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Soviet Space Weaponary

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posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 06:33 AM
I knew about Polyus Defensive Platform which failed to reach operational orbit and was bought down into the Pacific.

but I did not know that prior to that Salyut 3 had carried a 23 mm Nudelmann aircraft cannon (other sources say it was a Nudelmann NR-30 30 mm gun) which was test fired destroying a target satellite.

I wonder how great the accuracy would be in space obviously
greater range and accuracy was achieveable that back on earth. Also I wonder how great the recoil force were and what rate of fire was used.

posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 09:22 PM
Very interesting i have never heard of this before do you have any links?

thanks in advance


posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 10:51 PM
During the 80's, with the Reagan admin gung ho about intercepting satellites, I can see why the Russians would test a very simple, cheap, and effective means to destroy our ICBM shield. Good idea on their part.

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 04:36 AM

Originally posted by popek
Very interesting i have never heard of this before do you have any links?

thanks in advance


Polyus Defensive Platform
Salyut 3

Or just use Google, the Salyut 3 info I first read in my son Guiness Book of Record (Most Heavily Defend Space Vehicle) and then searched on the net for more info.

[edit on 13-1-2006 by Popeye]

posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 06:29 PM
Well you should be able to see why i think that was a laser or particle beam weapon instead of a cannon.

Since i can i am updating this to reflect some other material i have found.

The Soviets are working on technologies or have specific weapons-related programs underway for more advanced antisatellite systems. These include space -based kinetic energy, ground- and space-based laser, particle beam, and radio frequency weapons. The Soviets apparently believe that these techniques offer greater promise for future antisatellite application than continued development of ground-based orbital interceptors equipped with conventional warheads. The Soviets also believe that military applications of directed energy technologies hold promise of overcoming weaknesses in their conventional air and missile defenses.

The USSR's high-energy laser program, which dates from the mid-1960s, is much larger than the US effort. They have built over a half dozen major R&D facilities and test ranges, and they have over 10,000 scientists and engineers associated with laser development. They are developing chemical lasers and have continued to work on other high-energy lasers having potential weapons applications - the gas dynamic laser and the electric discharge laser. They are also pursuing related laser weapon technologies, such as efficient electrical power sources, and are pursuing capabilities to produce high-quality optical components. They have developed a rocket-driven magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator which produces 15 megawatts of short-term electric power - a device that has no counterpart in the West. The scope of the USSR's military capabilities would depend on its success in developing advanced weapons, including laser weapons for ballistic missile defense.

The Soviets have now progressed beyond technology research, in some cases to the development of prototype laser weapons. They already have ground-based lasers that could be used to interfere with US satellites. In the late 1980s, they could have prototype space based laser weapons for use against satellites. In addition, ongoing Soviet programs have progressed to the point where they could include construction of ground-based laser antisatellite(ASAT) facilities at operational sites. These could be available by the end of the 1980s and would greatly increase the Soviets' laser ASAT capability beyond that currently at their test site at Sary Shagan. They may deploy operational systems of space-based lasers for antisatellite purposes in the l990s, if their technology developments prove successful, and they can be expected to pursue development of space-based laser systems for ballistic missile defense for possible deployment after the year 2000.

One potential method might be a powerfull ground-based laser (why was the infrared sensor on one of our satellites suddenly blinded as it passed over the USSR?) A laser on the Mir space station recently "illuminated" an ICBM during the cruise phase of its flight in space, demonstrating Soviet ability to detect and track a missile, according t o Pentagon sources (Washington Inquirer , July 24, 1987).

The purpose of Mir may indeed include bringing about "peace" -- Soviet style,
implies absence of opposition.

ASATs The Soviets may have a new "direct-ascent" antisatellite
capability, according to the Pentagon's annual report
to the Congress. This would be more effective than the "coorbital"
ASAT, which has been operational since 1971. It is
speculated that the new ASAT could carry a nuclear warhead.
Lasers: According to Paul Nitze, the Soviets have over a
half dozen major development facilities, including an ABM test
center at Sary Shagan. US intelligence sources suspect that
Soviet lasers have already damaged some American spy
satellites. In 1984, Richard DeLauer testified that it would
take the US about ten years to reach parity in laser weapons.
Active Measures (Wet)?: Since July 1986, there have
been seven terrorist bombings, three assassinations, five highly
suspicious "suicides," and one disappearance among European
scientists and officials working on SDI-related projects.
(Washington Inquirer, 12/18/87).

At the annual meeting of The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA) in Los Angeles, October, 1985, Dr. Teller stated that the U.S.
has made encouraging progress in research on x-ray lasers. But he believes the Soviets are a decade ahead of us in strategic defenses.

On Sept. 29 and 30, the Soviets practiced bombing Hawaii.
They also zapped three American airplanes with lasers. The
pilots were not seriously injured, but most of the electronic
surveillance equipment on one plane was knocked out
instantly. For several hours, Mikhail Gorbachev and a number
of other top Soviet officials occupied the deep underground
bunkers near MOSCOW, according to US intelligence sources
(Washington ZTmes, Oct. 13, 1987 Al). But they did not need
such a huge protection factor. The US government responded
with a protest, and with optimism about the upcoming summit.
A few Hawaiian citizens called their Director of Civil Defense
to ask where the shelters were, and had to be informed that
actually there aren't any (personal communication, War Crisis
Workshop, Ark. Department of Emergency Services, Nov. 4).

One problem is limitations in
satellite verification capability. Only two advanced
photoreconnaissance satellites (called KH-11) are now in orbit,
possibly about half the bare minimum needed. One is long
past its design life. A replacement was reportedly destroyed in
the Challenger explosion (Washington Inquirer Aug 12,1988).
In an 18-month period, there were five satellite launch failures.
In satellites for surveillance and defense, the USSR is
said to have a tenfold advantage. When trouble flares, the
Soviets frequently launch one or more surveillance satellites
within days, while it takes the US at least six weeks to plan a
new space flight. Development of Soviet antisatellite weapons
continue. Space-based lasers may be deployed in the 199Os,
and ground-based lasers may be capable of blinding US
satellites in low earth orbit even now (Wall St July 12,1988).

U.S. Fears Satellites Damaged
Peter G. Neumann
Sun 24 Jan 88 14:10:34-PST

Subtitle -- Soviets used lasers to cripple equipment, sources contend.

Washington, by Richard Sale (UPI, 24 January 1988).

U.S. intelligence agencies are convinced Soviet laser attacks have damaged
supersophisticated U.S. spy satellites deployed to monitor missile and
spacecraft launches, administration sources said. These sources said they
believe the Soviets fired ground-based lasers to cripple optical equipment
attempting to scan launches at Tyuratam, the major Soviet space center, to
obtain a variety of sensitive military information. Administration
intelligence sources said they fear that other vital U.S. reconnaissance
satellites will soon be endangered because six new Soviet laser battle stations
are under construction... "There is no way you can protect the optical sensors
on satellites" from laser attacks, an Air Force official said. ...

Intelligence sources acknowledged that the Pentagon also has trained
ground-based lasers on Soviet spacecraft, sometimes in attempts to disrupt
their sensors. ...

[From the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, front page, 24 Jan 88. The
article goes on to consider reports that some spacecraft malfunctions may
have been due to laser "hosing", e.g., a KH-11 or Code 1010 satellite, which
was permanently damaged in 1978. Seems unlikely -- the technology was not
very well advanced then? PGN]

[However, the risks of laser interference or accidental triggering are worth
noting. Adding to the risks of computing in SDI, might such a concerted
attack of simultaneous laser bursts on many satellite sensors be mistakenly
detected as the launch of a nuclear attack!? PGN]

Lasers. The PLA’s intense interest in laser weapons exemplifies its quest for next-generation technology that also exploits the weaknesses of potential enemies. Lasers were a key area on investment for the “863-Program.” Pro-RMA officers view lasers as a key weapons technology for the future. The PLA envisions using lasers for anti-air, satellite tracking, anti-satellite, and for radar functions.[xiii] In 1995 the PLA company Norinco marketed its ZM-87 battlefield laser dazzler. The 1998 Pentagon PLA report noted that the PLA might already have a ground-based laser capable of damaging low-orbit reconnaissance satellites. Last year the Select Committee suggested that Russia might be a source of nuclear-pump laser technology for the PRC for use in space.[xiv] Last October the PLA revealed for the first time its Type-98 main battle tank, which has a box on the hull that may be a low-light camera or a laser dazzler. According to the Pentagon’s PLA report released in June, China “reportedly is investigating the feasibility of shipborne laser weapons for air defense.”

To power the laser system the satellite received two turbine generators, and the laser gun itself was placed in the fairing moved to the fuselage. This fairing was located between the trailing edge of the wing and the fin.

Since late 1960s, the Soviet Union was working on development of ground laser systems for anti-satellite defense and pumping from nuclear explosions. Unlike the Roentgen laser of Teller, such lasers were reusable. One of such lasers was probably built near Dushanbe. In different periods Yu. Babaev and Yu. Ablekov supervised the work on such laser, but due to the unilateral moratorium announced by the USSR, and the followed mysterious deaths of both engineers the work on such lasers was suspended in the mid-1980s.

In 1994-1995, The High Temperatures Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences sold the Pamir-3U mobile electric generator to the United States. The Pamir-3U had an output of 15 megawatt, dimensions of 2.5 x 2.65 x 10 meters, and weighed about 20 tons. The generator could be used in Russia (USSR) on the ground or in outer space for power supply to long-range laser and super high frequency weapon systems.

The Soviet Union also worked on designing of an "orbital fortress" based on a space station of the Mir type. Modules of the aiming system served as the side blocks of the station. The side blocks were attached to the basic module. The blocks were to be delivered to the station in cargo compartments of the Buran shuttle orbiter. The station was intended for killing of warheads of ballistic missiles from outer space when the crew was on board.

One effect of the panic was the strengthening of U.S. satellites against
radiation that in the end would help shield them from ground-based laser
attacks. According to U.S. intelligence sources, who asked not to be named,
such attacks damaged super-sophisticated American spy satellites deployed to
monitor missile and spacecraft launches at the major Russian space center.

In 1976, a KH-11 or Code 1010 satellite was "painted" by a Soviet laser
and sustained "permanent damage," according to a senior Air Force official.
This source said that such paintings continued into the late 1980s.

Air Force officials told UPI that for years the Soviets had a
"battle-ready" ground-based laser at Saryshagan that they said they believed
had been involved in past blindings of U.S. spacecraft.

But the result of the "hosings" of U.S. equipment was positive. The United
States moved quickly to install laser warning receivers on its newest
generation of low-orbit spacecraft, U.S. intelligence sources said. The
receivers have allowed time for evasive action and have assisted ground
controllers seeking to prove the Soviets had inflicted the damage.

One State Dept. analyst said that the whole Star Wars system of the Reagan
presidency was the result of Soviets "messing around with our satellites."

Kornilov points out a laser reflector but gives no information on any scientific experiments using it. He also states that personnel on ships, aircraft and the ground were to take part in experiments with Polyus. It appears they were to attempt to target the platform by radar, infra-red and visible light, and when the platform was detected they were to fire at it with lasers. If the laser hit the platform, the mirror would reflect it back to Earth, and thus the platform's stealthiness could be tested without making radio transmissions. Earlier launch pad photos showed that the Polyus was covered by an optically black shroud and it is suspected that this may have been radar absorptive as well.


[edit on 23-4-2006 by StellarX]

posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 11:50 AM

Originally posted by Popeye
but I did not know that prior to that Salyut 3 had carried a 23 mm Nudelmann aircraft cannon (other sources say it was a Nudelmann NR-30 30 mm gun) which was test fired destroying a target satellite.

I wonder how great the accuracy would be in space obviously
greater range and accuracy was achieveable that back on earth. Also I wonder how great the recoil force were and what rate of fire was used.

interesting you have brought this up, I came across some inforamtion about the cartridges being usded on this weapon. They are telescoped.

ATS - Russian Telescoped Ammunition Thread

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