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Energia's beginnings in artillery

May 9, 2020

RSC Energia can rightfully take pride not only in its space achievements, but also in its roots in artillery, which we respectfully remember in the year of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The awards that our company received from the Government include the Order of Lenin, which was given in 1944 to the Central Artillery Design Bureau (CADB), that was later to become a part of OKB-1, for distinguished service in the field of developing new and improving the existing models of artillery weapons.

CADB headed by an outstanding artillery systems designer and production manager, Colonel General in the technical troops V.G. Grabin, and established on November 5, 1942, was located on the current Production Site 2 of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia. To the new design bureau in Kaliningrad, Grabin brought with him a staff of three hundred people from Stalin Artillery Plant No.92 in Gorky.

The main task for CADB was to design, build and comprehensively test the new and the upgraded existing models of all types of artillery weapons.

By the end of the Great Patriotic War CADB had upgraded: the 57mm antitank gun ZIS-2 (production run of 13 339 pcs.) and 76mm gun ZIS- for the most mass produced self-propelled mount of World War II SU-76 (production run of 11 442 pcs.). Both weapons were actively used in the battle of Kursk and subsequent battles of the Great Patriotic War. Here, there were also developed: the 100mm gun BS-3, the most powerful Soviet antitank weapon (production run of 3,816 pcs.) and the 85mm gun ZIS-S-5 for the best and the most mass produced tank of World War II T-34 (production run of 25,783 pcs.). Fail-proof and maneuverable, they were characterized by great firepower and shooting range. And, most notably, they could quickly tame the Hitlers zoo Tigers, Panthers Ferdinands and, together with the entire Soviet artillery they were rightfully called the god of war, - that is what marshal of artillery K.P. Kozakov said Grabins guns.

In the words of RSC Energias Honored Veteran of Labor, biographer of V.G. Grabin S.A. Khudyakov, during the Great Patriotic War out of the 188 thousand field guns built in the USSR, more than 70 percent were designed in Grabins design bureaus.

A contribution to victory was also made by Factory No.88 (now known as the Experimental Machine-building Plant of RSC Energia). In the fall of 1941 the main production facilities of Kalinin Artillery Plant No.8 were evacuated to the Urals. But as early as immediately after the defeat of German fascist troops near Moscow, in the factory Subsidiary No.8f, which stayed behind in Kaliningrad (now Korolev) work continued in the youth arms/machine gun workshop, where all kinds of small arms were being repaired. Later on, the factory set up a repairs shop for guns coming form the frontline, including the 203mm howitzers B-4. By late 1942 the factory had repaired 64 B-4 and about 240 other guns of other bore sizes.

Since October of that year, the factory (since December known as Plant No.88) started serial production of 25-mm automatic anti-aircraft guns 72-K, model of 1940.

To set up the new production line, three hundred specialists of the Arsenal Plant came to Kaliningrad from Leningrad which was at the time under siege, the necessary equipment was also brought from there. Also put to work on that project were youths from the arms/machine gun workshop. The plant supplied with smallbore anti-aircraft guns not only the army. 72-K became the basis for the design of the 25 mm naval anti-aircraft mount 84-KM. Altogether, during the years of the Great Patriotic War, Plant No.88 built five and a half thousand anti-aircraft weapons.

In 2016 the town of Korolev was given the honorary title The Town of Labor Merit and Glory. This was in appreciation of the contribution made by CADB, Plant No.88 and other companies in the town to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

 

 

 

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