The whole world knows about the products of the unique enterprise of the Scientific-Production Corporation “Engineering Design Bureau” JSC (Kolomna). OTRK "Iskander-M", MANPADS "Verba" and other high-precision guided missile systems, unsurpassed in their combat and operational characteristics, would like to get into service many armies in the world. Today, we open the veil of secrecy over another amazing development. Nikolay POROSKOVU, NVO observer, was told about this by the general designer of NPK KBM JSC (at the same time the deputy general director of NPO High-Precision Complexes, which includes the enterprise), doctor of technical sciences, honored designer of the Russian Federation Valery KASHIN.
Valery Mikhailovich Kashin invited the legendary Sergei the Invincible to work for the company. In our long-time interview, on the eve of his 90 anniversary, Sergei Pavlovich spoke about Kashin: “I put it on a new direction - developing weapons to protect strategic facilities, including the Kremlin. More specifically, how to protect them with conventional, non-nuclear means. And we found this way - we created a system, conducted tests, obtained results that no one in the world has yet achieved. This principle excludes the human factor. ” When meeting with Valery Mikhailovich, I just could not help asking him:
- Is the Kremlin protected today by the weapon Sergey Pavlovich Invincible spoke about?
- In fact, the talk was about the protection not of the Kremlin, but of the silo launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles, command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN).
We were not the first to take on this problem. In the Almaz NGO (part of the Ministry of Radio Industry) under the leadership of Boris Bunkin in 70, just to protect the mine PU and the Strategic Missile Forces, the strategic missile defense complex C-375 was developed. However, the decision turned out to be very difficult, that is, difficult to implement and expensive. The command of the Strategic Missile Forces led by Commander Vladimir Fedorovich Tolubko spoke out sharply against.
The case is a dead end. And the Minister of Defense Dmitry Fedorovich Ustinov gave the task S.P. Invincible. He redirected the task to the department of advanced research, in which I worked.
First of all, we went with the department head Mikhail Semenovich Markin to the State Research Institute of Automatic Systems - then the head institute of the Ministry aviation anti-aircraft and aviation weapons industries. Together with the NGO Almaz, he participated in the study of the issue. It was necessary to understand what major technical problems those who went down this path before us faced. It turned out that the most difficult for the missile defense system was the selection of heavy and light false targets that mimic the enemy’s ICBMs. The warhead is small in size. At a great distance, it is difficult to recognize.
We thought a lot about this issue and realized that the selection task can be accomplished only if we hit the target at a minimum distance from the launcher, when the target has already passed the atmosphere. But in such a way that a nuclear explosion, if it happens, does not damage the mine. Then costly detection tools will not be needed. They offered an absolutely fantastic idea - to use the means of massive high-speed throwing as combat elements, which ensured the simplicity of the solution.
Employees of the 4 Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense, the largest scientific organization solving a wide range of tasks, arrived in Kolomna. They were given the command to find out whether it was possible to use MANPAD missiles designed by KBM for the same purpose. The cleverest people worked at 4. Going to go, they already understood that MANPADS in this case will not help. But once received a command - it is necessary to perform.
We during that meeting offered our ideas, which they liked very much. The head of the working group immediately reported upstairs, Tolubko. A few days later, the commander arrived in Kolomna himself. He also caught fire and demanded to immediately deploy the work.
Then the struggle began. The Ministry of Radio Industry jealously perceived competitors. It was the only one in the country who was engaged in missile defense. They believed that there were no specialists in the USSR better than theirs. And suddenly a completely young team arose, with no knowledge or experience in this area.
It was really so. But, plunging into the topic, we quickly learned and almost immediately revealed the same problems that the NGO Almaz encountered.
Our main advantage was the fact that the Ministry of Radio Industry has developed a traditional view of things, and we looked fresh, without food.
It seems to me that Ustinov turned to the Invincible because he needed a fresh look. For himself, Dmitry Fyodorovich decided: the old ways not to overcome the problem. He had great respect for the KBM and knew that his boss and chief designer did not throw words into the wind. It played a crucial role. If it were not for Sergey Pavlovich and his name, no one would have taken us seriously at all.
Subject received the designation 171.
Continuing to work on the project, we realized that we need to solve the problem not of absolute security, but of a distributed one. That is, our simple systems to protect not every mine one by one with a high probability, but a missile division. A probabilistic calculation showed that in the event of a missile strike on a group of objects protected by an active protection complex, the launchers of ICBMs would survive in an amount sufficient to strike back. I emphasize: not a reciprocal return, but a reciprocal one. For this you need not so many strategic missiles. But the power of this strike will be enough to cause enemy territory irreparable damage.
Then our task became different. Under these conditions, the system could turn out even simpler, smaller in size, cheaper. In fact, we created at the mine a sort of “watch” type of active defense system “Arena”.
RVSN solution very much. Their stationary objects, despite the power hidden in the mine, are vulnerable because they represent an excellent large fixed target. Strategic rocket men simply grabbed Sergei Pavlovich, hurried, pushed and actively helped. The Ministry of Defense and the Central Committee of the CPSU also actively helped. Over the years of 40 work, I have never seen such support from the Ministry of Defense. I had the authority at any time to contact the instructor of the defense department of the Central Committee of the CPSU. For example, he told him: "I can not get an appointment with the deputy minister of the radio industry." Ten minutes later, the assistant ministers began to look for me.
The Ministry of Radio Industry was one of the few who not only did not seek to help us, but also constantly inspired Ustinov that nothing would come of it. Detractors were also found among Dmitry Fedorovich's closest circle. Among them - the chief of the General Staff N.V. Ogarkov.
One enterprise was not able to solve a large-scale task. The Strategic Missile Forces and the Ministry of Defense helped to create cooperation very quickly. The main enterprises were TsNIIAG (Moscow), the Research Institute of Instrument Engineering named after V.V. Tikhomirov (Zhukovsky), Institute of Experimental Physics (Arzamas-16, now Sarov), TsNIITOCHMASH (Klimovsk, Moscow Region). Their leaders and leading experts: Alexander Sergeevich Parfenov, Viktor Konstantinovich Grishin, Yuli Borisovich Khariton, Samvel Grigorievich Kocharyants, Viktor Maximovich Sabelnikov - took an active and constructive position: they must be taken and done. TsNIIAG developed a control system. VNIIEF investigated the defeat process and created target blocks that no one else could do. Under the influence of our system, an ICBM combat unit could have been hit with an explosion, but it could have failed to explode - this is a probabilistic event. In either case, the mine should not be harmed. The probability of the occurrence of one or another event was derived, everything was verified experimentally. The target block was exactly the same as the combat block of strategic missiles, but it was stuffed with telemetry equipment, which transmitted the results of the shelling with our striking elements.
An important role was played by NIIP. His team was the first in the country to create a radar with a phased antenna array, intended for the MiG-31. Such a radar made it possible to automate the process of scanning a given sector and to solve the problem of target detection in a short viewing time and high-precision coordinate measurement. The head of the NGO "Fazotron", which included NIIP, CEO and General Designer V.K. Grishin was above the insults of his leadership, sought to solve the problem of protecting the mines of ICBMs and gave S.P. Unbeatable word that will be involved in the development.
The radio industry minister had the opposite opinion. Grishin was pressured. But Viktor Konstantinovich kept his word by acting courageously and nobly. Subsequently, he remembered it.
Everything developed rapidly. Sergey Pavlovich held serious organizational measures at the enterprise. New divisions and departments were created, a large group of specialists was connected. Three years we did not go on vacation.
The solution began to crystallize.
A crucial meeting was held at the Ministry of Defense. Opinions were both "for" and "against." Just before the fight did not come - in the literal sense of the word. Strategic missile forces continued to push and rush. In the end, Ustinov decided: first check the basic principles of the system. Then create an experimental sample and test in real conditions.
In January, 1984 of the year issued a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU on the creation of a pilot sample and joint testing. One of the last, signed by Yu.V. Andropov.
To create an experimental sample, it was necessary to learn how to make throwing elements. It was necessary to create completely new technologies, because the former were not good.
“Real conditions” has become completely wild, uninhabited, located in 70 kilometers from the nearest housing area in Kamchatka. When our helicopter landed there for the first time, we saw endless thickets of blueberries, a completely untouched area, above which Shiveluch volcano towered. Bears roamed there, foxes, hares and other animals ran. Here we had to expand the starting position, residential town, infrastructure facilities.
Every year in May, for several years, we sent a train to Kamchatka with all the necessary equipment: hardware, equipment, equipment, ZUB, electric generators, transformer substation blocks, and so on. In Vladivostok, the property was transferred to the ship and shipped to Ust-Kamchatka by sea. Next, the next stage of the path is through high water along the Kamchatka and Elovka rivers. The last 70 kilometers are off-road in cars. It was a long, difficult, painful transportation.
Without the help of the CPSU Central Committee, the military industrial complex, the Ministry of Defense and the Strategic Missile Forces, we would not have done anything. We have created the most favorable environment, provided all the necessary. Including stimulated salary. But even without a salary, we were so enthusiastic that, not noticing the time, we spent weeks and months at the site.
The TsUB is a cylindrical all-metal universal block, inside of which there is everything for housing: folding beds, a table, a heating system. In winter, you open the door - and they opened inwards - and you stick in the wall of snow. Nothing, adapted, lived fun, forgetting about work at work.
Another important assistance to the Strategic Missile Forces was that since then all intercontinental missiles that have been tested or participated in exercises have been sent in our direction. At the beginning we did not have combat launches - only electronic ones. That is, the system worked, but the shot itself was not there.
The work was carried out tremendously, everything was done to protect the new version of Vladimir Fedorovich Utkin's P36M2 heavy rocket, known as the “Satan”. Utkin himself also supported us very much. We often traveled to Dnepropetrovsk, conducted joint work. Since then, we have the most cordial friendship with this company in memory of years of joint fruitful work.
S.P. Invincible and the leadership of the Strategic Missile Forces came to Kamchatka with their own eyes to see how things were going. Sergei Pavlovich as the head of the enterprise, of course, carried all the responsibility for the creation of the complex. But, in general, he gave us a blank check. We were completely free in our work.
Joint (Ministry of Defense and Industry) trials began. This time we were allocated eight real intercontinental missiles. Target units with telemetry equipment were installed on them. With the defeat, the target block managed to broadcast relevant information. In the region of the point of impact of the ICBM in the air at the same time there were several aircraft that recorded this information using a special system.
We successfully shot out and confirmed the effectiveness of the active protection complex. Seven missiles hit. In one case, there was a blocking of the launch of weapons. However, subsequent modeling showed that if it were not for a bug in the program, we would have intercepted the eighth one.
The active defense system was fully automatic, the person did not participate in its work at all, only five seconds passed from detection to target destruction.
Before the last launch, the Minister of Defense Industry of the USSR, B.M. Belousov. All participants of the work from their funds allocated consumer goods. Then, after all, everything was a deficit and was distributed through the city committees, regional committees, ministries.
It was three days before the State Emergency Committee. But even after the ministers were taken off, the deficit was allocated to us. So I happened to buy a VAZ-2108.
The last interception we did was 17 September 1991 of the year.
... From tests returned to another Moscow, another country.
Yuzhnoye Design Bureau remained in Ukraine. Utkin by the time two years left from Dnepropetrovsk.
Nevertheless, the country's leadership instructed us to continue working and make the protection system in a rapidly deployable version. Another three years, we continued to deal with this topic. In 1994, there was no money. A document appeared that sounds like this: in order not to provoke the Americans to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, the work should be stopped.
Much of my life, from 1976 to 1994, was dedicated to this very issue.
Until 2000, the expedition town was kept in the hope that we would return there sometime, but ...
- That is, the mine continues to protect only the missile defense system?
- Yes. Despite the fact that all the data of our system, the unique test results have been experimentally confirmed, there is the conclusion of the joint testing commission chaired by Lev Ivanovich Volkov, the chief of the 4 Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense.
For twenty-five years, the results of this work were not known to the public. The newspaper correspondent talk about it for the first time. Sergey Pavlovich once briefly mentioned the complex in his book The Weapon of Two Epochs. There are many insinuations on this subject on the Internet, there is even a section “Kamchatka PRO” with pictures taken in a residential town. It shows not a fighting position, as stated in the caption to the photo. Only we have pictures taken at a combat position. The results that have been achieved by us, the same Americans have not yet.
- Can the system be reanimated if necessary?
- People who take up this business will be burdened by a very heavy burden. The organization of work is incredibly complex. It is impossible for one enterprise to coordinate it. The creation of an active protection complex will require a large amount of mining in many places: in Kolomna - in the KBM, in the adjoining enterprises, but most importantly - in Kamchatka. There is probably no other place for testing. The base that existed there was destroyed. Construction of new, transportation of goods will require a lot of money, built logistics support. Twenty-five years ago, not only the Ministry of Defense, but also government agencies helped us. I am not sure that with the current structure of building the defense industry, it is also possible to organize development and testing, as then: clearly, rigidly, in a short time.
The organization of tests is very difficult. We need missiles equipped with target blocks. But now the ICBMs are rarely allowed. It is necessary to provide measurements on the highway when approaching the goal, to organize work at the test site, we need airplanes that record the fact of the test.
At the current level of development of technology and military equipment, it is possible to protect stationary missiles, like the P36M2 Satan, so that it remains possible to strike back at the enemy. Complex 171, as well as the active protection complex tanks “Arena” are representatives of a new direction in armament and military equipment. Not only mines and tanks, but also large ships, control centers and so on, sooner or later will need active protection - means that strategically important, expensive objects will carry on themselves like a shell, and which will operate automatically.
Previous methods: increasing engineering protection, increased maneuverability, allowing you to get away from the blow, the installation of passive interference - will soon be overcome. The most important objects in Russia are now protected by a distributed missile and air defense system. But the development of guidance systems, computing equipment, information systems, and high-precision means of attack in the near future will break it. A joint defense system missile defense system and active protection complex will be much more effective. This conclusion has long been substantiated in the writings of the 4 and 2 of the Ministry of Defense Research Institute.
History develops in a spiral. Sooner or later, the question of creating an active protection system will arise again. But how soon, where and when this happens, I do not know.