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KBSM: Ensuring reliable launches

Granit missile launchers on Project 949A submarine.

The Special Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau (Russian acronym KBSM), a joint stock company founded in March 1945 as the Central Naval Artillery Design Bureau, currently is a diversified design organization and part of the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern. It is engaged in the development of launch complexes and equipment for virtually all services and arms of the Russian Armed Forces.


Launcher installation on Project 11356 frigate.

Development of ground launch complexes for Air Defense Forces’ SAM systems, which are successfully exported abroad owing to their high performance, has always occupied an important place in KBSM’s activities. KBSM is also engaged in the development of precision rotary mechanisms for antennas, radio telescopes, EO equipment and process equipment intended for space research and communications with spacecraft and satellites. In this area, KBSM has developed a wide range of designs of both optical and radio telescopes, with mirror diameters of 1 to 70 m. Among its more than 600 telescope designs were those intended for space-tracking ships Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, Korolev, etc.

KBSM designers have also developed a wide range of launchers for missile systems deployed on surface ships and submarines. Launchers for Bazalt, Granit, Meteorit, Onyx missile systems were developed and put into operation on ships of Slava, Kirov and many other classes.

Russian Navy’s fleet construction plans of recent decades have clearly defined the tasks for KBSM – to develop universal vertical launchers (UVL) for surface-to-air and cruise missiles, missile loading equipment and ammunition storage facilities in ship magazines. KBSM-developed UVLs for surface ships and submarines ensure reliable and long-term missile storage and a vertical launch of missiles in any sequence.

The 3S-14E vertical missile launchers for the Club-N missile system developed on the basis of available technical solutions for national ships of destroyer, frigate and corvette classes are in batch production for the Indian Navy. They proved efficient in operation and missile launches. According to foreign experts, design simplicity and reliability facilitating ship crew training have become vital features of these shipborne launchers.

Along with addressing current tasks, KBSM continues to further improve the universal launchers for SAM and cruise missiles as well as other military items, both for the national Navy and foreign customers. Development testing of these launchers is conducted using scale models and live launches at KBSM’s test area to substantiate their performance and ensure the required launch parameters.

Vladimir DOLBENKOV – Director General and General Designer of the Special Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau, Cand. Sc. (Engineering).

In order to cut the construction cycle duration and cost of newly built and upgraded ships, the bureau has developed designs of container-type underdeck vertical launchers. Their use will additionally increase the fire and explosion safety of ships’ ammunition. A mockup container-type underdeck launcher has been displayed at a number of international exhibitions.

A modular device for storage and delivery of air ammunition from the ship magazine to a helicopter has been developed. Installing this device on a ship significantly cuts the loading time. A number of other similar projects are underway. For example, Morinformsystema-Agat together with KBSM proposed a mobile multifunctional missile system for various missiles based on a standard 40-foot shipping container. Its mockup was on display at international exhibitions LIMA 2009 in Malaysia and DIMDEX 2010 in Qatar.

KBSM has been the participant in many national and international programs: Vostok, Soyuz, Mir, Sea Launch and others. KBSM-developed launch complex are currently used to launch commercial space systems under the Dnepr international program. KBSM’s priority is to develop innovative products, improve their performance and reduce costs.

KBSM closely cooperates with prime developers and manufacturers.

Special Mechanical Engineering

Design Bureau JSC

64 Lesnoi Proyezd,

St. Petersburg 194100, Russia

Phone: + 7 (812) 295-5113

Fax: + 7 (812) 295-3618