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Sergei Pavlovich Nepobedimy

Sergei Pavlovich Nepobedimy led the KBM after the death of B.I. Shavyrina in 1965. Sergey Pavlovich did not know technical failures. Anti-tank, portable anti-aircraft, operational-tactical missiles from Kolomna were almost the first in their classes, others remain the best on the planet During his career, Nepobedimy designed a number of well-known weapons systems such as the Oka, Tochka-U, Khrizantema, Strela, and Igla. He also founded a whole new area in weapons design: active defense systems for tanks, helicopters and ballistic missile silos.

Historically, it so happened that in the Soviet Union country there were almost no former General Designers - as a rule, they were carried away from this post (feet first). Or, for one reason or another, often very far from technology, they were removed. With his departure, Sergei Pavlovich Nepobedimy expressed a protest against the elimination the of this Oka complex under the Treaty on Medium-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles [the INF Treaty].

It is possible that he would have lived a long, happy life, remaining 'widely known in narrow circles', despite the fact that the whole world knew the names of the machines he created. He was discovered by “catastroika” and disarmament. Only then did the country learned about the General Designer of the Kolomna KBM - the machine-building design bureau, the creator of almost all types of combat missiles, whose last name best corresponds to his work, and the old and the current - about Sergey Pavlovich Nepobedimy ["the Unbeatable"]. And yet repeated publications reflected, although important, but only one side of its activity - the history of the operational-tactical missile complex Oka.

Sergei Pavlovich said about the origin of his surname [which means "Invincible"]: “It comes from a nickname. My father - Pavel Fedorovich - a native of the Kursk region, bordering on Ukraine; there are nicknames in use. Even before the revolution, our family was nicknamed the Unbeaten for great strength. When my father left for Petrograd, the Ukrainian Unbeaten was transformed into the Russian Invincible. ”

Sergei Pavlovich Nepobedimy was born on September 13, 1921 in the city of Ryazan in the family of a worker. In 1922, the family moved to the Kursk province and settled in the city of Nikolskoe Shgrovskogo County (now-Kursk region). A few years later, parents and children moved to the town of Szhgira. Already in school years he had shown outstanding abilities in mathematics, had studied in mechanics, was engaged in modelling and in 14 years has constructed a steam turbine which was sent to the exhibition in Moscow.

In 1938 he graduated from the Shgrovskaya Secondary school #1 (former gymnasium) and, having passed the rigid competitive selection, entered the krasnoznamny Mechanical-Engineering Institute imeni Bauman (now Moscow State Technical University imeni Bauman) to the "Faculty of ammunition". By the time of the Great Patriotic War he had finished the third course. He filed a request to volunteer for the front. He participated in the construction of defensive structures under Yelney on the Desna River as a part of a special battalion. On September, 8th, 1941 during works has got under a raid of enemy aviation. On October 20, 1941 the school was evacuated to Izhevsk. He worked on the flow of anti-tank barrels, locksmith at the factory, which produced the machine guns "Maxim".

Returning to Moscow from evacuation in 1943, he continued training in the group under the guidance of Professor Yu. A. Pobedontsev, also cast bombs at the pipe foundry, located underground at Paveletsky station. In 1945 he graduated from the Academy of Defense of the name of Bauman in the specialty "engineer-Mechanic on Munitions" (the theme of the diploma Project-"missile complex of the advanced range for Fighting tanks"). The essence of the matter: existing at the time faustpatrony, bazookas and other similar samples had a range of only tens of meters. The missiles of the same German grenade launchers could have flown further, but the accuracy dropped sharply. Sergei Pavlovich substantiated another solution. Short, compact guides and start-up engine, burning out almost instantly. The projectile is already flying, the speed is sufficient, the stabilizers are working, the starting disturbances calm down. And only here, through the moderator, the sustainer engine starts.

At the end of the Great Patriotic War, as the young Sergei Nepobedimy was concluding his degree in munitions engineering and technology at the Moscow Bauman State Technical University, something happened that would have a lasting effect not only on Nepobedimy’s life and career but also on the future of Soviet rocket science: The young graduate was offered a job with the KGB. Back then, offers like that were hardly ever refused, all the more so since working with the KGB had a lot of prestige attached to it. However, the young engineer went against the grain and joined the Kolomna Engineering Design Bureau instead, later becoming its chief designer. These days the bureau is known all over the world thanks to the Iskander-M and Igla missile systems it developed.

On the recommendation of Yu. Pobedontsev was sent to Kolomna in SKB-101 (KBM, now fsue "KB of machine building"). In KB successively held positions of engineer-designer, senior engineer, head of the group, head of Research department, first Deputy chief designer (1961), Chief and Chief Designer (1965), General Designer (1988). Directly participated in the creation of the mechanism of loading for 433-mm Besshschan anti-submarine bomb BMB-2 (1951). He supervised the development, testing and production of fragmentation and explosive and cumulative shots for recoillative guns B-10 and B-11 (1954).

In the late 1950s, rocket engineers were tasked to create an intercontinental mobile complex about the range and distance that was most adapted to the requirements of the troops (read, extremely simple to use). He proposed to use air as an oxidizer for solid propellant. The Gnome placed the first, direct-flow stage in front. And the second, already purely rocket, with a warhead was inserted into its tail section. The mobile complex took no more than 32 tons. A machine weighing up to 65 tons can pass through bridges (moreover, strategic, reinforced), and it was already known that the mass of an empty conveyor is approximately equal to the mass of a rocket.

In 1956 he headed the group on development of anti-tank missile Systems (PTRK), the result of which were the complexes "Bumblebee" (1960), "Baby" (1963), later semi-automatic PTRK "Baby-P" (1969) (in 1973, during Arab-Israeli war with the help of "baby" was destroyed the entire Israeli tank regiment (about 800 vehicles). When they were created, a number of innovative technical developments that played an important role in other industries were implemented.

It is little known that the cost of the legendary Malyutka (“Baby”) guided missile was reduced to that of a black-and-white TV set, at 500 rubles. This despite the fact that the missile featured several technological innovations and used advanced electronics and plastic components in its warhead. In addition, its body was made of plastic, which in the 1960s was an advanced step even for the U.S. Thanks to its low cost, the Soviet Union made up to 40,000 Malyutka missiles a year. Unsurprisingly, there are still some 200,000 of these missiles stored in army depots in various parts of the world.

Another curious and little-known fact associated with Nepobedimy’s designs also involves the Malyutka, as well as China and fashions. In the 1960s, under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Moscow’s relations with China soured. That affected the imports of Chinese silk, which all but stopped. However, silk was used to make the wiring via which the Malyutka missile was guided. For a long time, Nepobedimy struggled to find a substitute for silk, until one day at a meeting at work he spotted a polyester shirt on one of his colleagues. The fabric that the shirt was made of was called Lavsan, an abbreviation for the Laboratory of Macromolecular Compounds under the USSR Academy of Sciences. And so a fabric that was used to make shirts and dresses became a “shirt” for Malyutka.

Under his leadership was completed the development of the first domestic portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPADS) "Strela-2" (1968), followed by a series of MANPADS: "Arrow-2M" (1970), "Strela-3" (1974), "Needle-1" (1981), "Needle" ( 1983), thus for the first time in the world practice were solved complex technical problems on ensuring effective firing to meet in conditions of influence of active heat disturbances and other factors.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (with a Vulture "secret") of April 26, 1971 for exceptional services to the State in the performance of a special assignment Sergei Pavlovich conferred the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with Awarding of the Order of Lenin and the gold medal "sickle and Hammer".

In 1970-1980, the first in the World supersonic anti-tank guided missile (Ptur) "Sturm" was created: "Sturm-V" (1976)-in helicopter, "Sturm-S" (1978)-in self-propelled execution. Later "Attack" (deep modification of "Sturm") and the world's first two-channel "Chrysanthemum" were created.

In the mid-1970s on his initiative was organized a fundamentally new direction in the field of armaments-the creation of complexes and systems of active protection (KAZ) armored (complex "arena") and other equipment (including mine launchers MDR) .

He was the initiator of creation of high-precision mobile tactical and tactical missile complexes in the country (TRC and OTRK). Under his guidance, the "point" with various types of combat unit (BCH): Sbch, Ofbch (1975), KCH (1977), G (1979), F-R (1982), as well as "Point-U" (1988), OTRK "Oka" (1980).

Sergei Nepobedimy’s commitment to his work was legendary: He attended every single test launch of his missiles, sometimes travelling 250 miles to the test range. Mind you, there was a test launch almost every week, sometimes even more often. When testing was over, Nepobedimy calculated that he had clocked the length of the equator on his journeys to test ranges. During one of those tests, that of the Shmel anti-tank missile, there was an incident that prompted the introduction of special psychological training for servicemen operating complex weapons.

During the test, Nepobedimy was approached by a soldier, who told him that his hands were shaking out of fear of doing something wrong and thus causing damage to the socialist state by destroying an expensive missile, although officially soldiers could not be held liable for any damage caused. That admission triggered the introduction of a new requirement whereby all servicemen involved in missile launches had to undergo special psychological training first.

The fear of inflicting huge costs on the state did not mean that the cost of Soviet weapons was prohibitive or that designers could not keep an eye on the pennies. Indeed, the technology produced during this era show that the opposite was true, largely because one of the key concepts underlying Soviet technologies was simplicity combined with efficiency.

In total, Sergei Pavlovich Nepobedimy was the creator of 28 weapons. Since 1990 he worked as the chief Scientific officer in the Institute of Automation and Hydraulics in Moscow, was the scientific Director of Scientific and Technical Center "Reagent".

Sergey Pavlovich died April 11, 2014 at age 93. He was buried on April 15 at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery in Mytishchi.

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Page last modified: 20-10-2018 16:44:05 ZULU