger figure, he is the creator of several areas of the development of precision weapons in the framework of the KBP. With Gryazev, they swore to each other to devote their lives to developing the best weapons. The oath became a priority in different life situations, and there were a lot of them.
Together with Vasily Petrovich, his father found original solutions in the gun-gun direction where, it seemed, everything had already been done before them. How many ideas were embodied by these two devotees, according to which well-known designers gave a conclusion: this cannot be! And they did it! In the difficult 90-e they did not go abroad, remained loyal to the KBP. Arkady G. made great efforts to preserve the KB.
The father was a civilian, but after the order of the military, as a rule, he proactively put forward his proposals, explaining and convincing the customer that such a weapon system would be needed in the near future.
His thought was ahead of the possibilities of technology. Here is the famous gun GSH-23 - it will not be equal to another half a century. If they had only done it with Gryazev, they would have already become great, considered weapon geniuses. One of his father’s associates, Stanislav Ivanovich Averin, academician of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, believes that Shipunov and Gryazev created a “periodic system” of gun and cannon weapons - by analogy with the Mendeleev system. An integral system of high-precision weapons for various purposes has been created. Hopefully, another cell in it will be taken by Shipunov’s “controlled bullet,” as her father called it. This is a work called "Marker".
- I once read the phrase of Arkady Georgievich: “I rely on Starodubtsev in everything” ...
- Vasily Alexandrovich appreciated his father and, where he could, he helped. They were friends, despite the trail of the State Emergency Committee, stretching behind Starodubtsev ... As everyone who knew my father says, he never betrayed or sold anyone.
- The Russian mind is strong in the field of armaments. And this, whatever you say, a weapon of destruction. And Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov, as if in justification, said: "I created a weapon of defense." Did Shipunov have something like that?
- My father often recalled the bombing during the war years, when German attack aircraft shot refugees with impunity. Then he had a desire to shoot. This desire to protect our country from any enemy, as I see it, has become one of the motivations for choosing a profession.
- In Shipunova 772 inventions, 548 scientific papers. What qualities of Arkady Georgievich helped him to do this?
- An exceptional sense of novelty and the ability to choose the direction of the “main strike”, developed (in the best sense of the word) ambition, desire and ability to bring the work to the end. The father could not be the second - only the first.
Father showed intellectual abilities while still studying at the institute. He carried out his work in physics and theoretical mechanics in his original way, without taking into account methodological developments. And when the teachers were interested in why he was not guided by the training manuals, he was surprised that such recommendations exist at all. My father was sure: this is the kind of work that is given in order to do it yourself. The way in which he achieved the result was always his own, often original. Not in the last plan was his engineering aesthetics. He loved to say: "What a beautiful, elegant solution!"
During the celebration of the 85 anniversary, he was asked if he had any new projects. “The trouble is that there are a lot of them,” was the answer.
- The distinctive aspect of any great person is the creation of systems, rules, canons. Did your father have them?
- Arkady Georgievich - the developer of numerous models and weapon systems and at the same time the creator of a bright style of engineering work using the methods of a scientific and integrated approach to the issues of system design. He turned the combination of these methods into a real working tool of the Instrument Design Bureau, into the aesthetics of engineering work. They became the philosophy and religion of the PCU, the wealth of the enterprise.
My father always said that any product that leaves the walls of the PCU - a report, analytical materials and technical proposals for a customer, scientific dissertations - is always a sign of quality, like the signature of a master in a painting. My father saw in this side of creativity a special aesthetics, knew how to create it, admire it and attract capable performers to it.
“But even these qualities sometimes turned out to be insufficient during the times of perestroika and dashing 90's ...”
- During these years, thanks to his authority, technical erudition and business qualities, the father managed to obtain funding from the United Arab Emirates for the development of the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile system. It was, without exaggeration, a feat. The order allowed not only to preserve the parent company and dozens of subcontractors, but also to give a powerful impetus for their further development.
In connection with this, one interesting historical analogy. In the 30s of the last century, Moscow marked the anniversary of the Moscow Art Theater. The speech before the government was held by Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky. He said: “Today, on the day of our anniversary, I turn mentally to the memory of a man to whom the Moscow Art Theater owes that it did not close its doors long before the establishment of Soviet power, which helped the theater survive in the most difficult times, thanks to which the theater survived to our days. The name of this person is Savva Morozov. I invite everyone to stand up and honor his memory. ” And the whole hall stood up. Comrade Stalin, who is in the box, and members of the government also got up. It was a bold act on the part of Stanislavsky, for the name of Savva Morozov was not included in the lists of official heroes, but such was the power of historical truth.
- As far as I know, there was another difficult period in the life of Arkady Georgievich - the removal from office in 2006 year.
- It was a terrible period in the life of his father, the removal from work knocked the ground out from under his feet. In the end, by this he was killed and physically, many of his associates speak openly about this. Do not words and deeds kill people? With his mighty health, he could still live and live. A man of restraint, the father experienced everything in himself, did not allow the manifestation of feelings, emotions, splashes, maintained dignity.
The removal from office was not a surprise to him. The story dragged on for several months. Talking about the need to change leadership reached him in a roundabout way. The main argument is age. His deputies were called to the center: apparently, they tuned in the right key and asked to prepare Shipunov. Arkady Georgievich did not agree, he said: the enterprise is operating cost-effectively, efficiently, what else is needed?
A Jesuit reception with a competition was used, in which two candidates participated - Shipunov and the Varangian from the center. The judges - employees of the ministry, officials. For applicants for the post prepared about a hundred questions. Of course, this is extremely humiliating for a person whose work has created a company. At this point, the company had very large orders for the supply of military equipment for foreign customers. Funding was used very effectively, including the development of production capacity and, of course, to conduct development work and implement the most daring new ideas. Now his brainchild was going to take away from him, reshape it at his discretion.
Arkady Georgievich went to the contest reluctantly. And there he found out: the competitor did not show up for the competition. And the competition was declared invalid, moved to a later date. A week later, the procedure was repeated. This time Shipunov did not go. Out of habit, he simply calculated the scheme: and the second time the competitor would not appear, and the third, while Shipunov was there. Actually, the organizers and sought. The competitor won.
- And the leadership of the military-industrial complex?
- Shipunov, a man of reasonable pride, wanted to meet with the country's top leadership and the defense industry. Let not with the president, but a close person in terms of power, who could be a mediator. My father often said that he was preparing for such a conversation, had good arguments, could give any explanations - “not for personal gain”, but for the good of the fatherland. The “specialist” specialist, he, like Pushkin (I read the poet's letters), wanted the patronage of the higher authorities, he had the right to count on it, he deserved it. But it did not happen. The military, for whom he did so much, gave such a perspective, did not intervene either.
Shipunov was replaced by a “clean” manager, against which his father had always been. “Tell me, why does the symphonic orchestra need the unshaven Gergiev? He is not a manager! He is a musician, ”Arkady Georgievich wondered and answered himself:“ But it is his orchestra that is known all over the world. Remember what happened when Yevgeny Svetlanov was ousted from the State Academic Symphony Orchestra and put a manager in his place. The orchestra fell apart. When money becomes an end in itself, there’s no good wait. ”
And once again he was right: the first thing the changer did was the financial block. Perhaps the new head and used to control cash flow. My father said more than once that there were hundreds of millions of dollars in the checkout, which quickly disappeared.
Self-propelled anti-aircraft missile-gun complex "Pantsir-C1" shows the highest combat effectiveness in any climatic conditions. Photo courtesy of KBP
It is curious that the shift operator who barely assumed the position of head of the PCU received, among other things, the Russian government’s prize for developing the lightest pistol in the world (450 g) GSH-18. It can be worn with a cartridge in the chamber, which means to use it very quickly. The gun was adopted in all power structures of Russia. Many foreign analogues cannot boast of such characteristics. After the appearance of GSH-18, some Western developers began to use certain schemes developed by Shipunov and Gryazev in the manufacture of their weapons. And they say that the Russian designers are engaged in copying Western concepts.
In the abbreviation of the pistol, as you know, the names of Gryazev and Shipunov are enclosed, but there was no Arkady Georgievich in the list of those who received the award. Explained as follows: the prize is not for the gun, but for the cartridge to it. But in this case they could mention Shipunova. Not noted, causing another blow to the ego, and human health. For several months my father left the enterprise altogether, but he returned, he could not without this job and his company.
- People who knew your father, not without reason, say: he was a man of encyclopedic knowledge not only in engineering, but also in philosophy, literature, art, history, and put Shipunova on a par with the great Russian philosophers. Where does such education come from?
- The first books read by young Arkady Shipunov were from the library of the niece of the writer Nikolai Leskov, who lived next door. The same thing that wrote a tale about Tula Lefty. This is a kind of symbolic fact.
The father could have been a wonderful writer, a narrator from the stage, like Heraclius Andronikov, even a preacher.
- In one of the photos I saw behind Arkady Georgievich an icon with the face of Christ. Was the father a believer?
- Stanislav Averin was amazed at the knowledge of Shipunov of the basics of various religions, how freely he quotes the Bible. Stanislav Ivanovich remembered how once they were at a reception in the Kremlin and were close to the then Metropolitan, and now Patriarch Kirill. Have talked. The conversation turned out to be so saturated with various quotations that Kirill asked Arkady Georgievich whether he was a believer. “I am an Orthodox atheist,” answered Shipunov. The Metropolitan laughed and thanked for the sincere conversation. This episode again confirms the paradoxical thinking of the father.
He did not go to church. Once abroad, it seems in Syria, went to an Orthodox church. But this was done "for political reasons." He evaluated the Bible as a book woven from contradictions, found in it many discrepancies, unanswered questions. Comments to the "book of books" gave with humor. He said, for example, that Moses 40 spent years driving the Jews in the desert in search of clean water and finally found a place where there was absolutely no oil and no odor, Israel. Here he ordered the people to live.
- Arkady Georgievich has many high awards. There is even the Order of Malta, which awarded him the Imperial House. How did he feel about the awards?
- Calmly, even condescendingly. Quoting Pushkin: the reward is “a bright patch on the poor singer’s rags”. The Order "Badge of Honor" called "funny guys" - for the two figures drawn. He wore only the star of the hero and the icon of the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
- Did the creator of the weapon like to shoot?
- Yes, especially in the dash. Once in Argentina, my father was offered to try out a new submachine gun. He took off his shirt so as not to get dirty with gun oil, and in a half-naked form he began to shoot from the hip. And he hit all the targets, although the gun was unfamiliar to him. Shipunov "met" him in the process of shooting.
- How did Arkady Georgievich feel about male weaknesses - alcohol, tobacco?
- Alcohol was not shied away, he was not a sober. With such a large load it was necessary to relieve stress. I did it with a clear understanding. He never went to restaurants. And there was no time for it. They are returning by car from Moscow, by the Oka River they will place glasses and a snack on the hood of the glasses. There were many reasons to drink. Arkady Georgievich said that there is an alcohol test that characterizes the state of human health: how much he can drink, how to “take a punch”, how it changes. I never saw my father drunk. He controlled his condition and behavior exceptionally well. I think you could easily be a scout. Sometimes he himself was surprised that his wife did not notice that he had drunk fairly. I smoked sporadically, at work, but not at home. He was not dependent on tobacco or alcohol.
I preferred food healthy, natural, in the first place I put Chinese cuisine - stewed steamed vegetables. There were many guests at the enterprise, from different countries. Every time Arkady Georgievich was interested in the canteen of the enterprise, what they were going to feed them with. Insisted on Russian cuisine, without imported ingredients.
- Arkady Georgievich has grandchildren, already six great-grandchildren, although I only saw five. Did he have time to deal with them?
- With grandchildren - mainly on holidays. He asked what they read, quoted the Russian classics, advised to study foreign languages. He himself knew English well, he learned it as a student on his own in two years — as opposed to German, which was then massively studied. He felt that English would be needed in the future. I read the original of the newspaper, scientific publications, even Jack London - he loved him very much.
“Shipunov’s pedigree mentions that his mother is from a peasant family, not a word about his father.”
- His mother is really from a peasant family, but she graduated from the medical institute. Father, Chumakov Georgiy Petrovich, left the family before the birth of his son. But Arkady G. spoke of his father respectfully. He was engaged in land management, had a calligraphic handwriting. And Arkady Georgievich was the same, at least very clear. Apparently, hereditary.
- At the opening ceremony of the memorial plaque the word “great” sounded more than once. How did the father during his life treat such an assessment of his personality?
- The word "great" he did not like. He loved accuracy in everything. "The great designer Stechkin," he repeated someone's praise and protested: "Not a great, but famous, he has one pistol." My father had his own gradation in this regard. The famous designer is Nikolay Makarov. And he invented a pistol, and a cannon, and was engaged in guided projectiles. Outstanding designers (including himself) - Sergei the Invincible, Mikhail Kalashnikov (to a lesser extent, since the narrow focus of the work). He had no great rivals.
He structured everything. Argue with him was very difficult. He was always right.
- Why did the father himself return to Tula from a clinic in Moscow? Poorly treated?
- No, I just felt the nearness of death. "How lucky our mummy," he said, "she died at home." His brain was completely clear.
- You have already released a book about your father called “I was a free man.” What will be the second book you are preparing?
- The family knew what kind of work he had. I watched my father throughout his creative life. The first book is devoted mainly to the events of the turning point of the 2006 year. Now I wanted to more fully convey knowledge of him, talk about my childhood, adolescence, present his memories, highlight the Klimov period (and this is 11 years), work in the Tula period, recent years. There will be a section "Stories and stories from Shipunova" and others. So far I can not say where the book will be printed, in what circulation. But the book, of course, will be. It's my duty. I hope for the help of the management of KBP and the holding of High-Precision Complexes, I appreciate their understanding in preserving the memory of Arkady Georgievich.
- How in the cities with which Shipunov's name is connected, they keep the memory of an outstanding countryman?
- In Livny, a memorial plaque has been installed on the house where Arkady Georgievich was born; annual scientific and practical conferences are held in his name for students and schoolchildren. Interestingly, they found out about Shipunov in his hometown only seven or eight years ago - during the celebration of the 50 anniversary of his career in the KBP.
Much doing KBP, the city of Tula to preserve the memory of his father. A bust was installed on the Walk of Fame near the Museum of Weapons, a street in one of the new districts of Tula was named after him. A memorial plaque is now open on the house in which he has lived for more than 40 years.
The fame of Shipunov as an outstanding engineer and scientist was born under the Tula sky, which subsequently significantly divorced him from the primitive and impersonal notion of “boss”. On the Tula land he found for himself a strong foundation - the traditions of the Tula scientific and design school. Based on this foundation, he raised Tula weapons science to academic heights.
I am pleased to realize that at present, KBP specialists are doing a lot of work on collecting and preparing materials for publishing Shipunov’s creative scientific heritage. The range of issues covered goes far beyond the interests of technical specialists only - the materials also reflect the history of the development of military equipment, production, and economic aspects, so the publication will be of general cultural importance. This is a difficult and noble job. I thank the leadership of the PCU for their attention and support.