by Anatoliy RODIONOV, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), Chairman, Scientific Council on Problems of Applied Hydrophysics, RAS St. Petersburg Scientific Center;
Stanislav PROSHKIN, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Director RF Main Research Center TsNII GIDROPRIBOR;
Valery PYLAEV, chief designer of the same Institute
The Central Scientific-Research Institute GIDROPRIBOR (St. Petersburg) has marked its 60th birthday. It is the leading R&D center for underwater weapons and advanced technical systems of the Russian Navy.
The GIDROPRIBOR Central Scientific Research Institute - this smithery of underwater weapons-was founded in what was then Leningrad-on September 15, 1943. Its activities were based the achievements of scientists and engineers of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. One of the founding fathers of marine mine engineering in this country was Academician Boris Jakoby (1801-
1874) an expert in electrical engineering. He designed an anchored floatable marine mine (with an air chamber in its hull), and what was called the galvano-impact mine - a weapon of great importance for defence of our naval bases and seaports, like that of Kronstadt during the Crimean War of 1853 - 1856.
Within this contest one can not pass in silence the name of yet another outstanding Russian scientist-Academician Anatoliy Alexandrov* whose centenary of birth was marked by the scientific community in 2003. He provided a major contribution to the consolidation of the Soviet Navy during the Great Patriotic War with Nazi Germany, working on methods of warships protection from enemy magnetic mines.
Researchers of the GIDROPRI-BOR Institute - the heirs of all our achievements in the field of underwater weapons-have made impressive progress over the years. They are now working on advanced defensive weapons, such as mines which, at a relatively low cost, possess marine targets-solving problems of boosting the country's defences with due consideration for its economic potential and military-geographical conditions.
According to the principle of their operation mines are divided into contact and non- contact ones; anchored, bottom and floating. By the degree of their manoeuvrability - there are self-propelled and stationary mines. In relatively recent time Institute experts developed what they call an "attack" mine-a combination of a platform with a torpedo or a rocket of the "water-water-target" class-a multifunctional weapon with elements of artificial intelligence.
GIDROPRIBOR specialists attach considerable importance to the task of providing the Russian Navy with up-to-date systems of anti-mines defences. They have developed and put into production many such units some of which have been adopted by our Navy. These include contact mine-sweeping trawls used against anchored mines and other weapons of this kind. Their further improvements are aimed at increasing the operating depth and using them in coastal zones. These
* See: N. Ponomarev-Stepnoi, "At the Head of the Nuclear Branch", Science in Russia, No. 2, 2003. - Ed .
weapons are being equipped with new effective devices for impacting underwater mines for their subsequent destruction.
Institute experts are working on modernizing systems for dealing with contactless mines equipped with electromagnetic, acoustic, hydrodynamic and combination detonators. The basic objective is to ensure a zone of trawling of maximum width.
Considerable progress has been made in recent time in the development of devices for the location and liquidation of marine mines irrespective of the mode of operation of contactless, or proximity fuzes. Systems of remote control are activated by signals from a hydro-acoustic station which takes care of the detection and destruction of bottom and anchored mines located along the course of a minesweeper.
One of the effective weapons being developed by GIDROPRI-BOR specialists are torpedoes for submarines, surface warships and marine aircraft. These include impact, or percussion, devices (for missile and anti-submarine complexes and surface ships); universal ones (for use against enemy subs and surface vessels); defense units (for protection of surface vessels) and airborne units (launched at marine targets from aircraft and helicopters).
This list of innovations pioneered by the Institute staff can be continued. Suffice it to say that they have on their record more than 90 per-
cent of weapons used by the Russian submarine fleet, and many of these weapons have no analogues in the world. There are, for example self-targeting torpedoes which "trace" an enemy warship by its wake, longdistance large-caliber systems which can target the biggest warships over great distance, and advanced mine-torpedo and mine- missile complexes. The credit for these achievements is shared with many leading researchers of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Defense, some colleges and defence industries.
GIDROPRIBOR specialists have been maintaining the closest and very fruitful cooperation with research and industrial establishments of St. Petersburg and above all with the RAS Scientific Center. It now has a Scientific Council on problems of applied hydrophysics which includes GIDROPRIBOR experts. Scientists and engineers are working on study programs such as "MIROVOI OKEAN" (world ocean) and "NAUKA GORODU" (science to cities) etc. Much attention is given to the development of systems of a new generation: unmanned self-propelled and towable, autonomous and moored remote-control underwater search and inspection units; "unmanned" technologies on the basis of long-range undersea apparatuses; self- propelled underwater units for engineering-geodesic seabed drilling in shelf zones; geophysical stations for studies of low-depth transit searoutes; small-size acoustic "fish concentrators" MAKR; autonomous positioned stations of ecological control and marine monitoring; universal flaw-detectors for inspection of underwater oil pipelines, etc.
The Institute staff now includes some 1,500 scientists, engineers, designers and skilled workmen who have at their disposal some unique laboratory and testing equipment, special vessels and everything necessary for dealing with even the most challenging research tasks of today.
The Institute staff have on their credit more than 5,000 authorship certificates for inventions and patents for underwater units for defence and industrial applications, including thermal and power units, motors and instruments for control of technological processes, ultrasonic units and data-processing complexes.
Looking back at their achievements over the past 60 years GIDROPRIBOR specialists take pride in what they call a R&D school of world level capable of developing new technologies and original methods of research thus providing tangible contributions to strengthening Russia's defence and economic potential.
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