The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Murder Story 5E53

The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Murder Story 5E53
The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Murder Story 5E53

Our series of articles began with a description of the meeting, which formed the basis of all missile defense developments in our country, the very one where the young and daring Kisunko had a delicious fight with Mints and Raspletin and proved to them that it was possible and necessary to create an ABM system. We promised that that dispute would still hurt him very painfully (alas, not only for him, the Soviet partocrats were truly scary in anger and subjected entire scientific schools and research institutes to carpet bombing, just to take revenge on the insolent person), and it's time to tell how this happened …


Immediately, we note that this article contains a lot of direct interviews, quotes and memories. This was done on purpose so that no one could accuse the study of bias - there is no point in retelling in your own words what the direct participants in all these events said - engineers, factory workers, designers and all the people who were involved in the ISSC project and modular machines. Their words will show more than anything else how things really were with innovations in the Soviet Union and how one vindictive limited party official could, with a stroke of the pen, condemn entire directions and destroy research institutes, scientific schools and bring to heart attacks and graves one of the most talented designers in the world. years.

As we have already said, both Mints and Raspletin, firstly, were experts on radars and air defense, and secondly, they worked for Minister Kalmykov, about whom enough has already been said. Kalmykov, like many tall bureaucrats, had very interesting character traits. He believed (as, in general, Shokin, and many Soviet higher ranks) that he is not just a person (whose opinion may or may not be true), but rather a party function, the embodiment of the will of the working people who cannot be wrong in principle, like the party. Naturally, with such an approach to the problem, any criticism of the decisions of such people became suicide.

Having made one mistake (for example, underestimating the necessity and feasibility of a missile defense system), instead of fixing it, they began by all means to try to destroy the industry that dared to challenge the party wisdom. Kisunko twice put this powerful man to shame - first by stating that contrary to all forecasts, it was quite possible to deploy a missile defense system, and then - he proved it in practice, for the first time in the world he built a complex that shot down an ICBM with a non-nuclear anti-missile missile.

The point was to promote it into a full-fledged series and improve it, but the Kalmykov would not have allowed the third shame. Everyone understood that the A-35 complex, to the extent that it was conceived, even taking into account the latest achievements of American missiles, would certainly be able to meet the final terms of reference.

An acute question arose - how to fail Kisunko's project and prove that the party represented by the minister cannot be wrong in principle?

Against Kalmykov were: Khrushchev, who adored missiles in every conceivable form and at the same time fiercely wanted to wipe the Americans' nose, Yuditsky and Kartsev, who gave Kisunko the necessary computing power, and the General Designer of the missile defense with a bunch of bright ideas in his head and the support of influential marshals.

With Khrushchev, the problem, as we said, was solved by itself, after a small quiet coup he was dismissed. It was quite problematic to get Kisunko down from the post of the Civil Code - there is simply nothing to attract, by that time he had proved that his system was working perfectly.In addition, he was appointed General, he was a direct decree of the Central Committee and could only be removed from office by the same decree of the Central Committee, and the Kalmykov did not control the entire Central Committee.

It remained to strike at an indirect goal - to deprive him of the main component of the entire system, the most complex and responsible - the most powerful guidance computers, without which everything else was meaningless. Yuditsky and Kartsev did not even have any patrons as friends, so high that they could compete with the whole minister of the REP. Remove them - and the entire missile defense system will fall apart like a house of cards. Therefore, the entire burden of the reprisal strike of the REP Ministry fell on these unfortunate people, who sincerely believed that the unique machines they were creating would help the country.

At the same time, the life of a Soviet designer was hard even without a personal enemy in the person of ministers. The former chief designer of the Kazan computer plant Valery Fedorovich Gusev spoke well about the typical situation with the development of computers:

I have done about four fairly large developments in my life. Each development took six to seven years. Of these, it took five years to break through the wall with his forehead, and a maximum of two years was spent on real work. In the United States, the mechanism worked for the cause, and this is the main merit of those guys who were in the West. We have built a mechanism that prevented people from working.

Moreover, this is evidence of a person who all his life rather idealized rather than criticized the USSR!

How one minister nailed two designers at once

Naturally, in such conditions it was practically impossible to push the production of computers. Let's look at what clever intrigue one minister nailed two designers at once.

As we have already said, before the introduction of Yuditsky's computer, the A-35 complex temporarily used the 5E92b machine kindly provided by ITMiVT (nee M-500, named for performance - only 0.5 MIPS). We will tell you a little more about this development by Burtsev in the history of Elbrus, although it is based on the BESM architecture, but it was the first step towards the creation of multiprocessor complexes within the walls of ITMiVT. Lebedev was afraid of them like the devil of incense, believing that there is nothing better than one, but a powerful processor, but Burtsev nevertheless piratically pushed through the installation of an input-output coprocessor, which allowed this machine to become quite good in performance at that time.

When Lebedev died, and Burtsev was no longer restrained by ancient dogmas, he moved on to creating full-fledged multiprocessor machines. The 5E92b was developed in 1960-1961, interdepartmental tests were carried out in 1964, and has been serially produced since 1966 at the Zagorsk Electromechanical Plant (ZEMZ). Pay attention to the monstrous schedule of passage through all levels characteristic of the USSR - from the finished car to the first deliveries to customers, 5 (!) Years have passed, in which it is generally not clear what was happening. Recall that when AT & T developed in 1967 a twistor memory (a fundamentally new technology!) - in six months it was not only mass-produced, but also successfully paired to the military for the American Zeus missile defense system.


In general, by 1970, the A-35 test site, temporarily equipped with 5E92b, was waiting for its 5E53 supercomputer, premises were built for it, the equipment and power were wired, the programs were ready, the machine itself was literally starting to be produced at the same ZEMZ (separate blocks were already made), and suddenly everything stopped!

Remembers N.K. Ostapenko, deputy. Kisunko (interview with Boris Malashevich, cited in the book "D. I. Yuditsky"):

N.K.: There was no such computer that we needed then neither in the country, nor in the world. The most powerful of the domestic projects declared by that time was the Elbrus system … It only remotely approached the requirements of the ISSC tasks. But the computing power of this universal computer for processing radar signals for observing targets and controlling anti-missile missiles was clearly not enough.In addition, according to the plans, the Elbrus project was late for the required date by 2, 5–3 years, and it was already clear that it would be even more late (in fact, the production of Elbrus-1 was started in 1980). Therefore, it was decided: at the initial stage, to continue using the 5E92B computer already tested in the A-35, the computing power of which was catastrophically insufficient, and to order an urgent to deliver the "Elbrus" missile defense system … We had a powerful team of excellent programmers, more than 300 people.

They were experienced, highly qualified specialists. They were very wary of 5E53, which is specific in programming. To remove these fears, D.I.

ZEMZ began preparing its production and carried out 70 percent of it. If they had not been prevented, in 1972 we would have had an abbreviated computer complex of four 5E53 in the Argun at Polygon A and would have solved all the problems of creating the ISSC.

But both us and them were prevented. The 5E53 computer and the A-351 interceptor missile shared the fate of the ISSK - they were destroyed, and the computer was the first to suffer.

B. M.: Who prevented and why?

N.K.: Opponents of G.V. Kisunko and his MKSK are in the leadership of the Ministry of Radio Industry. Because without sufficient computing resources, neither the MKSK nor its Argun polygon version could solve the problems they faced. And opponents to fight GV Kisunko needed the failure of his projects.

Therefore, the destruction of 5E53 has become one of the most important factors in this struggle. And that is why the first blow fell on her. The computer sample made in the SVTs confirmed the output parameters of the 5E53 computer …

All technical documentation on a computer, adjusted according to the test results, was transferred to the ZEMZ plant of the Ministry of Radio Industry in 1970, which carried out preparations for the production and tuning of computers in order to have time to put the ISSK on the test site for design tests. The plant has already started manufacturing individual computer devices.

Recalls the head of military acceptance at the SVC, Colonel V.N.Kalenov (we have already written about his meticulousness and positive contribution to the development):

Various commissions began to work, and not always impartial. Unreasonably, they questioned the compliance of the 5E53 product with the requirements of the technical specifications, and in general the possibility of implementing a computer in the system of residual classes.

If the first doubt was relatively easy to resolve, and the commissions had enough knowledge and experience for this, then there were a lot of problems with the second one: none of the opponents was familiar with modular arithmetic”.

A powerful commission of specialists from the Computing Center of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences was created. The commission first tried to figure out how 5E53 works, but quickly became convinced that this would take a lot of time and effort. A simpler but rather reliable way was found.

Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan V.M. Amerbaev, who was then working at the Specialized Exhibition Center, the main developer of the version of modular arithmetic implemented in 5E53, recalls:

“The commission has requested algorithms for performing test tasks on 5E53 in order to emulate them on the computer of the Computing Center of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The algorithms were transferred by us. The commission carried out the solution of test problems in the traditional binary system and in the mode of emulation of our algorithms based on modular arithmetic. The results matched.

Thus, an independent examination confirmed the correctness of the 5E53 project, the operability of the version of modular arithmetic implemented in it”.

In general, the Ministry of the Radio-Electronic Industry went as far as it could, but direct attacks on the machine did not pass, it was actually being manufactured.


It was necessary to come up with something thinner, and a roundabout maneuver was born with the involvement of, again, heavy artillery, Secretary General Brezhnev.

He, too, was not some kind of special villain. Brezhnev was, rather, a clumsy, dim-witted hippopotamus, not particularly delving into what exactly he was slipped into a signature. Lies in the inbox - well, I need to give it a shot, this is my job. So it was many times easier to convince him than the violent and characteristic Khrushchev, who was not always adequate, but at least always personally and with passion delved into any problem (for which he was eventually removed, replaced by an agreeable and peaceful Brovenose).

The chief engineer of the SVC N.N.Antipov recalls the story of Anatoly Grigorievich Shishilov, the chief engineer of ZEMZ (in square brackets, the notes of the author of the article):

When the Central Committee of the CPSU was considering the state and development of missile defense, it was reported that the volume of the 5E92b computers produced by the plant is insufficient to solve the current problems, since part of the plant's capacities has been diverted by the preparation of 5E53 production.

LI Brezhnev found a simple solution to the problem, giving instructions to temporarily suspend the development of 5E53. He was suspended. As it turned out later - forever. Another, last commission was created.

N.M. Vorobiev, one of the leading systems technicians 5E53, recalls:

“A special commission was created and the requested documentation for 5E53 was handed over to it. The commission consisted mainly of programmers.

Having studied the materials, the commission drew up a conclusion, the main meaning of which was approximately the following:

The 5E53 computer is built on the most modern element base [recall that such a base, although it was on obsolete GIS, but according to the characteristics of these custom schemes surpassed everything that was available in the Union at that time].

The architecture of the computer does not correspond to the classical architecture of von Neumann and is unacceptable [the nonsense of this remark does not even make sense to comment on].

The computer has high performance, but the impossibility of programming makes this performance useless [either insanity, or a blatant lie, the machine had full software and all the necessary compilers].

The computer cannot be classified as a universal computer (as it was not required from it according to the TK at all - it was a special missile defense machine!].

We went to Novosibirsk to defend the project in the commission, but cooperation did not work out. Even such seemingly obvious arguments that a special compiler is used to debug programs, the programs presented for 5E53, debugged on an experimental computer, were not taken into account by the commission.

There was a feeling that the results of the commission's work were programmed in advance."

The last meeting of the commission took place in Moscow. Representatives of SIC and NII VK were invited to it, but there were no representatives of SKB "Vympel" - the main interested party.

M.D.Kornev, one of the leading developers of 5E53, recalls:

Contrary to the commission's instructions to give an opinion on 5E53, the meeting was held under the flag of opposing computers 5E53 and 5E66. In our messages, both we and kartsevo residents objectively and mutually loyally assessed the advantages and disadvantages of their projects. However, the commission got hung up on the specifics of 5E53 programming, raising it into an unsolvable problem (there really was a specificity, but it was solved both theoretically and practically), and gave its preference to the 5E66 project, although this was not required of it. The high commission did not notice that the algorithmic performance of the 5E66 on missile defense missions was significantly less than the required one.

Revenge skating rink

In general, a phenomenal insanity of unimaginable arrogance was already happening, but it was impossible to stop the skating rink of Kalmykov's revenge.

NK Ostapenko will also remember this meeting of the commission. Let's go back to his interview:

N.K.: … we heard the groans of other units directly working on the A-35 … They were preparing another attack on the Argun. The 5E53 computer was chosen as the point of attack, without the powerful computing resources of which Argun would lose many of its potential capabilities.

However, they did not dare to simply terminate the contract for the development of 5E53 with another department - the Ministry of Electronprom. A reason was needed.

At first, they tried to prove the unsuitability of 5E53. The work of various commissions began, but all of them did not meet the expectations of the leadership of the Ministry of Radio Industry. Then the tactics were changed. At the last meeting of the commission, which was supposed to assess the compliance of 5E53 with the requirements of the ISSC (the task is meaningless, since the developers of the ISSC were not only satisfied with the computer, but was developed according to their requirements), representatives of the SVC and NII VK were invited, but we, the main interested party, were not invited … Contrary to the task of the commission to give an opinion on 5E53, the meeting was held under the flag of opposing computers 5E53 and 5E66 …

Based on this formal conclusion, the fate of 5E53 at the beginning of 1972 was decided with two strokes of the pen by the Deputy Minister, who spoke in two persons. As a deputy minister, he issued an order to end funding for Vympel TsNPO to complete work under an agreement with SEC on the creation of 5E53 and work on organizing production of 5E53 at ZEMZ. And as a disciplined general director of TsNPO, he immediately followed the instructions of his deputy minister (his own), terminating the unfinished contract with the SIC for the development of 5E53.

However, talk of replacing 5E53 with 5E66 was used only to facilitate the destruction of 5E53: they were forgotten immediately upon reaching the goal. In reality, we did not receive either 5E53 or 5E66. We had to be content with the 5E92b computer taken from the dismantled Aldan - a 10-year-old machine of the previous generation, with a productivity 80 times less, catastrophically not satisfying the tasks and goals of the Argun, naturally, with huge damage to its characteristics.

We knew nothing about all this, but soon rumors (and after them - troubles) came to us …

The deputy minister who met me in the corridor asked me to come to him and, reaching his desk, turned to me, walking towards him, said:

"I stopped funding the Zelenograd computer."

To my answer that it is already being manufactured by the Zagorsk plant, he replied:

"Nothing, they'll figure it out …".

“Vladimir Ivanovich, all the equipment of the radars and KVP of the Complex is docked at the test site, waiting like God for the 5E53 deliveries,” I said.

There was an answer in a harsh tone:

“What a fool, Nikolai Kuzmich, would take for himself the development of a computer from another ministry if the Ministry of Radio Industry has a similar computer for Chief Designer MA Kartsev at NII VK - 5E66 (M-9). Do you know about this?"

My objections that the ISSK equipment was designed for the inputs and outputs of 5E53 and that the M-9 is not capable of implementing many missile defense algorithms were not heard.

The decision to stop financing 5E53 and A-351 was outraged by both the Ministry of Defense and the developers of the Argun ISSC.

The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Murder Story 5E53

As we have already mentioned, the ministry has done an ingenious trick. First, Kartsev's car “lost” the 5E53, then, in turn, the 5E53 turned out to be “worse” than the M-9/10, and as a result, the production of one did not even begin, and the second was nailed down at the very beginning.

It is especially annoying that Kartsev fell under the distribution by accident (yes, in general, like Yuditsky and his team) - it was vitally important for the minister to humiliate and destroy Kisunko. And how many more people there will be in the process and what the results of this pogrom will be for the national defense and computer science, none of the party bosses were born.

Naturally, Yuditsky was not going to die without a fight.

B. M.: So what, Kisunko and Yuditsky surrendered?

N.K.: No. They made another attempt to save 5E53 for Argun. Since the main formal reason for the termination of work on 5E53 was the declared replacement of it with 5E66, which, according to the commission, was also suitable, Grigory Vasilyevich and Davlet Islamovich decided to documentarily and reasonably refute this argument, proving the unsuitability of 5E66 for missile defense.

In the fall of 1972, Grigory Vasilievich summoned me. Davlet Islamovich was in the office, both were in a good mood. Grigory Vasilyevich instructed me to prepare proposals for an interdepartmental commission to compare the capabilities of 5E53 and 5E66 on missile defense missions.

Such a commission by order of D.F.Ustinov was created in the composition of more than 40 people. It consisted of equal numbers of representatives of SVC and SRI VK, SRI RP, MRP and MEP, as well as independent specialists, in particular, V.S.Burtsev, G.G. Ryabov from ITM and VT.

The results of the commission's work were formalized in the form of an act, with a detailed analysis of all the characteristics of 5E53 and 5E66, essential for solving the problems of missile defense. The result of the analysis was formulated something like this:

"The 5E66 computer is not adapted for solving missile defense problems."

At first, the word “not suitable” was written in the draft act, but at the insistence of representatives of the Research Institute of VK in the final version it was replaced by “not suitable”.

The act was signed by all members of the commission with one dissenting opinion of the representative of the NII VK, the essence of which sounded something like this:

"If the requirements for solving the problems of missile defense were set in the TZ for 5E66, then it would solve them." But the computer was developed for the SPRN system, the tasks of which have their own specifics and their own algorithms, with which the 5E66 coped well. But not with missile defense missions.

The act was sent to 5 addresses: SRI RP, SVTs, MRP, MEP and to the Central Committee of the CPSU personally to D.F.Ustinov. However, this action did not lead to anything either.

In general, the only result of this action was a hysterical scene, which V. I. Markov arranged by N. K. Ostapenko.

… After my report to Marshal P.F.

“Why did you send the act of the Interdepartmental Commission on the comparative characteristics of the 5E53 and 5E66 computers to DF Ustinov? Don't you understand that we have to defend our own computer, MRP, and not some kind of MEP? When you return to Moscow, I will peel you off, put on a drum and I will beat, beat, beat for such stubborn self-righteousness, which you deliberately allowed in order to compromise the MRP computer. " At the same time, his teeth bared."

Another excellent example of the exemplary correctness of the typical Soviet party bureaucrats, following the instructions of even higher party bureaucrats. This is how the esteemed comrade Markov formulated the attitude of the party in the person of his ministry to the advanced developments in the USSR with utmost clarity.

As a result, the MKSK faced an inglorious end.

B. M.: What were the results of the work on the creation of "Argun"?

N.K.: There were two stages in the fate of "Argun".

At the first stage, its development, construction of facilities at the landfill, manufacturing, installation and adjustment of equipment took place. This was the stage of creation.

It was followed by the stage of gradual destruction of "Argun", destruction or cutting off of its objects and transformation into a multichannel measuring complex - MIC "Argun-I", in which, of the major subsystems, mainly the radar "Istra" remained. Despite this, there has not been a radar station equal to the Istra in the world for about 18 years. And this is without 5E53, but since the ancient 5E92B, in conditions of a catastrophic shortage of computing resources, which did not allow to fully realize all its potential capabilities (as part of Argun-I, 5 sets of 5E92b computers were used).

For a long time, after the termination of work on the development of 5E53 in Zagorsk, hoping for a miracle, we continued to wait for it, took care of the turbine room to accommodate four sets of 5E53, repelling numerous attacks by applicants on these areas.

But the miracle did not happen.

The unique and promising ISSC "Argun", the likes of which has not been on Earth for a long time, has turned into a shot eagle - the MIC "Argun-I".

B. M.: Since the situation was so bad for "Argun", then GV Kisunko and his supporters had to take any measures to correct it?

N.K.: We tried, but at that time the possibilities were not the same.

In 1973, G.V. Kisunko made another attempt to save the ISSC - he sent an engineering note to the higher authorities. But it turned out to be ineffectual.

By the way, in the press this appeal is associated exclusively with the modernization of the A-35. In fact, its main part is devoted to the creation of the second stage of the A-35, that is, "Argun" and three ISSKs in the combat system.All over it was felt that the clouds were gathering over the A-35 and its General Designer, and we expected a decisive attack.

Therefore, in the spring of 1973, I and two more deputies. the chief designer, with little hope of success, nevertheless sent a letter to Leonid Brezhnev with a request to protect the General Designer of the missile defense system from intrigues, to stop his persecution.

The Central Committee of the CPSU acted in the spirit of the traditions of those times - it sent a letter to the Minister of the MRP, the main organizer of this very persecution. As a result, we have become its main objects.

Naturally, Kalmykov did not limit himself to closing the project, he wanted to grind into dust everyone who worked with Kisunko.

His deputy recalls:

By the beginning of 1973, the creation of "Argun", as a polygon version of the ISSK, was completely stopped, the starting positions were blown up, many systems were cut down … In other words, there was a deliberate destruction of the main business of my life.

Formally, I still retained the functions of the Arguni Group of Companies, but in fact, by the leadership of the MRP and TsNPO, I was completely deprived of the opportunity to perform them. And after our appeal to L.I.Brezhnev and the direction of the protocol of the interdepartmental commission on 5E53 to D.F.Ustinov, I was actually declared persona non grata. I was directly told: "You are a Kisunkovite, we will not work together."

DI Yuditsky and I. Ya. Akushsky knew about all this and decided to help me. While at the test site, I received a warm telegram from them, in which they kindly invited me to work at the SVC. I realized that I really would not work with the leadership, which they convincingly proved to me many times.

By this time, the efficiency of my work was practically reduced to zero, and constant nervous stress sharply undermined my already not good health. I discussed the situation with G.V. Kisunko and, not wishing to participate in the collapse of the main business of my life, I accepted the invitation with gratitude: in April 1973, I was dismissed from the ranks of the Soviet Army by age and could control my own destiny.

So on June 1, 1973, I ended up at the SVTs, as deputy. chief designer Yuditsky. But the Ministry of Electronprom was also not free from its intrigues, and the SVC was also defeated.

As a result, in 1980 I went to work at the Research Institute of Radiophysics (Research Institute of the Russian Federation), a spin-off from the Research Institute of RP, whose director was Kisunkovets and my colleague A.A.Tolkachev.


Point in the fate of A-35

How did the fate of the A-35 system come to an end?

The Ministry of Radio Industry prepared a collective letter on behalf of six directors of enterprises belonging to the Vympel CNPO to the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the MRP with a proposal to release GV Kisunko from all posts and work related to missile defense.

But two directors, L.N. Stromtsev (Dnepropetrovsk Radio Plant) and G.G.Bubnov (Design Bureau for Radio Instrumentation), categorically refused to sign, as L.N. Stromtsev put it, "this slander." Instead, it was later signed by two doctors of sciences.

This letter was used by the MCI leadership as a basis for decisive action.

In the summer of 1975, Minister P.S. Pleshakov signed an order on the transfer of G.V. Kisunko to the Central Research Institute of Radioelectronic Systems as a scientific supervisor. Thus, he was completely removed from all work and positions in the missile defense. In fact, the minister clearly exceeded his power, since Grigory Vasilyevich was appointed the General Designer of the missile defense system by the Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR and could only be released by the same decree.

So, in the prime of talent and outstanding organizational abilities, as a result of intrigues in the Ministry of Radio Industry, an outstanding and gifted designer, a talented scientist and an excellent organizer was literally put out of action on takeoff, the only drawback of which was his complete inability to the subtleties of the undercover politeness with all its uncleanliness. The country did not receive everything he could give her. And this is not his fault, but his misfortune and the misfortune of the country.

There was a period when the USSR in the field of missile defense was ahead of the United States by ten years.And this was the period when G.V. Kisunko was at the head of the ABM work. Thus, one of the best pages in the development of domestic science and technology was closed, which knows nothing equal either in the country or in the world. The unique MKSK project, which cost the country more than half a billion rubles, was forcibly destroyed.

At the farewell of Grigory Vasilyevich to our research team of the Vympel Design Bureau, many leading specialists who had grown up on the subject under the leadership of the General cried. The courageous Georgy Vasilyevich also had a tear. So he said goodbye to his team, together with which he was the first in the world to open the era of missile defense feasibility.

It was not about the fact that Kusunko's ideas were wrong, bypassing the Americans with his brilliant tests, he clearly proved the feasibility of the missile defense system.

N.K.: At first, they denied the very idea of ​​missile defense. When the facts were refuted, they could not offer anything better than the A-35 and the MKSK, although there were a lot of different options, hype and money spent. And they began to fight GV Kisunko long before the missile defense (there was a denunciation of the antennas), activating from the very beginning of the ABM work, when no one, including Grigory Vasilyevich, knew how to do the ABM.

B. M.: But the missile defense mission had changed by the mid-1970s, it was required to repel the attack of one enemy missile. And this is up to 10 real and the same number of false targets. The A-35M has 16 interceptor missiles ready for launch. This means that she can complete the new task completely, even with a margin. Why, then, was the A-135 needed?

N.K.: I have no answer to this question …

I will not talk about the A-135, I will limit myself only to the fact that it is much weaker than the almost complete in development, manufactured, debugged and partially tested in the polygon version of our ISSC. And it was put on combat duty only on February 17, 1995, that is, 17 years later than the real terms of readiness of the second stage of the A-35 with the use of three Argun-class ISSKs.

I am grateful to fate that she … introduced me to Georgy Vasilyevich Kisunko - a brilliant erudite scientist who later became a talented designer and leader …

The topic of missile defense also brought me together with a talented designer-scientist of broad scientific erudition, a wonderful spiritual person - Davlet Islamovich Yuditsky. Fate allowed me to work in wonderful scientific and technical teams created by these scientists. These wonderful and highly educated people with huge scientific, creative and organizational potential, had a common disadvantage - the inability to intrigue, and a common destiny … They had a lot of ideas and ambitious plans, but due to the ill will of those in power, they failed to implement them. The country did not get much of what they could give it.

In general, there is nothing to add to this and to subtract too.

The history of the destruction of the Soviet missile defense system and the defeat of three scientific schools at once - Kisunko, Yuditsky and Kartsev - at a glance. Physical losses soon followed, the first to die in 1971, unable to withstand the monstrous stress Lukin, the initiator and main support of the 5E53 project. Surprisingly, in this situation, the powerlessness of the military - the missile defense system was intended for them and was built on their order, they were very unhappy with the collapse of the project, but they could not do anything or did not want to. This question is also waiting for its researchers.

The most interesting thing is that Lukin's arrival in Zelenograd is also part of the fight against Kisunko. Kisunko describes how Kalmykov created an interdepartmental commission, appointing it chairman of the director of NII-37 Lukin:

Officially, the task of the commission is to develop and submit proposals on the directions of work in the field of missile defense. And unofficially, face to face, V.D.Kalmykov orally clarified this problem to Lukin as follows:

“… Try to get General Kisunko back from the Mozhaisk forest after the work of the commission, instead of General Designer Kisunko.

“But Kisunko was appointed by a decree of the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers,” FV Lukin replied, pretending to be dull.

- You are wrong.The fate of the general designers is decided in the ministries … We are quite satisfied with the recognition by the interdepartmental commission of the inexpediency of continuing work on the creation of the A-35 system, the general designer of which is Kisunko. If there is no system, there is no general.

Fedor Viktorovich told me about this in a confidential conversation at the end of the commission's work on November 26, 1962. He ended his story like this:

“As you can see, I didn’t fulfill the minister’s task, and now I have to go to another ministry. I have known Valery Dmitrievich for a very long time. I know that for disobedience I will receive a reckoning of a ministerial caliber. And I do not advise you to remain under the auspices of our current minister. Sooner or later he will finish you off.

This is how it all happened, and this is how decency and honesty brought Lukin to Zelenograd.

His successor as director of the Scientific Center A. V. Pivovarov recalls:

I turned to the deputy minister of the MRP, V. I. Markov. Vladimir Ivanovich explained to me that the Zagorsk plant is overloaded, that it is already producing a similar computer developed by the MRP, which fully satisfies them (5E66), and that the Ministry of Radio Industry does not need 5E53 for missile defense.

V.I. Markov was cunning, more precisely - he blatantly lied in the eyes, carrying out the order of his boss.

Firstly, the 5E53 and 5E66 computers are completely different, and secondly, the missile defense developers did not receive either one or the other. And at the time of the termination of the almost complete organization of serial production of 5E53 at ZEMZ, work on 5E66 was just beginning, at the plant there was not even a complete set of documentation yet, and the new giant building of the outlet workshop 14 in mid-1971 was still half empty. Two factories, in Vyborg and Dnepropetrovsk, were ready to produce 5E53, but both of them belonged to the MRP, which naturally did not give permission for this or the funds necessary to organize production.

On November 4, 1972, Yuditsky was forced to sign order No. 181 "In connection with the completion of work under contract No. 301 dated 05/20/1968 with the enterprise p / box R-6269 on the topic" 5E53 "to conduct an inventory of all material assets related to the completed topic, and preparation of materials for writing off costs from the balance sheet of the enterprise ", which appointed a special commission chaired by the chief engineer of the SVC Antipov.

Thus, the 5E53 project was destroyed, its experimental sample, manufactured by the pilot production of the SVC, went to Alma-Ata, to the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, but it was never mastered there, and disappeared, sawn for scrap.

Eight sets of documentation were returned from the plant to Zelenograd and simply burned in the forest. The true reasons for the failure of the SOK project were classified, but the fact itself became public and became an insurmountable barrier to the introduction of the SOK into computing. It was a serious blow to both the SVC staff and Yuditsky personally, the main work of his life was destroyed and 10 years of hard work were lost.


What is especially annoying is that Yuditsky and Kartsev were so well cleaned out of the history of domestic computers that on almost any popular resources, when trying to find out something about missile defense computers, answers like this come out ("Computerra" No. 94 [07.11.2011 - 13.11.2011] Computing machine 5E92b: Immortal soul of "Aldan", Evgeny Lebedenko):

… The solution of the problem of "crossing a hedgehog with a snake" was entrusted to a research team from the Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Science under the direction of Sergei Alekseevich Lebedev, who is deservedly called the father of the first Soviet computers. Lebedev approached this important work outside the box and attracted a group of talented students of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, among whom was Vsevolod Sergeevich Burtsev.

… Developing this work, Burtsev's team came up with the basic principles of building an automatic missile defense system. It consisted of early warning radars, target acquisition and tracking radars, anti-missile radars, and, of course, a computer complex that controls this entire economy …

To solve this problem, the Burtsev team proposed a computer complex architecture that was unique for that time.Unlike most general-purpose computers of that time, for example, the Lebedev BESM, in which the control of the computing process was built on the basis of the sequential operation of all its devices (command sampling device, arithmetic device, input-output control device), in Burtsev's special computer all these the devices received autonomous control and were actually considered as autonomous processors that asynchronously access common RAM.

And compare such praises with the words of people who directly and really worked with this miracle of technology:

We had to be content with the 5E92b computer taken from the dismantled "Aldan" - a 10-year-old machine of the previous generation, with a productivity 80 times less, catastrophically not satisfying the tasks and goals of "Argun".

Note that Burtsev was neither a fool nor a villain and he developed good and interesting architectures, but in this story he turned out to be a reluctant winner. He himself was a subordinate of the elderly Lebedev and did not get into any showdown, his M-500 machine, as we remember, in terms of parameters and did not stand next to the monstrous monsters of Kartsev or Yuditsky's modular supercomputers. However, ITMiVT was treated kindly by the authorities, and Lebedev was, as we have already said, a living icon adored by the authorities of all levels. That is why the work of his student Burtsev was suddenly "assigned" to the best ABM computer of all that there is in the world.

Perhaps Burtsev himself was a little shocked by this, in the end, he perfectly imagined the parameters of his creation and the same M-9 / M-10, and the monstrous battle for computers between ministries and research institutes could not pass him by, the noise there stood such that it was heard in the Siberian forest.

However, he did what he could - a good face in a bad game and resigned himself to the unexpected role of "the savior of the Fatherland, the father of supercomputers." Again, to his credit, he twice tried to significantly improve the 5E92b, building first "Elbrus", then "Elbrus-2", interesting machines, albeit with many flaws. However, we will talk about this later.

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