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Boris Ivanovich Shavyrin

Boris Ivanovich Shavyrin (April 27 (May 10), 1902, Yaroslavl - October 9, 1965, Moscow) was a Soviet designer of mortar and reactive weapons. Doctor of Technical Sciences (1952), Corresponding Member of the Academy of Artillery Sciences (1949), Hero of Socialist Labor (1945). In April 1942 he was appointed chief and chief designer of the newly created special design bureau, which he headed until the end of his life. The simplicity and manufacturability of the designs of Soviet mortars made it possible to deploy their mass production in a short time and fully meet the needs of the front.

Boris Ivanovich was born on April 27, 1902 in Yaroslavl. In his childhood, he did not think about the design activities. Like most peers from Yaroslavl, he wanted to become a captain or mechanic on one of the snow-white Volga steamers. Another opinion was held by his father, the old railway worker Ivan Semyonovich Shavyrin, who constantly invited him to work for himself, on the railway. And it happened. Boris graduated from a two-year railway school.

In 1917, his father died, and the family had a very difficult time. He lived half-starving. It was necessary to go to work, and a fifteen-year-old teenage student settled on a steam mill. However, there was an October revolution, which contributed to his further education. Soon after, he arranged to work at the railway station, becomes a minder, learned to work on screw-cutting and milling machines. He had a constant attraction to knowledge, which did not go unnoticed - the young worker was sent to study at the evening workstation.

After graduating from the faculty of work, he was sent to further education at the Moscow State Technical University. NE Bauman is the first and most prestigious technical university in Russia. It was hard to study in it. There was a lack of fundamental knowledge, especially in mathematics and physics. In 1930, Boris graduated from the Moscow State Technical University and remains in Moscow.

He worked as an engineer in the production department of the Weapons and Weapons and Machine-building Unions. This work for a young specialist was prestigious. In parallel, he was engaged in teaching activities, leads the course in MSTU resistance materials.

Since 1932 - senior design engineer, then the head of design bureau in factories. In 1937, he sought his transfer to the Special Design Bureau No. 4 at the Leningrad Artillery Plant No. 7, in which he began working on various types of mortars.

In the 1930s, the USSR adopted a wide program for the creation of mortars of caliber of 50, 82, 107, 120, 160 and 240 millimeters. To fulfill it in 1936, Shavyrin joined in, and soon his name began to shine in the bright constellation of the names of the outstanding designers of mortar weapons. After the first use of mortars Shavyrin in August 1939 in the battles of the Khalkhin-Gol River, a government decree "On increasing the production of mortars and mines" was issued, work on them in other design bureaus expanded and mass production began. The experience of military operations at Khalkhin-Gol, as well as during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 convincingly showed that mortars are an indispensable weapon of infantry in modern combat. In addition to the mortars, SKB-4 developed and put into service the BMP-1 Navy - the first Soviet assault bomb for deep-sea bombs, which were equipped with anti-submarine defense ships.

In 1940, due to unfounded accusations, Shavyrin was forced from SKB-4 to go to work at the SRB NII-13, but with the beginning of the war he returned to the modernization of mortars.

From the very first days of the Great Patriotic War the design team led by Shavyrin, evacuated to Perm, persistently worked on modernization and simplification of mortar designs, as well as on reducing labor costs for their manufacture. Attaching special importance to the further improvement of mortar armament, the State Defense Committee adopted a resolution on April 11, 1942, on the basis of which a Special Design Office of Smoothbore Artillery (SKB GA, now FSUE "KB Engineering") was created in Kolomna near Moscow on the territory of Plant No. 4 on the basis of the specialists of SKB NII-13 and the mortar group of designers of Plant No. 7. (SKB GA). Shavyrin was appointed chief and chief designer. In this position he remained for the rest of his life.

The engineering design bureau, «Konstruktorskoye byuro mashynostroyeniya» («KBM»), awarded the order of Lenin and Red Labour Banner, was founded by Decree of the State Defence Committee No.1576 of 11 April 1942 to specifically develop mortar systems.

In a short space of time, individual design groups separated by war were merged to a technically strong creative team headed by Boris I. Shavyrin who initiated and placed the work on a broad footing to satisfy army needs in mortar systems. In precarious and extremely difficult wartime conditions the KBM personnel quickly resolves various issues surfacing in use of mortars in troops, carries out manufacturer's supervision at factories and at the front itself, arranges manufacture of mortar armament that is continuously growing up in the course of war.

KBM designers developed several versions of mortars for different combat use, they refined the design of 82-, 107- and 120-mm mortars. Creative efficient work of the design bureau was highly appreciated by the Communist Party and the Government. In 1942, design bureau head and chief designer Boris I. Shavyrin, deputy chief designer Boris I. Shavyrin, E.A. Yagupov, group head G.D. Shirenin were awarded a Stalin prize. Prominent specialists – N.A. Dorovlev, S.V. Gusovskiy, A.G. Sokolov, S.P. Vanin, P.V. Goryachev, V.I. Lukander, S.B. Dobrinskiy – made an outstanding contribution to the development of new mortar systems.

The KBM history harbors a lot of brilliant achievements of its creative work. For example, a significant portion (about 80 percent) of mortars used in combat operations during the Great Patriotic War that played a tremendous role in the Great Victory of 1945 were developed by KBM.

In his work, Boris Ivanovich was very demanding, tough, even picky. How he treated his colleagues in the SKB, he also treated himself. In difficult war years, Shavyrin managed to organize a good workforce and provide significant assistance to industrial enterprises and military units in the development of this type of weapons. The simplicity and manufacturability of the designs of Soviet mortars made it possible to deploy their mass production in a short time and fully meet the needs of the front. Only three military years, SKB carried out more than 50 research and development and research projects.

September 16, 1945 Boris Ivanovich Shavyrin was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with the award of the Order of Lenin and the gold medal "Hammer and Sickle."

With the end of the Great Patriotic War mortars were not developed so intensively. There were even rumors that the mortar had exhausted itself and there was no point in further development. However, SKB Shavyrin did not stop the work. Moreover, the requirements for new samples rose sharply, and the test conditions became more stringent. In the early 1950's, 160 mm and 240 mm mortars were put into service.

Nevertheless, new tasks related to the creation of jet weapons were already set before the design bureau. Latest invention Shavyrina in mortar weapons became the most powerful in the world of 420-mm self-propelled mortar setting. The prototypes were shown at a military parade on Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 1957.

Work on the development of reactive technology began in the late 1940s. The first step in this area was recoilless tools - weapons that do not have recoil (kickback) when firing. This effect is created due to the removal of powder gases through the hole in the breech part of the trunk. Thanks to the hard work of the team already in 1954 recoilless implements of the 82-mm-B-10 caliber and the 107-mm-B-11 caliber are being used by the Soviet Army.

In 1957, several design bureaus were tasked to create ATGMs - anti-tank guided missile systems. In 1957 year SKB Shavyrina got a new job to develop the first Soviet anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). This work involved a complete reorientation of the work of the entire design team. Many senior leaders offered to appoint in place Shavyrina another designer that has experience in the development of missile weapons. However, he was left in place.

ATGM, that is, an anti-tank guided missile system was supposed to destroy tanks with cumulative missiles at a great distance from the arrow (500-2,000 m), inaccessible to conventional grenade launchers and with greater accuracy. These weapons belonged to the class of precision. For SKB this was a solid prospect, and the chief designer seized on a new topic. Kolomenskoye SKB began work on the creation of a complex of antitank guided weapons, later named "Shmel".

The guided missile and the ground guidance system were intended for firing from a light infantry launcher and were supposed to allow transportation in the body of a motor vehicle. His immediate designer was Sergei Pavlovich the Invincible, an outstanding Soviet and Russian missile designer who died on April 11, 2014, at the age of 93. The transition to a new topic was difficult and required considerable work. Further development of anti-tank guided systems in the SKB was the reduction in their size and the creation of portable infantry complexes. For example, the top of perfection were ATGMs, which were called "Baby". This sample was considered unsurpassed in the world for many years.

In the early 60's, the SKB engaged in the development of portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS), which was named Strela-2. Under the leadership of the chief designer Shavyrin, as a result of the brainstorming, the look and tactical and technical requirements to the complex were formed. But to finish this work to the remarkable designer already it was not possible.

Boris Ivanovich Shavyrin died after a serious illness on October 9, 1965. He was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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