Vladimir Fyodorovich Utkin
Vladimir Fyodorovich Utkin was a distinguished scientist and designer in the field of space rocket engineering. General Designer – General Director of Yuzhnoye design office (1971 – 1990). Doctor of Engineering (1967), Academician of Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1976), Academician of Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1984), Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences (1992), Full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, President of K.E. Tsiolkovsky Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.
Almost 40 years of his life. Utkin gave the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, among them for 19 years he was Chief Designer and Head of the enterprise, having replaced on this post the founder of the KBU, an outstanding figure in the field of the RTC, Academician Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel.
Vladimir Fyodorovich Utkin was born in the village of Pustobor, Yerakhtursk area of Ryazan region, Russia. After graduation, he was drafted into the army, fought at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, was awarded with war decorations. He was born on a rich land of Ryazan land and belongs to a generation that has suffered many difficulties and adversities. This is the hungry time, the hard years of the Great Patriotic War, post-war devastation. But there were many happy days, painted with the joy of Victory, enthusiasm for the restoration of the national economy, pride in the successes in the conquest of the cosmos.
After graduation from Jet Armament department of Leningrad military engineering institute in 1952, Utkin was sent to Special Design Bureau #586 in Dnepropetrovsk, were he worked on the organization of series production of first Soviet ballistic missiles R-1, R-2, R-5 designed by Chief Designer Sergey Korolev. He was 29 years old, four of whom he fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. Good engineering training, life experience of the front-line soldier, thoroughness and perseverance in achieving the goal allowed him to quickly achieve high professionalism, and grow into a major leader of a large team of highly qualified specialists.
The fifties and the beginning of the sixties of the last century were the years of the formation of missile technology and the rapid development of domestic rocketry, the rivalry between the USSR and the United States in ensuring the superiority of their strategic missiles at the main, at that stage, tactical and technical characteristics- range of fire, combat readiness, missile attack on the start. V.F. Utkin was an active participant in the solution of many topical problems and problematic issues of increasing the effectiveness of strategic missile systems. Vladimir Fedorovich passed a large school of scientific and technical and organizational leadership of the creation of rocket and space systems under Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel, became his first deputy. After the foundation of Yuzhnoye design office, he worked as an engineer, senior engineer, group head, sector head, department head, Deputy and First Deputy Chief Designer. After the death of M.K. Yangel in 1971, V.F. Utkin became Chief Designer, and then in 1979 General Designer of the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau. In 1990 – 2000, Vladimir Utkin worked as General Director of TsNIIMASh, Russia. As Yuzhnoye’s General Designer, Vladimir Utkin became a worthy successor of the cause of his brilliant predecessor: the concepts and projects conceived by Mikhail Yangel were put into actual hardware.
These were the years of creating new directions in science, technology, technology and production organization. But the main thing was that it was a difficult way of developing a unique labor collective, which, after M.K. Yangelya was very difficult! And Vladimir Fedorovich continued the plans of Mikhail Kuzmich, successfully completed the development that he started, retained associates and cooperation of developers. V.F. Utkin helped the KB team create and dare to successfully compete with the best world projects. Conceived and unfinished with M.K. Yangel ideas and projects were translated into real designs. Under the guidance of V.F. Utkin's staff of KB "Yuzhnoye" and related organizations have begun to address new challenges.
When V.F. Utkin became the Chief Designer, Yuzhnoye and Yuzhny Machine Building Plant were already well known in the military-industrial and political circles of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Army was armed with several types of strategic missiles developed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau. However, the rapidly changing international situation required the renewal of weapons. Yuzhnoye KB in this task went two ways: upgrading the missile systems in service and developing new ones.
The strategy of VF Utkin as the head of the space-rocket bureau was to find alternative scientific and technical solutions at a minimum cost in response to the deployment of appropriate types of weapons of a potential adversary. This approach has reduced time, avoiding many trials and errors. It was on this path that original, non-traditional solutions were developed that define the appearance of the Yuzhnoye KB missiles.
In the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, intensive development of several fundamentally different combat and space rocket complexes and a wide range of spacecrafts was carried out simultaneously. As a result, the enterprise under the leadership of V.F. Utkin created several generations of strategic missile systems that have no analogues in the world and formed the basis of the Strategic Missile Forces of the Soviet Union, and then Russia. Space rocket complexes "Cyclone", "Zenith", as well as a wide range of space vehicles were designed and put into operation.
Under Utkin’s leadership, Yuzhnoye developed and put into service world’s unrivalled strategic missile systems which formed the basis of Strategic Rocket Forces of the Soviet Union and, later, Russia. Among these missiles were the SS-18, one of the most powerful and efficient liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missiles, called Satan by the Americans, and the solid-propellant SS-24 ICBM (Scalpel) in silo-based and rail-mobile versions, etc. Highly efficient and reliable space launch systems Cyclone and Zenit and a wide range of military, scientific, and civil application spacecraft were developed and put into service.
Many challenging scientific and technical problems were solved during development of the missile systems: leak-tightness of propellant system was achieved, missiles could stand by on alert for a long time in a fueled state, heavy missiles were launched from containers mortar style, anti-ballistic missile defense penetration aids were developed. Silos were superhardened, missile were hardened against nuclear strike; high degree of combat readiness and high missile firing accuracy were achieved. The performance of the rail-mobile system with the SS-24 missile is unparalleled in the world’s rocket production.
Vasiliy Utkin placed emphasis on environmental protection, automation of prelaunch operations, missile firing rates, and other topical issues. Solution of a number of scientific and technical problems led to the development of Zenit, the best medium-lift launch vehicle in the world, which subsequently became the basis of big international projects Sea Launch and Land Launch.
Vasiliy Utkin was an active participant in international cooperation in space research and exploration, including the Interkosmos program: the Arcade project with the Aureole satellite was implemented jointly with French specialists; Aryabhata and Bhaskara satellites were built and launched into orbit in cooperation with India.
A lot of the credit must go to Vasiliy Utkin for using decommissioned missiles to launch spacecraft (under the Dnepr program, etc.). Vasiliy Utkin is the author and co-author of more than 200 scientific studies: projects, articles, inventions.
He took an active part in social life, management of the state affairs. He was repeatedly elected to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1972-1991); he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR (1976-1991). Twice Hero of Socialist Labor (1969, 1976), winner of Lenin Prize (1964) and the USSR State Prize (1980). Utkin was decorated with the Medal for Labor Valor (1956), Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1959), Orders of Lenin (1961, 1966, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1983).
From November 22, 1990 to February 15, 2000 VF Utkin - director of the Central Research Institute of Oil and Gas. The extraordinary talent of the organizer, inexhaustible energy and efficiency, ability to foresee future events allowed to save to a considerable extent in this difficult for the country time the scientific potential of the institute.
Under the guidance of Utkin and with his direct participation, the Federal Space Programs of Russia were scientifically substantiated and developed for the period up to 2000 and until 2005, which became an effective tool for Russian space activities.
Vladimir Fedorovich's contribution to the creation of the legislative and legal framework for space activities of the Russian Federation is significant. This is not only personal participation in the development of fundamental legislative acts, but also responsible work in the committees and working groups of the State Duma and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Vasiliy Utkin rests in Troyekurovskoye cemetery, Moscow. The Golden and the Silver medal were established in memory of Vasiliy Utikin. Today, these medals are awarded to scientists and designers for outstanding achievements in aerospace technology development.
Vladimir Fedorovich carefully treated his partners, colleagues at work, helped them in difficult times, never held back initiatives and fully trusted his associates, was accessible and easy to communicate. As the General Designer, he penetrated into all the subtleties without taking allegations, demanded technical justifications, figures, facts, demanded from the subordinates professionalism, ingenuity and perseverance in achieving the necessary results. His exactingness to himself and others was constant. Much attention is paid to V.F. Utkin paid to work with the cooperation, ministries, top leadership of the country. In many respects, thanks to the wisdom of Vladimir Fedorovich, his talent as an organizer, his vast knowledge, his ability to combine the efforts of hundreds of enterprises and tens of thousands of people to achieve the goal, they managed to create the most complex missile systems.
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