UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


17F19 Skif

In the mid-1970s work on space weapons was launched at NPO Energia, directed by Valentin Petrovich Glushko. The leading role of "Energia" was formalized by a special resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR "On the study of the possibility of creating weapons for conducting combat operations in outer space and from outer space." This decree in the USSR unfolded works that were officially supported by the American President in the United States only seven years later. These works began despite the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems, signed in Moscow on May 26, 1972. Under this Treaty, the parties, including the Soviet Union, pledged themselves "... not to create, not test and deploy systems (components) of anti-missile defense of sea, air, space and mobile-terrestrial bases . " Many of those who prepared and signed this agreement, four years later, prepared and signed the Resolution, contrary to the obligations assumed by the Soviet Union in 1972. The tasks entrusted to NPO Energia were, in practice, the same as those put by Reagan in SDI in 1983.

In the official history of RSC Energia after them, S.P.Koroleva, published in 1996, about these works the following was said: "... In the 1970s and 1980s, a complex of studies was carried out to determine possible ways of creating space vehicles capable of solving the tasks of destroying military aircraft, ballistic missiles in flight, and especially important air, sea and land targets. the task was to achieve the necessary characteristics of these funds on the basis of the available scientific and technical backlog with the prospect of developing these funds with a limitation on production capacity and financing.

"For the destruction of military space objects, two combat vehicles were developed on a single constructive basis, equipped with various types of airborne weapons systems - laser and missile systems ... The smaller mass of the airborne weapons complex with missile weapons, in comparison with the laser weapons complex, made it possible to have a larger fuel supply onboard the spacecraft, so it seemed expedient to create a system with an orbital constellation consisting of combat vehicles, one of which is equipped with a laser, missile weapons. In this case, the first type of apparatus was to be used for low-orbit objects, and the second for objects located on medium-altitude and geostationary orbits. .. "

Two combat complexes were developed: 17F19 "Skif" - a system that provides for the use of lasers, and 17F111 "Cascade" - a system with a missile weapon. NPO Energia was the lead organization for the entire space-based anti-satellite and anti-ballistic missile program. The head company for the laser complex for "Scythian" was the "Astrophysica" NGO, the leading Soviet laser firm. The missile system for the "Cascade" was developed in the company of A.E. Nudelman, a well-known Soviet designer of weapons for aircraft and spacecraft. To put into orbit the "Scythians" and "Cascades" were supposed to be on the first (experimental) stage of the RN 8K82K "Proton-K", and later - the orbital ships 11F35OK "Buran". For a longer period of combat duty, each of the types of these satellites had the possibility of refueling, which the "Buran" ships were supposed to provide.

In 1981, when it was time to move from the theoretical stage of the creation of the "Soviet SDI" to the experimental one, the NGO "Energia" connected its new branch and old partners to the work on programs for the creation of Skif and Cascade devices - the Salyut Design Bureau. It was a time-tested and well-proven cooperation of "Podlipok" and "Fili". All previous heavy orbital stations of the DOS Salyut type were developed jointly by these two companies. Also KB "Salyut" took part in the creation of the orbital manned stations 11F71 "Almaz" and transport vehicles supplying 11F72 TKS. Therefore, leaving behind a primacy in the program of the "Soviet SDI", V.P.Glushko transferred in 1981 work on the creation of a base platform and all service systems for the "Scythian" and "Cascade" to KB "Salyut", led by General Designer Dmitry Alekseevich Polukhin. To manufacture space combat stations was the Moscow machine-building plant named after MV Khrunichev, headed by Anatoly Ivanovich Kiselev. All Soviet orbital stations Salyut, Almaz and TKS ships were assembled at this enterprise.

In 1981, KB Salyut created a spacecraft - the Skif station - equipped with laser weapons for anti-satellite defense program. With subsequent improvement - it was intended to equip the laser systems with missiles. The laser on-board weapons complex "Skif" was created in the "Astrophysics" NPO.

On August 18, 1983 General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Yu.V. Andropov made a statement that the USSR unilaterally terminates the testing of the PKO complex - after which all tests were terminated. However, with the arrival of MS. Gorbachev and the announcement in the US of the SDI program of work on anti-space defense were continued.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 08-03-2018 18:02:15 ZULU