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1954 - Heavy Interceptors With Missiles

In the nervous 1950s, the Soviet Union faced the task of defending its borders against intrusions by Western spyplanes and deterring an attack by Western bomber armadas. The mission was to intercept incoming adversaries at long range, which required plenty of engine power, ample fuel and heavy armament. Several Soviet design bureaus took on this priority task.

The first heavy interceptor from the Mikoyan stable was the swept-wing I-3 of 1956 which, though never flown, was the precursor of the cannon-armed I-7U and the missile-armed I-75. These were followed by the delta-winged Ye-150 series of the late 1950s and early 1960s - the single-engined Ye-150 and Ye-152 and the twin-engined Ye-152A. Known to the outside world as the Ye-166, the huge Ye-152M set an impressive speed record of 2,681 km/h on 7th July 1962. These aircraft paved the way for the MiG-25 interceptor. Other contenders included the Sukhoi T-37, which was terminated by government order before it had a chance to fly.

In the second half of the 1950s, the NATO bomber aviation began to pose an even more serious threat to the Soviet Union, which was due not only to the growth of its strength, but also to the improvement of its quality indicators. The B-58 Hustler medium bomber was adopted for US aviation, its speed almost twice the speed of sound, and the range reached 5000 km. In these conditions, the air defense of the country was in dire need of modern means of intercepting air targets.

The first domestic anti-aircraft missile systems that were put into service had serious shortcomings, in particular, a limited range of rocket launching and a ceiling not exceeding 20 km. Until mid-1960, American U-2 air reconnaissance plowed through the airspace of the country with impunity. In the USSR, there was no means to destroy them. MiG-19PM interceptors, as well as special high-altitude MiG-19SV, had too low a practical ceiling. None of the experimental interceptors of the design bureau AI Mikoyan, P.0.Sukhoi or SA Lavochkin were put into mass production. However, work in this direction continued.

In the early 1950s, several governmental decisions were issued on the establishment of guided missile aircraft for air systems for intercepting air targets. Designing of projectiles was entrusted simultaneously by several design bureaus. So in the OKB-2 (Ministry of Defense Industry) under the leadership of PD Grushin, missile systems K-5, K-b and K-51, in 0KB-134 II Toropov of the K-75 and K-7 systems in versions K-7l with radar-beam control and K-7s with a homing head), in the OKB-4 (MOS) MR Bisnovata system K-8 (also in two versions with beam control and self-guidance). Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on the testing of these systems in a number of aviation complexes was issued on December 30, 1954.

The Uragan-5 (or U-5) system, which began to be developed in 1954, was the first unified closed system in the USSR for automatic interception of air targets. Its surface part included several surveillance-tracking radars, an active request-response channel for determining the coordinates of an interceptor aimed at the target, a digital guidance control machine (the main designer is Bazilevsky), and an aiming point (chief designer - AF Fedoseev).

Interceptors in the Uragan-5 system, designed by OKB-155 AI Mikoyan and OKB-51 P.0.Sukhoi, according to the decisions of the Council of Ministers were to be equipped with guided missiles of a new generation of K-b or K-7s (in the process of their The new type of airborne radar with increased range and improved dynamic characteristics (developed at NII-17), a calculating instrument (the chief designer VI Lanerdin) for the management of weapons and av (the latter was developed under the leadership of the chief designer IA Mikhalev).

The creation of the first Soviet homing missile K-8 in 1955 engaged OKB-4 under the leadership of Chief Designer MR R. Bisnovata and his deputy VN Elagin. The missile was designed in a fairly short time. It was designed to defeat all types of air targets from the rear hemisphere. The target should be slightly higher than the interceptor in order to exclude the influence of the ground on the homing head. In order to increase the interference immunity of the interception complex against natural and organized interference, the missile was developed in two versions: with a radar homing head and with a thermal (infrared) head. The rockets of both variants were similar in design and differed only in the front compartment in which the head was located. The interceptors could be suspended simultaneously by rockets of both variants.

On 7 and 21 March 1957, respectively, the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Order of the MAP, where a number of experimental design bureaus (including OKB-155 AI Mikoyan and OKB-51 P. 0. Sukhoi) once again clarified the task and adjusted the time manufacture and presentation of individual elements of the Uragan-5 system and the complex as a whole for testing. In particular, it was required to build five interceptor fighters (two K-7s missile systems, two airplanes with movable guns and one with a K system -bv) and present them to joint with the Minister Defense in the fourth quarter of 1958. Before that, the autonomous factory flight tests of the fighter with the K-bv system had to be carried out in the first quarter of 1958, and with cannon installations.

The radar "Uragan-5B", developed in OKB-339 under the direction of FF Volkov, also turned out to be the most perfect station of that time (in fact, it became the base for the third generation radar). It implemented all the latest achievements in electronics and radar, including a new element base, applied light alloys, as well as new principles for building an antenna drive and increasing noise immunity. To improve reliability and simplify operation, a number of easily removable standard units and units were developed. The station "Uragan-5B" was made in the form of a single monoblock, inserted into the nose of the aircraft. This was a real breakthrough in the aircraft radar. With smaller dimensions and weight, greater noise immunity and reliability, this radar had a range of 2.5 times greater,

The creation of systems for new aviation armaments, including interceptors of a new generation, led to the cooperation of design teams in various industries (this principle of the development of aviation equipment, laid in the mid-1950s, is still fundamental). The interceptor in the arsenal of air defense aviation appeared only in the second half of the 1950s after the creation of an appropriate radar and engine of the necessary thrust with an axial compressor. The aircraft received the designation Yak-25 and almost 20 years guarded the air borders of the Soviet Union.




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