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Makeyev


Makeyev, Viktor Petrovich (1924-1985) Russian engineer. Chief Designer 1955-1985 of SKB-385. Leading designer of tactical and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Innovations included submerged engines, stellar-updated inertial navigation, and extendible nozzles.

Chief Designer and General Designer 1955-1985 of SKB-385. Makeyev began as a young engineer at NII-88 just after the war and quickly came to Korolev's attention. However after several years at the bureau he left to go into Komsomol work. He became an instructor at the All-Union Komsomol Committee and went to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics as a political officer. At the end of 1953 Khrushchev and Ustinov decided to disperse the Soviet missile industry in order to reduce its vulnerability to attack by the United States. Two independent missile design bureaux and production facilities were to be built, one of them in the Urals. Makeyev was selected to head the Urals organisation. His youth was not considered a handicap, although he was called Ďthe Pioneer' behind his back.

Makeyev returned to work for Korolev in 1954 and was assigned to complete development of the R-11 storable propellant tactical missile. Following a difficult and protracted two-year test series, the design was finally accepted for military service. In June of 1955 Makeyev was made Chief Designer at SKB-385 in Zlatoust, responsible for production engineering of the R-11 and future small land and sea based ballistic missiles. SKB-385 was given complete responsibility for development of the sub-launched R-11FM in August 1955. SKB-385 was further expanded in 1958 when Plant 66 was incorporated into it.

The final refinement of the R-11 design was the R-17, to be exported and infamous around the world as the Scud-B. In 1958-1959 Makeyev designed and built the first mock-up of the new missile. But by then the decision was made to devote the bureau exclusively to submarine-launched missiles, and in 1959 the program was transferred to Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.

At the same time Makeyev's bureau was moved from Zlatoust to new facilities in Miass. There it became the sole source to the Russian Navy for design and production of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, a vital part of the Soviet nuclear deterrent. A large number of innovative technologies (submerged engines, stellar-updated inertial navigation, extendible nozzles) were developed under Makeyev's leadership before his death in 1985. In 1993 his enterprise was renamed the State Rocket Centre 'Makeyev Design Bureau'.

Born: 1924.10.25.
Died: 1985.10.25.

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Associated Countries
See also
Bibliography
  • Ley, Willy, Rockets Missiles and Men in Space, Viking Press, New York, 1968.
  • Khrushchev, Sergei, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower, Pennsylvania State University, 2000.

Makeyev Chronology


End of 1953 - . LV Family: Kosmos 2; R-11.
  • Khrushchev and Ustinov decide to create additional independent missile design bureaux - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Makeyev; Yangel; Korolev; Ustinov. Khrushchev desired to decentralise the missile industry, since a single nuclear bomb on Moscow would wipe out Korolevís factories. Ustinov was requested to draw up a plan for two additional completely independent missile design bureaux, one in the south of the Soviet Union, the other in the Urals. It was also envisioned a third bureau would be built in the east, in Siberia, but this was never done. This effort cost tens of billions of roubles. While the managers and lead technical staff would be taken from Korolevís bureau, the working engineers, technicians, and workers for the bureau and associated factories would be recruited locally at each site. This would avoid the additional expense of building extra housing. Korolev fought to keep control, wanting to make the new bureaux just branches of his own, but Khrushchev was adamant that only completely autonomous organisations would be acceptable. Yangel was easily selected for the southern bureau, and the young Makeyev was a more contentious selection for the Ural bureau.

1985 October 25 - .
  • Death of Viktor Petrovich Makeyev - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Makeyev. Summary: Russian engineer. Chief Designer 1955-1985 of SKB-385. Leading designer of tactical and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Innovations included submerged engines, stellar-updated inertial navigation, and extendible nozzles..

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