NPO Mashinostroyeniya

NPO Maschinostrojenija (Russian НПО машиностроения ) is a Russian defense and aerospace group. Headquartered in Reutov near Moscow. Among the former designations OKB -52 Tschelomei and ZKBM the company was instrumental in the development of the Soviet space and Soviet missiles.

The company was founded in 1955 as an experimental design bureau OKB -52. Longtime leader was Vladimir Tschelomei.


The origins of the company lie in 1955, when Vladimir Tschelomei was appointed to head the newly established experimental design offices OKB -52, whose task was the development of cruise missiles. The seat of the company is a former agricultural machinery workshop in Reutov in Moscow was determined.

The late 1950s and early 1960s the OKB -52 increased by incorporations of other design offices, such as in October 1960 the OKB -23 of Vladimir Mjassischtschew.

OKB -52 was strongly supported by Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev, whose son worked there. Khrushchev's fall in October 1964 so that also meant a loss of importance for the OKB- 52.

In 1966, OKB- 52 was in "Central Design Office of Mechanical Engineering ( ZKBM ) " renamed in 1983 in " NPO Maschinostrojenija " with the short form " NPO -mash ".

Tschelomei handed over the management of the company in October 1983, after he had occupied for 28 years. He was succeeded by his former deputy Herbert Yefremov, the other 24 years was at the head of the company. Since 2007, Aleksandr Leonov CEO and chief designer of the company.

Since February 28, 2007 NPO Masch is one of the state-owned holding company OAO Voyenno - promyschlennaja korporazija Nauchno - proiswodstwennoje obedinenije maschinostrojenija.


Cruise missiles

Vladmir Tschelomei 1944 got the contract to construct similar to the German Fieseler Fi 103 (V1 ) a cruise missile. In December 1944, he was able to demonstrate the 10Ch, 12Ch other guys were, and 14ch 16Ch, but only the 10Ch and only in small quantities and was delivered to the armed forces.

More success had Tschelomei with the missiles P-5 Pitjorka, P-6 and P-35 Progress Progress that were stationed on Soviet surface ships and submarines from 1959. A special feature was the wings that are automatically deployed shortly after launch and were later dropped.

As of 1959, the OKB -52 developed a solid -fueled missiles, which could also be fired from submerged submarines. Under the designation P-70 Amethyst, the weapon was used in 1968 in the Soviet Navy.

The successor P -120 Malachite higher range was introduced in 1972 with the Soviet naval forces.

As the successor to the P- 5, P -6 and P- 35, the OKB -52 developed the missile P -500 Basalt. It enabled a coordinated plan of attack several missiles, one of which took the lead from a great height. The weapon could not be fired from a submerged submarine as the previous, what with the type P -700 Granit was then but possible. A subsequent extension of the P -500 was the type P-1000 Vulkan.

The development of the cruise missile Ch- 80, however, was unsuccessful. After delays, budget overruns and failures the project was canceled in 1986.

The missile P -800 Onyx was developed from the early 1980s. Under the name Jachont it is also exported.


From the late 1950s the OKB -52 also developed multi-stage rockets, which could be used both as intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as for satellite launches. Tschelomei suggested here before a family of three different sized universal missile (UR). UR -100 was easy rocket that could be stored in a sealed container for a very long time. It was introduced in large numbers in the Soviet military from 1966. The successor UR -100N is still stationed in the Russian army. The missile UR -200 should not bring on suborbital paths directly into the goal, but first in an orbit, from where they could then hit their target nuclear warheads. Although the UR -200 led in November 1963 by a test launch, but was not developed further in favor of the R-36 from the OKB -586 Yangel. An even stronger rocket was planned as UR -500. After military demand was withdrawn from the UR -500 was assigned to the moon program.

The last intercontinental ballistic missile, which was developed by NPO Maschinostrojenija was the Albatros, which was intended as a response to the U.S. SDI program. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, this project was not pursued further.


From the late 1950s, officially financed from June 1960, the OKB -52 was working on a maneuverable manned spaceship called Raketoplan. The missile should have a crew of two men. After a mission duration of 24 hours should Raketoplan horizontal land on existing airfields. This missile both scientific and military operations would be possible.

A suborbital test flight of a reduced model was the end of 1961 from Kapustin Yar instead, a second on 21 March 1963. According to Khrushchev death of this project was to design office OKB -155 Mikoyan -Gurevich ( MiG ) passed, where over the next few years, the project spiral was developed.


The OKB -52 developed Poljot, the first satellite that could maneuver in orbit. Poljot 1 launched on 1 November 1963. Originally a launcher provided the UR -200. Since these are not yet available, the R -7 was used by the OKB -1 Korolyov. Poljot 2 launched on April 12, 1964.

Another development of the OKB -52 was the research satellite proton, the high-energy cosmic particles should examine in Earth orbit. The launch of Proton 1 place on July 16th 1965. Since this was also the first flight of the UR -500, the Satellite name was also applied to the rocket, under the name Proton is now known as under UR -500. Three more copies of the Proton satellite launched 1965-1968.

Currently, the company on radar satellite Kondor -E, to be launched in the course of 2009 works.

The moon program

In response to the American Apollo program, the Soviet authorities were planning their own moon program. It should consist of two separate parts: a manned lunar orbit and a lunar landing. The OKB- 52 should it develop both the missile UR -500 and the L1 spacecraft for the lunar orbit. For the landing mission, the rocket and spacecraft N1 L3 should come from Korolev's OKB -1. This approach led to duplication and internal rivalries.

On July 16, 1965, the first start of the UR -500 was performed using the proton satellite that the rocket was the name by which it is known today.

The end of 1965 Tschelomei got the injunction prohibiting the development of the round-the- moon spaceship L1. A modification of the Soyuz spaceship, the OKB -1 should be used instead for the lunar orbit. The launcher UR -500 should receive an additional block D upper stage from OKB -1. However, this combination proved to be unreliable and caused many false starts during the Soviet lunar program. In competition with the N1 rocket developed by Korolev Tschelomei also a strong rocket: the UR- 700, which should bring 130 to 170 tons into orbit, the work on it but were stopped in October 1964. Tschelomei tried again in 1966, the UR -700 relative to N -1 of the OKB -1 to enforce, but without success. Two even larger rockets, the UR- 700M and the nuclear -powered UR -900, did not come on the planning stage.

In later years, the Proton rocket developed into a reliable workhorse. She brought many satellites and spacecraft into space, and space stations Salyut and Mir -type as well as modules of the ISS. Between the last launch of the Saturn V in May 1973 and the first launch of the Energia in May 1987, she was the most powerful rocket in the world.

Almaz space station

In October 1964 OKB -52 was given permission to begin the development of a space station called Almaz. The station should have a weight of 20 tons and be put in orbit with a single launch of the UR -500 -K. Teams of three cosmonauts would come off at regular intervals. Task of this space station should be earth observation, especially the identification of potential targets for its own ICBMs. A parallel development in this direction was performed by Dmitri Kozlov from OKB- 1 under the project designation Soyuz R, but terminated in March 1966, after Korolev's death, by order of the Mechanical Engineering Department. When in the summer of 1969 turned out that up to the first flight of Almaz would still take a few years, the idea to develop a parallel civilian space station, which was based on an Almaz structure, but Soyuz technology was started. This space station was designated DOS ( Dolgowremennaja orbital Well Stanzija = Long -time orbit station) and was created by the design office TsKBEM, the former OKB -1 was developed. You should already be ready for the end of 1971. The final decision to go for DOS was taken in February, 1970, then was back in April 1971, the start of the DOS station under the name Salyut 1

Later three Almaz stations were under the names of Salyut 2 (1972 ), Salyut 3 (1973) and started Salyut 5 (1976). Three teams spent 83 days aboard.

Due to the advancement in the field of electronics turned out that it was not absolutely necessary for reconnaissance purposes to have a crew on board. More space stations were therefore to be converted under the name Almaz -T for unmanned operation.

Space Shuttle TKS

For the connection between the Earth and the space station Almaz own spaceship called TKS was developed in TsKBM from 1970. It could be both manned flown unmanned, and transport team as well as equipment. It was much larger than the Soyuz spacecraft and Progress cargo of ZKBEM. First orbital test of the TKS were carried out in 1976, three unmanned cargo flights to the stations Salyut 6 and Salyut 7 were made in the years 1977, 1981 and 1983. Manned to start, it did not come, the trained cosmonauts were not used.

Almaz - T

Some copies of the Almaz space station were converted from 1976 for unmanned operation and should serve as all-weather radar reconnaissance satellites. The program was stopped in 1981 by Defense Minister Ustinov, but Tschelomei could prevent the scrapping of the space stations. After the death of Tschelomei and Ustinov was convinced to continue the Almaz - T program Tschelomeis successor Yefremov Ustinows successor Sokolow.

The Almaz station, which was stored for six years, was in a remarkably good condition so that they could be started in the autumn of 1986. However, the second stage of the launch vehicle and the self-destruct mechanism failed was triggered. The second launch was successful in July 1987. This station was designated Cosmos 1870. The third copy with improved resolution obtained in March 1991 the name Almaz 1 Another copy was planned, but failed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the financing.


After Tschelomei had already worked in the 1960s on a reusable space plane, he designed in 1970 another concept called LKS.

According to various studies, Tschelomei decided on a space shuttle about 20 tons of mass, which should be launched by the Proton rocket. LKS should be two crew members, two tons of fuel and another four tons can carry payload. The landing should be gliding on a conventional runway, instead of wheels a rack of blades should be used. LKS was designed for both manned and for unattended applications. Overall LKS was significantly smaller than the U.S. Space Shuttle and should be much cheaper. Tschelomei presented the design of the Soviet leadership in 1975, it decided, however ( OKB -1 and ZKBEM earlier) to be transferred under the leadership of Valentin Glushko the development of a space shuttle to the design office RKK Energia. This should later be incurred by the space shuttle Buran.

However Tschelomei continued to work on LKS and produced a full-scale model. When U.S. President Reagan in March 1983 announcing the Strategic Defense Initiative ( SDI), Tschelomei made ​​another attempt to obtain a permit for the construction of LKS. This was rejected by a government commission in September 1983.

Joint venture BrahMos

Together with the Indian defense group Defense Research and Development Organization ( DRDO ) founded NPO Maschinostrojenja 1988, a joint venture with name BrahMos. The aim of this collaboration was the joint development of a Seezielflugkörpers, which also bears the name BrahMos. Basis for development was the P -800 Jachont. Drive and warhead is contributed by the NPO Maschinostrojenja, the control system and the software of DRDO. India holds 51 % interest in this company and has the casting vote. The cooperation with India has developed into a significant part of the turnover of NPO Maschinostrojenja.

External links and sources

  • Internet presence (Russian / English)
  • Aerospace company
  • Soviet and Russian space
  • Enterprise (Russia )
  • Moscow Oblast