Lazurit Central Design Bureau
Tsentralnoye konstruktorskoye byuro "Lazurit" 603040, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia Ulitsa Svobody, 57 Telephone: (011-7-8312) 25-00-25 Telex: 151118 MORE; Teletype: 151136 KONUS; Fax: (011-7-8312) 25-13-29
PRIMARY BUSINESS: Branch: Submarine design;
SIC Code: 3443, 3463, 3533, 3711, 3731
FORMER MINISTRY SUBORDINATION: Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry
APPROXIMATE EMPLOYMENT: Total: 900; Date: 1992
PRINCIPAL OFFICERS :
Stanislav Aleksandrovich Lavikovsky, Director and General Designer
Yuri D. Korablyov, Deputy Director of Technical Issues
Aleksander G. Leshchev, Chief Engineer
Grigoriy V. Vityogov, Chief Engineer
The Lazurit Central Design Bureau is a leading design firm in the field of submarines and submersible technology. It was esablished in 1953, and was previously part of the Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard. The Lazurit Central Design Bureau (CDB) was one of three design bureaus in the former Soviet Union that designed military submarines. The other two are Malachite and Rubin, both in St. Petersburg. Lazurit's work had begun in the 1950s with modern postwar diesel-electric submarines. The bureau's most recent work has been the titanium hull Sierra class nuclear attack submarine. >Lazurit designed the Poseidon class DSRVs used by the Russian Navy. Four operational and one experimental models were built. The DSRVs operate in pairs, generally carried onboard an India class submarine.
The Soviet Union had three submarine design bureaux, named after precious and semi-precious stones - Rubin [Ruby], Malachite, and Lazurit [Lazurite]. Lapsi Lazuli or "azure stone," a mineral substance valued for decorative purposes in consequence of the fine blue colour which it usually presents. It appears to have been the sapphire of ancient writers: thus Theophrastus describes the adtropetpos as being spotted with gold-dust, a description quite inappropriate to modern sapphire, but fully applicable to lapis lazuli, for this stone frequently contains disseminated particles of iron-pyrites of gold-like appearance. Pliny, too, refers to the sapphirus as a stone sprinkled with specks of gold; and possibly an allusion to the same character may be found in Job xxviii. 6. The IIebrew sappir, denoting a stone in the High Priest's breastplate, was probably lapis lazuli, as acknowledged in the Revised Version of the Bible. With the ancient Egyptians lapis lazuli was a favourite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used to a limited extent by the Assyrians and Babylonians for cylinder seals. Magnificent examples of the decorative use of lapis lazuli are to be seen in St Petersburg, notably in the columns of St Isaac's cathedral. The beautiful blue colour of lapis lazuli led to its employment, when ground and levigated, as a valuable pigment known as ultramarine.
It was reserved for Professor W. C. Brögger and H. Bäckström, of Christiania, to separate the several constituents and subject them to analysis, thus demonstrating the true constitution of lapis lazuli, and proving that it is a rock rather than a definite mineral species. The essential part of most lapis lazuli is a blue mineral allied to sodalite and crystallized in the cubic system, which Brögger distinguished as lazurite. The lazurite, sometimes regarded as true lapis lazuli, is a sulphur-bearing sodum and aluminium silicate. Various kinds of lapis lazuli are formed; and it has been proposed to distinguish some of them as lazurite-lapis and haüyne-lapis, according as one or the other mineral prevails. The lazurite of lapis lazuli is to be carefully distinguished from lazulite, an aluminium-magnesium phosphate, related to turquoise.
Already in the first years of activity, the TsKB team developed project 633 for one of the best diesel-electric submarines in the Soviet Union. According to the drawings and under the technical guidance of the Central Design Bureau, a large number of submarines were built, including nuclear, titanium, armed with cruise missiles, with an auxiliary nuclear power plant, with electrochemical generators, rescue, targets, etc., as well as rescue and deep-sea workers devices.
The team's high creative activity was especially vivid when creating the world's first series of Project 670 nuclear-powered missile submarines armed with underwater-launched cruise missiles. The deputy commander of the US 6th Fleet, Admiral Bugalter, lamented that whenever a Project 670 submarine entered the Mediterranean, he lost sleep for a long time. Subsequently, the world's best-in-class titanium nuclear submarine of Project 945 was created. The first photograph of this submarine in the magazine "Navy international", # 11, was accompanied by the words: "Such submarines will remain unsurpassed for the foreseeable future."
The pinnacle of creativity of the Central Design Bureau and its chief designer was the nuclear submarine of project 945 "Barracuda", the first boat in the country with a completely titanium hull. The shape and swift smooth contours of the body resemble the shape of one of the best ocean swimmers - tuna, which ensured high speed at any depth. The nuclear submarine is armed with the latest military missiles, which give it a strike potential. The main trump card of the boat is low physical fields, low magnetic and electrical characteristics (previously inaccessible to domestic nuclear-powered ships and even less appropriate characteristics of nuclear submarines of Russia's main opponent - the United States). For the first time in the USSR, the acoustic data of the Barracuda were equal to their American counterparts, which made it possible to eliminate one of the main drawbacks of Soviet nuclear-powered ships - high noise (for which the Americans gave them the offensive nickname “roaring cows”).
To test the design solutions in practice and find ways to improve the Barracuda, the general designer went on the lead boat into a distant autonomous passage lasting over 100 days. The boat in practice showed its unique technical data, unnoticed by passing a number of US anti-submarine lines in the Atlantic. When in the 1990s N.I. Kvasha told about this campaign, a big scandal thundered in the United States - after all, they never registered this nuclear submarine, which had been cruising off their coast for three months with thousands of Hiroshimas on board. Probably, this was one of the reasons why the fifth boat in the very beginning of the 1990s was hastily cut into metal on stocks, being built by over 30%.
All orders for the design and creation of submarines and deep-sea vehicles were received by the Lazurit Central Design Bureau as a result of a tough competition among related enterprises of the Soviet Union and Russia, and none of which was lost to the Central Design Bureau. The best projects of submarines and deep-sea rescue vehicles were awarded with prizes and awards. The Central Design Bureau was awarded: 1 Lenin Prize, 3 state, 3 government. A total of 25 employees became laureates of the awards. Moreover, the last awards were received in 1999 and 2001. More than 360 people were awarded orders and medals of the Soviet Union and Russia at the Central Design Bureau, including the head - chief designer of the Central Design Bureau, Vorobyov Vladimir Petrovich, awarded the high title of Hero of Socialist Labor, and the General Director - General Designer Nikolai Iosifovich Kvashe - Hero of the Russian Federation.
Because government (i.e., Navy) funding had been cut significantly, Lazurit was busy trying to commercialize its capabilities. But the process was slow and some reductions of personnel had taken place. In 1993, CDB "Lazurit" was privatized with the distribution of shares in the labor collective of the enterprise, and reorganized into JSC "CDB" Lazurit ", N.I. Kvasha was appointed General Director - General Designer of JSC" CDB "Lazurit", remaining them until the end life. In the conditions of the crisis of the early 1990s, the enterprise dramatically increased the civilian component of its activities: ships of a technical fleet for offshore oil and gas production, fishing vessels, offshore oil production units, gas turbine power plants, and medical pressure chambers were created.
While they still did work for the Navy (some subs need maintenance and repair), as of early 1997 some 90% of their current orders were from GAZPROM (The Russian oil and gas company). After 2000, the defense order increased again, amounting to over 70% of the enterprise's capacity.
OJSC Central Design Bureau (CDB) Lazurit celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 22-23, 2003. Nikolay Kvasha, general director of Lazurit Central Design Bureau, answered the questions of the correspondent of the Nizhny Novgorod Telegraph Agency. " the situation was not easy - we have two competitors - KB Malakhit and Rubin "in St. Petersburg, which, by the way, are state-owned and subordinate to Rossudostroenie. We are subordinate to this organization only in theory, but, in fact, we are independent, therefore we are looking for orders ourselves. At first it was very difficult, because we did not even have a marketing service, we did not know how to look for customers. Our task was to make the most of our knowledge and skills and try to retain staff. And gradually everything fell into place.... We are 50 years old - during this time, two generations of designers and five names of our organization have changed, but the projects of Sormov submariners are still distinguished by originality, boldness and simplicity of technical solutions."
As a designer of Soviet naval submarines, Lazurit had extensive experience in titanium metal properties and processing (forming and forging), nuclear propulsion, and submersible technologies. Conversion projects include designs for a wide array of underwater vehicles, chambers, and complexes including nuclear powered deep water transport vehicles, submerged nuclear power generating stations, rescue submarines, maneuvering vehicles, towed vessels, tourist submarines, and equipment for the exploration and exploitation of offshore oil and gas fields. It also design of ballasting systems, fuel cells, manipulators, and pneumatic systems for submarines. Lazurit has designed a truck-mounted decompression chamber, several of which were built by another Nizhniy Novgorod firm and are now in operation.
Lazurit is associated with the Nizhniy Novgorod Corporation, a joint stock company, to market tourist and cargo submarines, and it is actively seeking technical liaison with Western firms. Part of their work is the design of "technical" fleet vessels for the offshore industry: dredges, soil carrying ships, split hopper barges, pipeline inspection and repair vessels. There is also a modest interest in fishing vessels, tourist subs, and research vessels.
CDB Lazurit developed a concept of technology to build submarine nuclear supertankers with a 150,000-300,000 ton oil capacity that excludes the necessity to build new, special-purpose shipyards. The concept is based on the possibilities of existing Russian shipyards in the Far East, but it requires widely developed international cooperation. Neither Russia nor any other country of the world has ever built nuclear submarine supertankers, and currently there are no shipyards capable of constructing them. The discovery of fields with unique hydrocarbon reserves off the coast of the Arctic and Far East seas has raised the urgent problem of developing reliable year-round operating tanker transport systems.