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  • Design bureaus

    I am curious about something. I know as does everyone else the famous names of aircraft like Tupolev, Lavochkin, Mikoyan etc. I also know these were engineers who worked for "design bureaus" I never heard of such things for other arms designed during the Soviet ear like tanks (did the same people design the T-34 and all its models and the JS series)?

    So can someone give me a general overview of this system and how it worked? Did all these designers work for the same department? (ie. bomber, or artillery design) I know it was all state owned, but did a particular factory get set up only to build Yakolev's planes? How did the ahem "competition"(evil capitalist word ) work?

  • #2
    Originally posted by joea
    I am curious about something. I know as does everyone else the famous names of aircraft like Tupolev, Lavochkin, Mikoyan etc. I also know these were engineers who worked for "design bureaus" I never heard of such things for other arms designed during the Soviet ear like tanks (did the same people design the T-34 and all its models and the JS series)?

    So can someone give me a general overview of this system and how it worked? Did all these designers work for the same department? (ie. bomber, or artillery design) I know it was all state owned, but did a particular factory get set up only to build Yakolev's planes? How did the ahem "competition"(evil capitalist word ) work?
    "Design bureau" is a usual organization for designing of new projects (I work on the design bureau!). "Design bureau" is an organization of engineers.

    Different "design bureaus" do different works.

    Some "design bureaus" make planes, other ones make tanks, other ones make missiles, other ones - submarines, other ones - washing machines and so on...

    In some cases one "design bureau" can make works in some directions because "design bureau" is an group of engineers and it is able to do the things which its enginers are able to do or which their authorities will decide to do.

    About the names which you said. You said only the names of planes designers.

    There were VERY many different "design bureaus" and VERY MANY different famous constructors.

    I do not remember many names right now but I can say some ones.

    The glorius T-34 was made by Koshkin.

    Korolev, the later father of Soviet space missiles, took part in design of famous BM-13 "Katyusha".

    It is possible to define names of designers in the name of weapon.

    PPSh, a sub-machine gun, means "sub-machine gun of Shpagin",
    PPD, a sub-machine gun, means "sub-machine gun of Degtyarev",
    TT, a pistol, means "Tula's Tokarev" (Tula - city, Tokarev is a name of designer),
    RPD, a lignt machine gun, means "light machine gun of Degtyarev".

    If to speak about the system of the names of different weapons so there were some customs.

    Planes were called by the name of designers, tanks were called by "T" and number, which was defined by state.

    It is only tradition.

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    • #3
      Ahh thanks Andrey, well I spoke about plane designers because those are fairly well-known in the West and as you said that tanks were not named after designers. I honestly did not know that the PPSh and RPD were also named for the designers. Tell me, if the government wanted a new weapon of some sort did they ask for several designs to be submitted to see which was the best. As is done in the US for example.

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      • #4
        Tanks:
        T-34 - Kharkov plant (Chief desighner M.I.Koshkin, later after death of Koshkin, A-A. Morozov).
        Nazis were so angry with appearing of T-34, that destroyed Koshkin's grave by directed bomb attacks against Kharkov graveyard)
        Besides different modifications were made by various plants

        KVs - SKB-2 (Special Design Office)
        of Kirov plant in Leningrad (Chief Zh. Ja. Kotin)
        (Later evacuated in Tchelyuabinsk)

        IS-1,-2 SKB-2 Tchelyabinsk town. Chief designer - S.V. Tseits

        T-50-Leningrad Kirov plant No. 185, then transferred on Lenigrad Voroshilov plant. No. 174.
        Chief constructors: Ginzburg, Bushnev, Trojanov

        T-40, -60, -70, -80 - N.L. Astrov. Leading plant: GAZ

        T-35 - Designed on Leningrad plant "Bolshevik". (concept project - German constructor E. Grotte, T-35 construction - N. Barykov)

        T-26 - Leningrad Voroshilov plant (modification of licensed version of Vickers-6tons)

        BTs - Kharkov plant

        T-37 -38 Moscow plant No. 37
        Last edited by amvas; 24 Dec 04, 06:22.
        If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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        • #5
          Airplanes:

          I-15,-15bis (-152),-153, U-2 (Po-2),R-5 - Polikarpov
          MIG-1, -3 Mikoyan,Gurevich
          LaGG-1, -3 - Lavochkin, Gorbunov, Gudkov
          La-5 -7- Lavochkin
          Yak-1,-2,-4,-5,-7,-9,UT-1,UT-2 - Yakovlev

          IL-2, -10, DB-3, DB-3F (IL-4) - Ilyushin

          DI-6 - Koochergin, Yatsenko

          TB-3,SB, Tu-2 - Tupolev
          Tupolev design office:
          Ar-2 - Arkhangelskiy
          Su-2 - Sukhoi
          Pe-2,-3, -8 - Petlyakov

          Er-2 (DB-240) - R.L. Bartini (later Ermolaev)

          Sh-2 - Shavrov

          R-10 - Neman

          MBR-2, KOR-1 (Be-2), KOR-2 (Be-4) - Beriev
          ChE-2 (MDR-6) - Tchetverikov

          Li-2 - Lisunov (Adapted variant of American DC-3 plane)
          If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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          • #6
            All the industry in USSR was a state property. “People Commissariat [Ministry] of Military Equipment” was responsible for the designing and for the production of military equipment.

            When designers designed a new type of equipment this ministry decided on what a military plant to produce it.

            In WWII and before the war Vannikov was the People Commissar [Minister] of Military Equipment, he made very many good things for USSR…

            New types of weapon began to being designed by other ways.

            There was a way – “from top to down”. In this case leaders of USSR (often – Stalin personally) invited designers and spoke them to produce a concrete type weapon. Often some “design bureaus” got the same task and the best from their models was added to the armoury of Soviet Armed Forces.

            Here are some examples of this way.

            1. Fighters were designed by some “design bureaus”. Fortune was lucky to Lavockin and Yakovlev so Red Air Forces had Yak-1 and LaGG-3, which had practically equal performances, in the beginning of the war. And Soviet fighter aviation was equipped with Lavochkin’s La-5, La-7 and Yakovlev’s Yak-7, Yak-9, which had practically equal performances again, in the end of the war.

            2. Some design bureaus built heave tanks simultaneously before the war. Three models of new tanks – KV, SMK and T-100, one specimen of the every type – were sent in Mannerheim line in the December of 1939 for a combat testing. The KV showed the best performances in the combats and was added to the armoury of Red Army.

            But the second way of designing of new weapon was also, it was the method “from down to top”.

            Sometimes weapon designers offered to build new weapons. They offered it on the basis of their experience, on the basis of meetings with the soldiers and the officers who were on a frontline, on the basis of the visits of a frontline and so on.

            In some cases weapon designers FORBAD authorities to build new weapons. Some cases are known when designers took the initiative regardless of the concrete orders from authorities. Many weapon designers understood that the fate of country depended from their weapon and displayed the courage in the questions of the designing of new weapon. Weapon designers often run risk their lives but tried to design a good weapon.

            The history of T-34’s birth is a good example of this way.

            T-34 was designed by a group of engineers under the leadership of M.I.Koshkin before the war. The discussion was in 30th years – what tanks to do – wheeled-tracked like BTs or completely tracked.
            Some Soviet tank veterans of Spanish War spoke that tracked tanks are better but the most part of military leaders of USSR supposed that wheeled-tracked tanks are better.

            The problem of tracked tanks was the relatively short distance which they could to move before the replacing of their tracks. But wheeled-tracked tanks could move on wheels in rears and to use tracks only in a combat. But wheeled-tracked tanks were less durable and had a more thin armor.

            As a result of this discussion Koshkin got an assignment to build wheeled-tracked tank. But Koshkin was a hard follower of tracked tanks. So Koshkin with the group of his followers decided to build two tanks in parallel – wheeled-tracked and completely tracked ones. They began to design tracked tank in their free time.

            Stalin knew about it but he permitted to build two different tanks instead of one.

            And two tanks were built – wheeled-tracked and tracked. Koshkin and some his followers decided to show all the good performances of their new tank. They offered to make additional the test – to move tanks at their own pace from Leningrad (or from Kharkov?) to Moscow. Some tracked tanks (A-32s) and wheeled-tracked tanks (A-30s) moved through forest in heavy winter conditions, they moved on snow in the conditions of low temperature. Koshkin personally drove one A-32. And A-32s excellently stood the test.
            In Moscow the tanks were tested by anti-tank guns. The Soviet military leaders who were in this test were amazed – the anti-tank guns couldn’t penetrate armor of A-32, many shells ricocheted from the sloping armor plates of A-32.

            As a result of these tests A-32 was added to the armoury of Red Army as a T-34.

            Unfortunately, Koshkin took a chill during the test of his tank and died some months later. He had no time to see that his tank saved Russia in 1941-45...
            Last edited by Andrey; 24 Dec 04, 20:52.

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