Weapons 23/01/20 “Terra-3”: that could destroy Soviet combat superuser

the Beginning of the project “Terra-3”, held on official documents as an Object 2505, was initiated in 1966. Two years before that, the Soviet physicists N. G. Basov and O. N. Krokhin put forward the idea of using a powerful laser beam to destroy ballistic missiles. To solve the problem was organized CDB “Ray” and brought the best minds in the Soviet Union.


the Work was on a specially built military training ground near lake Balkhash. It was planned to test several laser systems with a capacity of more than 1 MJ. It was believed that this energy is sufficient not only to destroy the warheads of missiles, but also for “fire” by satellites in earth orbit.

Work began with the development of lasers explosive type. In other words, “disposable”. This device was destroyed during the shot. But soon moved to creating reusable designs. The first tests a new experimental setup VHDL FO-1200, which really gave the design capacity, was held at the site in 1973, and a year later there was an exhibition, which was visited by the then Soviet defense Minister Grechko.

In 1975 he managed to create three settings, which was a laser gun with radars, guidance systems and tracking, as well as serving equipment. But, writes Peter Zarubin in his book, “Academician Basov, high-power lasers and the problem of missile defence”, it was clear that the program has stalled.

Problems and minimize project

Although the first tests seemed successful, in 1976-1977, it became clear that to cope with the purpose for which it was designed, laser weapons can not. Power of 1 MJ was not enough to guarantee the destruction of a ballistic missile. And to create in that time more powerful lasers were impossible. In recognition of the Nikolai Basov (from the book “Semiconductor laser”), in those years who led the project, the futility of the idea, he realized a few years earlier, but work continued “on the thumb”. To create the superlaser in a short time and at reasonable cost, Soviet science was powerless.

However, the information that managed to seep beyond the secret object of very excited Americans. According to Mr Jonas, in his book “Parallel arms or What and how will be killed in the twenty-first century,” the United States frankly overrated, and the pace and success of the Soviet scientists. They felt that the laser weapon capable of hitting the spacecraft, the “tips” already in his pocket.

the Work continued for some time, but after the commissioning of the “classic” missile defense system A-35 was actually curtailed. As said Nikolay Basov, summing up the results of the project: “Well, we have firmly established that nobody will be able to shoot down a warhead BR laser beam, and we just advanced the lasers”.

© Russian Seven

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