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Author(s) of the publication: Boris BARBANEL, Anatoly RODIONOV

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by Boris BARBANEL, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Chief Designer, Federal State Unitary Enterprise of St. Petersburg Naval Bureau of Mechanical Engineering MALAKHIT, Anatoly RODIONOV, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), Chairman of the Scientific Council on Problems of Applied Geophysics, RAS St. Petersburg Science Center

On May 5, 2004, it was the birthday centenary of Acad. Nikolai Isanin -a leading Russian designer and scholar, one of the chief architects of the strategic naval shield of our country, the author of a number of unique designs of naval vessels and submarines.

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Under the direction of Acad. Isanin, and with his personal participation, our scientists and engineers have been working for decades on the development of new and highly effective weapons for the Russian Navy. He dedicated himself to these programs as the head of major naval design bureaus: TsKB-17 (1946 - 1949), TsKB-16 (up to 1963) and later still as SKB-143 (up to 1974) which is now called MALAKHIT Naval Bureau of Mechanical Engineering. And during all of these years Acad. Isanin was striving for innovative ideas and close links between research and production. He cooperated with key figures of Russian rocket technology including academicians S. Korolyov, V. Makeev, N. Pilyugin, N. Semikhatov, V. Chelomey and S. Kovalyov. Now let us have a brief look at some of the highlights in the scientific carrier of Acad. N. Isanin.

September 16,1955, saw the world's first launch of a ballistic missile from board a B-611 submarine (Chief Designer - Isanin).

Three years later they launched the pioneer of the Russian atomic submarine fleet - Leninsky Komsomolets (Project 627). In 1962 missiles were launched from board another Russian sub (629 B) but not from the surface, but deep under the sea. This marked the beginning of full-scale design work in this country on atomic strategic submarines for the Navy. At the same time our naval engineers focused their attention on the development of fundamentally new subs for the Russian Navy - high-speed vessels, equipped with nuclear reactors and armed with missiles. The task of translating this dream into reality again fell to the share of Chief Designer Nikolai Isanin (from 1963 he was joined by his colleague Nikolai Shulzhenko).

The new sub (Project 661) was built in Severomorsk, Arkhangelsk Region. It boasted high maneuverability, was made of titanium for the first time in the world and carried unprecedented winged missile P-70 of the AMETIST complex with underwater take-off. At tests the new submarine registered a record speed of 44.7 knots which remains unsurpassed to this day. All of these factors, along with the complex-automated control system and other

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pioneering R&D achievements, paved the way for new submarine designs of the 2nd and 3rd generations for meeting the needs of the Russian Navy. As a result Russian nuclear subs of Projects 671 and others, which were of comparable dimensions with their American rivals, had more powerful armaments while their water displacement was lower by 5 to 10 percent. And Russian subs of Project 971 featured much lower noise levels, being in this respect about the best in the world. In addition to that they can launch devastating strikes at shore targets of a potential enemy.

The efforts of Acad. Isanin - designer and scientist-received a truly high assessment. In 1963 he defended his doctoral thesis, in 1970 he was elected Full Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1959, he and a group of other specialists were awarded the Lenin Prize. In 1963 and also in 1970 he was honored with the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.

Isanin belonged to the founders of Scientific Council on Hydrodynamics and Hydrophysics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now- the St. Petersburg Science Center of the RAS) and was its active member.

Nikolai Isanin passed away in 1990.

Thanks to the talent and energy of N. Isanin Russia received a unique school of scientists, designers and engineers capable of equipping our Navy with first-class and highly-reliable multipurpose submarines.


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Boris BARBANEL, Anatoly RODIONOV, SUBMARINE WEAPONS DESIGNER // London: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 25.09.2018. URL: (date of access: 23.03.2023).

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