Soviet Designation Systems

overscan (PaulMM)

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Well, here's a huge can of worms to open.

Every system seems to have multiple designations, and even OKBs had multiple names. OKBs also changed names and designations.

Here's a useful pointer for OKB history, which seems to have been extremely convoluted.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/harrison/vpk/history/part2/okb.pdf
 
No joke! Then there's trying to maintain in your brain the Western designation for something along with the Russian designation for the same plane or missile (or otherwise) and as more information comes to light, they don't often correlate well.
 
Missiles have a name, and several designations. E.G.

ASCC/NATO: AT-6 SPIRAL
Soviet name: Shturm (-V: helicopter, -S: ground launched)
System designation: 9K113 (K = Kompleks?)
Missile designation: 9M114 (M = Missile?)


ASCC/NATO: AT-11 SNIPER
Soviet name: Svir
System Designation: 9K120
Missile designation: 9M119

ASCC/NATO: SA-8 GECKO
Soviet Name: Osa
System Designation: 9K33
Missile designation: 9M33
TELAR designation: 9A33
The system and missile designations don't always share the same number, though they often do.
 
overscan said:
Missiles have a name, and several designations. E.G.

ASCC/NATO: AT-6 SPIRAL
Soviet name: Shturm (-V: helicopter, -S: ground launched)
System designation: 9K113 (K = Kompleks?)
Missile designation: 9M114 (M = Missile?)

... and then there is the 3K113M "Ataka" system, using 9M120 or 9M120D or 9M120F missiles. And "AT"-series missiles and system are comparatively easy to follow - for advanced madness, try surface-to-air systems :-\ !

Soviet designations are not only a can of worms, they are a can of three-headed carnivorous worms ;D !
 
So....I probably know what the answer is, but is there any way to tame those three-headed carnivorous worms?

I ran into this problem a while back trying to make sense of the latest generation of Russian SAMs (I believe it was the S-300 but the more I read, the more confusing it got.......yikes!)
 
Sentinel Chicken said:
So....I probably know what the answer is, but is there any way to tame those three-headed carnivorous worms?

There are a few researches who try to (but I'm not one of them), e.g. Sean O'Connor ("SOC" on various forums). I guess you have to speak Russian, so that you can use first-hand sources.

The main problem I have with the subject is that there (to me, at least) are almost no "patterns" or "systems" to the Russian alphanumeric codes, and a tendency to use very similar designations for totally new systems.

I ran into this problem a while back trying to make sense of the latest generation of Russian SAMs (I believe it was the S-300 but the more I read, the more confusing it got.......yikes!)

In fact, I had the S-300/S-400 familiy in mind when I wrote my remark about surface-to-air systems :) !
 
Andreas Parsch said:
There are a few researches who try to (but I'm not one of them), e.g. Sean O'Connor ("SOC" on various forums).

Hey, that's me 8)

Basically what I do is go through stupidly huge amounts of sources and in a lot of cases ahve to figure out the "most likely" answer in a lot of cases. The S-300/S-400, for example, took me a while, but I think I've got it figured out by now.
 
A real nightmare with russians designation is the prototype numbers.
For example, "aircraft 46" or "aircraft 105" What the hell meant these numbers????!!!
 
Archibald said:
A real nightmare with russians designation is the prototype numbers.
For example, "aircraft 46" or "aircraft 105" What the hell meant these numbers????!!!

Not only prototypes. These numbers had only one aim - to baffle "western spies". For example here in Slovakia during 80s, we named MiG-23ML fighter as "article 38" or "1505", its engine R35F-300 was marked as "article 77" or "380" or "4504". Also so ordinary trainers like Aero L-29 and L-39 were known in military pilot academy in Kosice as "1691" and "1701" - how amazing for potential enemy :D
 
Ok! I'm understand... but one moment please... I think that "FBI came" in my case will be very difficult for FBI... and I came to FBI - it's easy... but "FBI came" it's fantastic))))

some month ago I wrote article about U-2 over Tomsk... I wrote to CIA with some questions... but they are afraid and do not meet
 
S-300P container architecture

Here's a designation related question. In the S-300P series, many of the containerised system components are given F-series designators. For example, the 5N63 engagement radar consisted of container F1, housing the radar array, and container F2, housing the radar's control post. In the 5N63S, both containers were mounted on the back of a MAZ-543M chassis to create the mobile radar system. The question I have is what was container F4? I can account for the following:

F1 (5N63 radar)
F2 (5N63 control post)
F3 (TEL control post)
F5 (5N66 radar)
F6 (5N64 radar)
F7 (5N64 electronics)
F8 (5N64 electronics)
F9 (5N83 command post)

It seems like there should have been a container F4 in there somewhere. Later systems dropped container F7, but I can find no reference to when or why the speculative container F4 was dropped, or even what it would have been for. Any ideas?
 

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