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Armed Soviet Spacecraft - Almaz, Soyuz PPK, oh my!

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posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 08:12 PM

I brought these two beauties up in another thread that got boinked... still, they're interesting bits of history.

If anyone ever tells you that a military would never want an armed space station... Just point to almaz. true, the sovs apparently abandoned the program, but it was because the manned recon stuff just wasn't cost-effective. One wonders if, in the future, armed stations might come back into play (if they're not in play right now)... AND, Almaz shows that you can put weapons in space without the other guy (or most of the other guy's intel agencies) knowing about it:

I wonder how the cosmonauts fought the urge to fire the darn thing?!

Also, for your enjoyment, the Soyuz PPK interceptor:

This baby was never flown, but its basic premise was doable. One wonders if the Chinese, one of these days, will put a similar type of weapon module/rig on their shenzou? It would really sting to lose a couple staellites at the beginning of a war.

posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 08:28 PM
How would you like to wake up in your capsule, look outside, and see this thing sneaking up on you?

It vaguely reminds me of some sort of weird sea monster.

posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 09:15 PM
I posted a topic like this. I found out that the Russians were putting 30mm or 20mm machine guns on their a few of their Soyuz.

posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 09:40 PM
How did the guns work in space? Did they have some sort of special chamber rigged up? From what i understand of orbital dynamics, it would be pretty hard to use machine guns against a target you already weren't nearly docked with.

My understanding is that the Soyuz PPK used a recoiless rocket system not too dissimilar from how an over the shoulder bazooka works. You'll have to check out the website i provided' main reference section to see how the big gun on the ALMAZ worked.

posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 11:34 PM
Very interesting finds!

I dont think that there would be much problem with the functioning of a NR-23 23mm autocannon in orbit: There would not be any substantial difference in material stress without an external atmosphere, and the Soviet weapons were known for thier reliability in extreme environments... However, as all ballistic weapons are correctly aimed based on precalculated parabolic trajectories of thier projectiles, and this largely affected by aerodynamic drag, I do wonder how accurate this weapon would be in actual use.

In addition, keep in mind Newtons first law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction... In orbit, firing a 23mm cannon, especially in sustained bursts, would be the same as firing a manuevering jet. Therefore, for every shot fired, there would have to be a compensating spurt fired from a rocket motor. The fact that each shot would tend to move the vehicle off the target does not bode well for accuracy...

There is also the issue that the shells once fired would essentially be in thier own orbit... firing at a target in a different orbit, at a different altitude, traveling at a significantly different speed would seriously complicate accuracy as well...

Also, because there is no gravity to pull the shells to earth eventually, once fired, if they miss thier target, they could concievably continue on in the ballistic orbital trajectory... which means that eventually they may come around and meet thier point of origin.... How do you explain to your superiors that you shot yourself down?

I would say that a self propelled rocket with an active self guidance system would be far better suited to orbital combat.

posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 11:45 PM
I think the PPK worked (in theory) by matching a target's exact orbit (which would include speed and altitude, by definition). The little ship would then approach the target almost as if to dock with it. At a range of 1km (shorter than air to air engagements on earth), the Soyuz would fire the rockets.

Essentially, it would not be able to attack a target with which it wasn't sharing an 'orbit'... It wouldn't be able to strafe or dog fight, that is to say. 'Deflection' shots (wherein a target is at a right angle from the shooter), as pilots call them, would be nearly unworkable in the environment. If anything, the (conceived) attack resembles early submarine ones. That's why the missiles are refered to as 'mines' as well.

posted on Aug, 24 2003 @ 12:01 AM
It is a very interesting concept, I will admit that... unfortunately, it has since been obsoleted by the developement and deployment of X Craft propelled by Magneto Hydrodynamic systems. These vehicles far outstrip the performance of the Soyuz spacecraft, and basically do not have to obey the same physical laws that such orbital vehicles are restricted to.

In addition, the newer X Craft employ the newest generation of Directed Energy weapons, far outstripping the performance, accuracy, range, and lethality of either the NR-23 cannon or the little rocket mines.

posted on Aug, 24 2003 @ 12:47 AM

D-R, I knew you would bring up those things, eventually.

I am, by no means, and expert on those craft... So, in the meantime, I'll just stick to stuff that's more 'down to earth' here
To be honest, I'm not sure if I believe in them, as of yet, despite your many well-written posts on the subject. I need to see photos and/or diagrams.

As for the 'war rockets' (to use a flash gordon term) that we know of, for sure...
There are, obviously, dozens of Soyuz variations... a testament to the skill of the initial design (which is rumored to have been based on the rejected General Electric Apollo proposal)... however, it turns out that the Sovs had another armed version, the Soyuz P, that also never flew.

Below is a chart showing military versions of the Soyuz. The P and PPK are to the left, with tanker and mini-spacelab variants to the right. Quite an impressive exploitation of the craft's modularity!

So far as Almaz goes... Just think about it, we once had an armed 'battlestation' over us!

Of course, as D-R said, the star wars program has made all of the things this thread is talking about antiquities. X-Ray lazers will beat mines any day.

posted on Aug, 24 2003 @ 12:50 AM

Good Post.

Very interesting

posted on Aug, 24 2003 @ 01:04 AM
It's probably going to be my last

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