The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Zelenograd and Leningrad

The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Zelenograd and Leningrad
The birth of the Soviet missile defense system. Zelenograd and Leningrad

The history of Zelenograd, oddly enough, began in Leningrad and was associated with those very punchy Americans - Staros and Berg, about whose adventures in the USA and the Czech Republic we have already written. This story is very complex, confusing, full of lies, grievances and omissions, we will try to reconstruct it in general terms.

American couple

We stopped at the fact that at the beginning of 1956 this couple flew from Prague to Leningrad, where they headed the SL-11 laboratory created in OKB-998 of the aviation industry (later SKB-2, then KB-2, LKB and, finally, Svetlana). Ustinov himself (already known to us from active work in the field of missile defense) visited the laboratory and gave her carte blanche to develop new military computers.

Staros and Berg were highly educated engineers and, naturally, were aware of the work in the framework of Tinkertoy and the miniaturization of electronic components, and, as far as is known, they were the first in the USSR to begin domestic research in this direction. As a result, in 1959 a miniature computer, unique for the Union, was developed (not yet on hybrid circuits, but rather on miniature cards) - UM-1, intended, according to the creators, as a control machine or on-board computer.

The car did not go into the series for objective reasons - numerous improvements were needed, and the element base left much to be desired, nevertheless, it was the first attempt in the USSR to radically reduce the size of a computer (recall that at the same time in research institutes and ministries, lamp monsters BESM and "Strela", in the best case, there were samples of transistor machines of not particularly smaller dimensions).

Then a whole series of almost simultaneous and interconnected events happened, which is rather difficult to present in the correct chronological order.

Around the same time as Staros, but in Moscow, in OKB-1, Lukin (also a pioneer of Soviet machines already known to us, who was working at that time on a bunch of topics, including missile defense and modular computers) was visited by the bright idea of ​​miniaturizing a computer. Lukin was one of three people in the country (along with Reimerov and Staros) who immediately realized the importance of integration. He started traditionally for the Union - he instructed his collaborator A. A. Kolosov (who speaks three languages) to study and generalize Western experience, which resulted in his monograph "Questions of Microelectronics", published in 1960 and became the primary source on the topic for the entire Moscow design school … At the same time, Kolosov created in OKB-1 the country's first specialized laboratory of microelectronics, designed to study an area where miniaturization was more important than anywhere else - onboard computers of missiles and aircraft.

It is to this laboratory that an improved prototype of Staros is sent for review - the UM-2B vehicle, designed for a radar system for measuring the relative position of objects (as part of the project of a semi-automatic assembly complex in orbit for spacecraft under the code "Soyuz"). This is how Staros first appeared in Moscow and in the future it will play an important role.

In general, there is very little information on the topic of on-board computers of spaceships in the USSR - the topic was monstrously classified (even more than missile defense / radars and other military equipment), the primary source is perhaps the unique collection of memoirs "The first on-board computers for space applications and something from permanent memory »German Veniaminovich Noskin, who worked first with the father of Soviet artillery Grabin, and later with Korolev on the creation of modules for the study of Mars and Venus. The collection is available in pdf form, we cite a few further citations from there.

The level of secrecy was prohibitive - in particular, the developers of the "Calculator" from OKB-1 initially did not even know about the existence of the Leningrad SKB-2 Staros!

Terms of reference for the creation of an on-board radar system for the rendezvous and processing of on-board measurement data was issued by the design department in 1961 to one Leningrad enterprise, which included a fairly independent design bureau - KB-2, headed by FG ​​Staros. Moreover, at that time, our OKB did not know anything about the existence of this KB-2 (and about FG Staros) …

Soon after sending the conclusion on the "Block" project, FG Staros came to us at OKB-1. We did not know anything about this man, except what was reported about him in the project, as the chief designer of the UM-2B. Before his arrival, they talked to us, put some fog on his personality (though the one who made this fog didn’t know anything, except that he was an American), warned us not to be very talkative. … We all made a very good impression from communication with this interesting person. Before us was not only a leader and a specialist in his field, but also an obsessed optimist of the victory of microelectronics in instrument making. Discussing technical issues on UM-2B, Philip Georgievich convinced us that in five years the computing part of UM-2B will be the size of a matchbox. Moreover, his whole appearance, dark burning eyes, correct, almost without an accent, Russian speech did not leave the interlocutors in doubt about his correctness.

Please remember this characteristic, which was also confirmed by the famous academician Chertok.

It will be useful to us when we describe the misadventures of Staros and his attempts to promote domestic microelectronics, as well as modern assessments of his role from some odious researchers. Note that not only people from OKB-1 have such an impression. This is what Staros' student Mark Halperin, doctor of technical sciences, professor, laureate of the USSR State Prize recalls (Control Engineering, May 2017).

I would like to note the absolutely amazing relationship that Philip Georgievich developed with a number of prominent people in Soviet science and the military industry. First of all, we are talking about academician Axel Ivanovich Berg, general designers Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev and Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, as well as the president of the USSR Academy of Sciences Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh. All these people treated Philip Georgievich with great warmth and respect.

Returning to UM-2B, let us recall that the element base (in terms of how miniature it is possible to make hybrid circuits) in the USSR lagged significantly behind the American one, and OKB-1 was aware of IBM's work on an on-board computer for Gemini (we have already mentioned it in previous articles):

In 1961, there was no universal type onboard computer in the United States yet, but Burroughs IBM, North American Aviation developed and planned tests of experimental models of onboard computers … computing capabilities was close to IBM, but significantly lost in weight and power. It can be assumed that, if the developer of the radar complex, which included KB-2, had not been abandoned, it could have been minimized in terms of operational parameters … But, as has happened more than once in previous years, the personal ambitions of high-ranking leaders prevailed over technical expediency. As a result, in domestic spacecraft, the implementation of maneuvering and docking tasks until the end of the 70s was solved using analog devices.

It is about how Shokin, who pathologically hated the American Staros, made colossal efforts so that both him and the UM project would be forgotten forever, preferring to these developments the cloning of microcircuits from TI (we will talk about this later).

Leaving a little aside from the main line of the narrative, we note that the UM-2B served as a prototype for the on-board computer "Calculator" E1488-21, ordered in 1963 by B. Ye. Chertok (as a result, which became the first serial computer on GIS of its own design in the USSR).Before him, OKB-1 built a prototype - "Cobra-1", which was long and persistently advertised to the military as a computer for missiles and aircraft. Standard Soviet PR was used: the car was loaded into a Volga and taken to officials, hitting them with a computer that fits into the trunk, and even hiding under a tablecloth and turning on a music-generating program when one of the high-ranking officials visited the laboratory. about which funny memories have been preserved.

To demonstrate the car, they put it in the hall on a table covered with a cloth tablecloth. Leading experts BV Raushenbakh, VP Legostaev and others came. The program was inserted, and the car began to play a merry march! The incredulous MV Melnikov came closer, lifted the tablecloth to see who was playing so well.


However, neither "Cobra" nor "Calculator" got into the planes, but they became the founders of a whole series of domestic space on-board computers - "Argon", "Salyut" and others, whose history is still waiting for its researchers.

Having looked at such cases, Kolosov is overshadowed by the idea of ​​creating the country's first single large center for microelectronic development, with its own research institutes, factories, etc. With this idea, he goes to a completely amazing person, an angel and a demon of domestic computerization at the same time - the already mentioned Alexander Ivanovich Shokin.


This is a completely cult personality - a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU, later twice Hero of Socialist Labor, five-time laureate of the Order of Lenin, holder of as many as two Stalin and one Lenin prizes and the permanent minister of the electronics industry. Shokin is considered almost the second (after the notorious Beria) "best manager" of the USSR, the father of the domestic Silicon Valley - Zelenograd, the father of all domestic microelectronics and the man who literally dragged the lagging Union into a bright electronic future, on his shoulders, like an Atlas, carrying the whole burden of organizing the production of microcircuits.

The reality, as always, is not so unambiguous, he was a villain no less than a hero, and then we will try to figure out why.

Shokin was the son of a lieutenant; in 1927 he graduated from technical school with a degree in insurance, worked as a mechanic at the Precision Electromechanics Plant, in 1932 became a candidate member of the CPSU (b). It seems that in his youth Shokin was simply the embodiment of everything that was required in the USSR from a party official - in any case, his political career was faster than the commercial one - that of Steve Jobs.

Once in the party, he immediately ascends to the head of the workshop and already in 1934 for a year leaves for the United States on a business trip from the plant, and not just where, but to the Sperry Corporation! After his return, he was transferred to the shipbuilding industry for a similar position as party boss, and in 1938 he became the chief engineer of the People's Commissariat of the Defense Industry, a little later, suddenly from shipbuilders he was retrained as an expert in radars and received the post of head of the industrial department of the Council for Radar under the USSR State Defense Committee, in 1946 he grew before the deputy chairman of Committee No. 3 under the USSR Council of Ministers, three years later he was already deputy minister of communications industry of the USSR, then the first deputy minister of the USSR radio engineering industry and finally (not yet the pinnacle of his career!) Chairman of the USSR State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers on electronic technology.

Shokin did not rise alone, but with the support of his closest friend - also already familiar to us Minister of Radio Electronics Kalmykov (the same one who wholeheartedly cut down the projects of all computers for missile defense, and about this and his role in the defeat of the scientific school of Kartsev and Yuditsky, we too let's talk later).


The biography and career of Kalmykov is practically a copy of Shokin (they are even almost the same age). Exactly the same real proletarian family without admixture of enemies of the people, the same technical school (however, the profession of an electrician).Exactly the same rapid advance along the party line - the head of the shop at Moskabel, a senior engineer, and 5 years later, suddenly - the chief engineer of the NII-10 of the People's Commissariat of the shipbuilding industry (on this basis, they and Shokin agreed), in 1943 he also climbed into Council for Radar under the State Defense Committee, in 1949 - already head of the Main Directorate of Jet Armaments of the USSR Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry. And a very sudden career turn for an electrician: in 1954 - the Minister of the Radio Engineering Industry of the USSR!

He was not offended either, the Stalin Prize was given only one, like the Hero of Socialist Labor, but as many as seven were hung with the Orders of Lenin. However, this is not surprising, according to the old Soviet tradition, the chief received an order for any successful actions of any subordinate, because the main thing is not an invention, the main thing is a sensible party leadership! Hero of Socialist Labor Kalmykov was given, by the way, for Gagarin's flight, and one can only guess what, in general, he had to do with this.

In the State Committee for Radio Electronics, founded by him (where he immediately became chairman in addition to the ministerial chair), he brought his friend Shokin as a deputy, and it was to this couple that in 1960 the residents of Riga came to bow with their P12-2. Kalmykov and Shokin looked at the microcircuit, nodded their heads, graciously allowed to start mass production, and then they simply completely forgot about this project, never again interested in it. Something bigger was at stake - the creation of a new State Committee (and, in the long term, an entire ministry).

Shokin and Kalmykov, like invisible spirits, go through the entire history of domestic electronics - they are responsible for the attack of clones and the massive copying of Western microcircuits, for the removal of Yuditsky and Kartsev, the dispersal of their groups and the closure of all their developments, for the sad fate of Staros and Berg, and for many - a lot more. In addition, in themselves they were quite heavy people, with a hypertrophied sense of their own importance, and embodied the standard of the highest Soviet official. Party nominees who skillfully vacillated along with the party line and escaped all the repressions of the 1930-1950s, on the contrary, are rising higher every year.

A simple locksmith who became the minister of the electronics industry and an electrician who became the minister of radio industry is the embodiment of Lenin's thesis that even a cook can learn how to run a state area).


Kolosov brings to Shokin the idea of ​​the need for a powerful full-fledged center for microelectronic research. Shokin clings to her with a stranglehold, as he realizes that the budget of a whole new industry is at stake, where he can be the sole owner (the rate, as we will see, was fully justified - as a result, he became a minister, entered the Central Committee and received a whole heap of orders, prizes and awards of all degrees, by the way, fate did not hurt Kolosov either, he became the owner of the rare in the USSR title of "chief designer of the first category", as S. P. Korolev, A. N. Tupolev and A. A. Raspletin).

Shokin, with the support of Kalmykov, pushes through the creation in 1961 of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on electronic technology and becomes its chairman, and the creation of the GKET was also not without purely Soviet incidents. The main and fierce opponent of the creation of the Committee was the well-known Anastas Mikoyan, the powerful First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. It got to the point that he personally discouraged Shokin from doing anything related to electronics at all:

"Why You Need It? Do you know you are tackling the impossible? This cannot be created in our country. Don't you understand that now everyone will blame their sins on your committee?"

- according to the recollections of Shokin himself.

Did Mikoyan really not believe so much in Soviet electronics?

No, just under the GKET, the government assigned a luxurious building in Kitayskiy proezd, on the squares of the Institute of World Economy, and the IME was headed by Mikoyan's relative, A.A. Arzumanyan. Hearing about the eviction, he asked a relative to intervene and cover up the entire movement, but Shokin was an unyielding veteran of party battles with twenty years of experience and demolished Mikoyan's resistance like a house of cards.

As a result, the Committee was created, now it was necessary to knock out the funds, and this could be done only through the Secretary General Khrushchev himself. To do this, it was required not only to impress him, but to bring him into a state of complete delight. Fortunately, Khrushchev was an emotional person and was impressed quite easily, but he needed an effective presentation and people who were able to organize it. So Shokin's gaze fell on Staros and Berg, who had just appeared in OKB-1.

Shokin, as we have already mentioned, was a seasoned veteran and professional of the Soviet party PR, and he immediately began a siege of the secretary general in accordance with all the rules of the subtle Soviet game. First of all, at the beginning of 1962, he obtained the consent of Khrushchev to hold a small exhibition with a report during a break in the meeting of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The event took place, and Khrushchev agreed to consider the proposal more closely.

Then in March 1962, at the annual review of architectural projects in the Red Hall of the Moscow City Council, after a report on serious imbalances in the construction of Sputnik (the future Zelenograd, originally planned as a textile center), Khrushchev said: "We need to talk about microelectronics." The conversation took place and the main trump card of Shokin, Staros, came to Sputnik for reconnaissance. He, in turn, had his own trump card - finished and ready for the UM-1NX series (where “NH” meant Nikita Khrushchev, an innate American talent for advertising affected).

It was a kind of analogue of PDP machines - the first Soviet mini-computer, with an original architecture. It appeared, of course, 5 years later than the PDP-1 and was released in a small series, but the main computer unit easily fit on the table, and the entire machine with the periphery - in one standard rack 175x53x90 cm.In addition to this machine, developments were carried out in SKB-1 ultra-small for those times (placed in the ear or fountain pen) radios on micro-assemblies.

Considering all the factors - the authoritative aura of American developers (who in those years were looked upon almost as living elves from unknown lands, and Khrushchev, of course, was aware of their origin), the presence of several good demo samples - a mini-computer, mini -radio, etc., the innate charisma of Staros and Berg and their truly American talent to promote anything to anyone, SKB-2 was chosen to demonstrate the prospects of integral technology.

A small touch to the Soviet historiography - the surviving witnesses of those events are still quarreling among themselves, trying to establish for certain - who should get the glory of Zelenograd's father, and the old academicians do not hesitate to water opponents, even the deceased, with selected mud. For example, as we have seen, those who worked with Staros and Berg had a great deal of respect and appreciation for their talents and contributions. However, as soon as we found out in 1999 that they were actually from the United States, several devastating patriotic articles appeared, popularly explaining that, in general, they did not even know from which end to take a soldering iron, let alone development of electronics.

For the honor of the founding of Zelenograd, Staros and Berg themselves fought in different sources, then Kolosov began to claim that he had invented everything, together with K.I., and everything was done by him and his colleagues from NII-35. Berg called B. Sedunov as a witness, about whom, in turn, B. Malashevich wrote that he had never seen Zelenograd in the eyes and knew nothing, but in fact Shokin invented everything alone, along the way once again doused Staros with slops and Berg.

As a result, it is no longer possible to establish anything for sure, and the last witnesses get heart attacks, foaming at the mouth, proving their case.

Staros himself was an ambitious man and hatched purely American plans to create a full-fledged research corporation like Bell Labs, non-state, unplanned, self-sufficient, developing computers and producing them in the millions a year. Naturally, such a seditious thought was nipped in the bud by the Soviet leadership. Some modern researchers have spent a lot of paper trying to show that this idea is indescribably flawed in nature, while stubbornly ignoring the fact that only such a concept allowed the United States to literally ascend to unattainable technical heights.

Microradio receiver in Khrushchev's ear

Be that as it may, Khrushchev's visit was organized and played out like clockwork. Vigorous preparation and rehearsals continued for almost a month. In addition to the desktop computer named in his honor, which was carried in front of the secretary general and compared with the antediluvian lamp monster "Strela", Staros, without any hesitation, deftly stuck the earpiece of a micro-radio receiver (the very prototype "Micro") into Khrushchev's ear. He, however, barely caught only two local stations, but for comparison, Khrushchev was given an estimate of the dimensions of the ancient tube radio "Rodina".

The general secretary was indescribably delighted, studied everything, asked everyone, rejoiced at the presented mini-radio like a child. Wasting no time, they slipped him a decree on the organization of a scientific town in Zelenograd, and it was in the bag. The plan worked, four tons of gold were even allocated for the creation of the center for the purchase of foreign technological lines and scientific equipment.


This is how the entire remaining galaxy of our microcircuit factories was opened: in 1962 - NIIMP with the Komponent plant and NIITM with Elion; in 1963 - NIITT with Angstrem and NIIMV with Elma; in 1964 - NIIME with Mikron and NIIFP; in 1965 - MIET with the Proton plant; in 1969 - the Specialized Computing Center (SVC) with the Logika plant (completed in 1975).

By the beginning of 1971, almost 13 thousand people worked in the field of microelectronics in Zelenograd. In 1966, Elma produces 15 types of special materials (that is, raw materials for IP), and Elion produces 20 types of technological and control and measuring equipment (although most of them still had to be purchased abroad, bypassing numerous embargoes). In 1969 Angstrem and Mikron produced more than 200 types of ICs, and by 1975, 1,020 types of ICs. And they were all clones …


What happened to the Americans?

You can build different theories about their purely scientific merits, but Staros and Berg were, like worthy sons of the United States, excellent, as they would say now as marketers - people who were sorely lacking in the Soviet industry at all times. Only narrow-minded people may think that there is nowhere to apply marketing without a free market - in fact, there was a market in the USSR, only in a perverted form: instead of advertising finished goods to the consumer and selling them for money, Soviet developers advertised not yet ready (and often not turning into ready-made)) products to officials of the State Planning Commission, knocking out the same money for this. Staros and Berg fulfilled their role perfectly - they advertised the upcoming microelectronics center at the highest level to the country's chief official, and in such a way that Khrushchev did not hesitate for a second, signing everything that Shokin brought him, and this is what the reward awaited them.

Staros dreamed of his company (as his critics now slyly write, he “with his utopian projects did not fully understand the Soviet realities”), or at least the chair of the director of the center, in the creation of which he played one of the main roles. But, naturally, after it was played, Shokin no longer needed him, and Zelenograd was headed by his protégé and protege - Fedor Viktorovich Lukin. Offended Staros at the beginning of October 1964 wrote a letter to N. S.Khrushchev, accusing Shokin of ingratitude, but on October 14, the Politburo made a small secret coup, and the riotous leader who finally got everyone was quietly removed in favor of the peaceful and docile Brezhnev. Shokin immediately took advantage of the fall of the mighty patron of Staros and literally four months later, by personal ministerial order, stripped him of all posts and dismissed him.

The unfortunate emigrant also made other powerful enemies, besides Shokin, who hated Staros' American individualism and once told him:

You are not creating, the Communist Party is creating!

In particular, the first secretary of the Deningrad city committee of the CPSU Romanov (for those who are not aware of the Soviet table of ranks, this roughly corresponds to the position of the mayor of St. Petersburg, a politically very significant figure).

Romanov took up arms against him because Staros (again, in the best traditions of the American school) took people into his design bureau not for their correct origin (that is, workers 'and peasants' strictly Russian nationality), but for their talents and even (oh, horror) dared to recruit and promote Jews!

As a result, after several successful developments (for the implementation of which, however, we had to fight to the death - the ordered onboard computers "Knot" for the Navy were officially put into service almost ten years after their creation, when they had already become hopelessly outdated) SKB-2 was finally dispersed, and the disgraced development manager was exiled to Vladivostok, to the Institute of Automation and Control Processes of the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he stayed until his death. In addition to UM-1NKh, Staros created a family of magnetic drives KUB, an advanced machine UM-2 and a small computer "Electronics K-200" and K-201, which weighed only 120 kg. These computers were the only ones whose architecture the Americans later announced (Control Engineering, 1966 under the heading Desktop):

Remarkable for its size and power consumption … It would not be considered original in the West, but the appearance of such machines in the USSR is extremely unusual … The first Soviet-made computer, which can be considered well-developed and surprisingly modern.

Staros ran 4 times for a member of the Academy, but no one wanted hostility with Shokin, and all 4 times his candidacy was rejected almost unanimously, and a few hours before the 5th vote, the problem was resolved by itself - Staros died. Berg, on the other hand, completely disappeared from the horizon, was no longer engaged in computers, after the collapse of the USSR he left for the United States and tried to restore the history of events, telling it to reporters, for which he was repeatedly branded in domestic sources as the last liar and twice a traitor.

Berg, taking advantage of the boundless publicity, did not care about the reliability … The fattest duck was an all-perverting film with Berg's participation … deceitful and insulting for the country … Sarant and Barr are not scientists, but electricians with negligible experience … construction hack [you might think he personally reported to the author of the book what kind of work he does in the USA], and Barr worked part-time wherever he had to … Having lived most of their lives in the USSR, they were never able to realize their ambitions in it …

And a few more pages of still rather mild characteristics given by Malashevich to his colleagues. Other researchers sarcastically object:

Unfortunately, even now there are many individuals of different caliber, ill-wishers who are haunted by the thought that the founder of an entire industry of the Great Country of Victory Socialism can be considered someone with an incomprehensible past …

So figure it out after someone who was doing what in the USSR.

Berg died in Moscow on August 1, 1998, and a year later his story finally became the property of Russian readers.

How did Zelenograd come to the idea of ​​total copying?

We will answer this question in the final part of our study of microelectronics, after which we will return to the works of Yuditsky.

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