Shamil Aliyev: "Our torpedoes have got Russian spirit: they are noisy, but if they hit target, watch out"
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the professor of applied mathematics, the honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, the Doctor of Engineering, the honoured worker of science and technology, the science and military-industrial adviser to the chairman of the government of Dagestan Shamil Aliyev. Since the 1980s, he has served as chief engineer for research and chief CAD designer at the Caspian Dagdizel plant. Aliyev also runs the Center for Applied Technologies at the Ministry of Economics of Dagestan, chairs the Board of the Institute for Applied Programs and Models at the International Center for Scientific Culture Association. Shamil Aliyev told Vestnik Kavkaza about the development of torpedo engineering and football.
- Five years ago, the Council for torpedo engineering was established with the assistance of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. How has this affected the development of the industry? Has the trend towards import substitution served as a positive impetus to this direction?
- The development of science is always uneven. A heavy torpedo weighs more than two tons - this machine can 'think' independently at great depths, can behave taken into account the program determined by us. Over the last five years, the world science has been moving towards small-sized torpedoes that weigh 40-50 kilograms, which do not make noise like the classical torpedoes, which do not run that fast, but fulfill their task. There was a revolutionary leap in the concept of torpedoes as very heavy combat units, with only 12 to 24 placed on a boat. Now there can be much more of them, but the effect does not decrease, but increases.
One of the main characteristics of naval weapons is noiselessness. Underwater weapons are much more difficult to feel, design and use, however, it is very effective. Why are boats considered to be the most formidable weapon? Because you never know where it comes from. Other weapons can be observed, located from space, but under water, when the stations constantly move, it is very difficult. Over the past 5 to 6 years, there has been a very serious testing of theoretical approaches to the construction of small torpedoes in the world. Accordingly, it will be necessary to prepare industry - there must be completely new enterprises to built boats of the next generation.
The hydrodynamic appearance, and the approach to the submarine as to the system in general are changing as well. Small-size torpedoes create a reliable design in the common weapon system. For example, the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier is protected from the air, from space and sea. There is a tendency to develop self-service systems - combat units are different, but united by one idea. This is a fundamentally new approach not only to torpedoes, but to all combat systems, especially underwater ones.
But no matter how great people building an electronic system of submarines, surface ships, spacecraft and banking systems are, there may be a 15-year-old hacker who will bring all this to naught. Therefore, on the one hand, the task is to have a good ideology of small-size torpedoes, on the other hand, to have a reliable theory that protects any combat system from interference and viruses, because all the existing systems, not only military, but military in particular, are subject to electron impact.
- Which countries are the leaders in torpedo engineering besides Russia? Who are our main competitors?
- There are a lot of torpedo manufacturers now. France, America, Italy, Sweden and Russia are in an equilibrium state. We got something better, something worse. Our torpedoes are more reliable, since they were equipped with electronics later than torpedoes of other countries. Electronics is reliable, modern, but our Soviet, Russian diesel is more reliable. After the bombing, the Soviet diesel drowned - it was raised and re-launched; while diesel engines, equipped with electronics, came out of action. The reliability has always been on the first place in the Soviet Union. Then the cost did not play any role - the torpedo could cost as much as necessary, and they spent money on it. Today, the y do nothing without regard to the cost,. Therefore, we have to substantially redesign certain areas.
Our torpedoes are noisier, but if they hit the target, watch out. They have an element of the Russian spirit, which no one understands. In the 1990s, many factories worked without getting money. If people in some other country work for free half a year or even a year, they will raise such a fuss! And the Russian spirit is special. We survived only because we have an internal, embedded with the genetic code, healthy patriotism, which is an incomprehensible for the whole world and not completely clear to us.
There is something precisely Russian in our torpedoes. We are not a rich country like the US, but our weapons are very reliable. Therefore, we have not yet been "eaten" and, I hope, we won't be, because we are "inedible". At first, we can elaborate a military-economic doctrine, which allows us to consider a country very reliable, and elaborate all the others, according to this prototype.
Today Russia pays serious attention to the principles of underwater and surface shipbuilding. The Russian Security Council has already held several on-site meetings on this issue. The shipbuilding issues are considered in terms of modern scientific and economic approaches. We do not lag behind other countries, but it is very difficult to get ahead of them. Equilibrium suits us and the whole world.
- Can you tell us about the modernization of the Shkval high-speed underwater rocket? Are there analogues of Shkval at the global level?
- The first model of Shkval was made in Dagestan, Kaspiisk. It's just a product of the Russian spirit - flying underwater like in the air. Torpedo engineering was typically Russian thing. The first Russian torpedo was invented by Russia's Ivan Aleksandrovsky [Russian artist, photographer, engineer and inventor, who created the first torpedo in 1865, and later the first Russian submarine with a pneumatic engine, working on the compressed air - VK]. At first Aleksandrovsky was considered insane in Russia. But he made a torpedo at his own expense and tested it, however, then he died, unable to withstand the terrible onslaught of bureaucracy. Two years later, the British got his schemes and drawings, and Russia had to buy its torpedoes from England.
Shkval is the most powerful achievement of the Soviet spirit. However, there were difficulties with this torpedo. One of the most difficult problems we faced was the hydrodynamic appearance of the cavity, in which the torpedo simultaneously flies and swims. [There is a cavitator at the front of Shkval, through which additional pressurizing gas goes from a special gas generator. It forms a cavity, which envelops the whole torpedo body - VK]. I attended one of the tests when the cavern closed and the torpedo's tail was cut off like a piece of butter with a knife ...
Now we have cooled a little on Shkval, but it remains in the drafts. I believe that Shkval will get a new life in a completely different form.
The analogue of Shkval cannot be excluded, because both nuclear and non-nuclear technologies, hydrodynamics, and hydrodynamic shape of different currents have been developed to such an extent that creating absolutely unthinkable things is possible now. There is still interest in Shkval rockets. Shkval will be revived in our country and elsewhere.
Recently the world was puzzled by the statement of our supreme commander-in-chief Vladimir Putin in response to the statement of US President Donald Trump, who said that the American "smart missiles" will be coming towards Syria. Trump received a diplomatic, soft answer that "smart missiles" are one thing, and a smart system with missiles as one of the constituent parts, is quite another. Vladimir Vladimirovich said that there are unmanned systems, the speed of which is multiple times higher than the speed of torpedoes and boats. Deciphering this information will take a lot of time from foreign military experts. This was the purpose of Putin's statement.
Once British Prime Minister Winston Churchill promised that he would watch Stalin's face when he announced that he had a weapon that would "destroy everything in the world." Stalin did not flinch then, but when he came to his office, he immediately said: "Get me Kurchatov." Stalin had a great ability to listen what he was told without any panic ... And when Academician Lavrentiev said that the armor can be cut with water, the Americans thought that the Russians pour banana oil in their ears. Then it turned out that water may cut the armor of any thickness. This is the shaped-charge effect. Water is considered incompressible, but if you really want, you can squeeze it. Then it punches any armor, even a 40-inch one.
One way or another, but when representatives of different countries make statements, they want other countries to suffer trying to understand what it is all about. The ideas that appeared in Russia, in the Soviet Union, has not disappear. They stay in the table for a while, "get smarter". Academician Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich said that any idea should be laid aside for a little while to "grow wiser".
The more time it takes to train a living creature, the more intelligence it has. The colt behaves like an experienced donkey on the third day, because donkeys have few functions. But a person needs more time. Your humble narrator began to live in his time already in his mother's womb. Fortunately, being pushed aside from external situations in childhood, because the outside world is not always friendly. I created myself a world with torpedoes and missiles. Not just the country needs it, but also the whole world.
- Russia is hosting the grandiose sports festival now. Do you follow the World Cup developments?
- Of course. This time our football team's play looks like it was "reissued" in a good way. I do not have time to watch all games, but I watch the second half, the last 15 minutes. At one time I was a Zenith fan, a Tbilisi Dynamo fan, but football does not occupy the main place among things I like. I want to see things with an idea, so I'll watch matches with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo - players who create something.
I'm somewhat surprised that an unusual societal layer of football fans has appeared in society. I'm disappointed that I do not see any fans of Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Sakharov. They invite football players, but why not invite some Nobel laureate, such as Richard Feynman. Feynman thought about lecturing physics to common people. The first time he was heard by 10-15 people of his supporters. The second time - 30 people. And then common people climbed up on window sills - that's how he could dramatize physics.
I believe that interesting people should appear in the social stratum. All bad things take a lot of space and weighs a little, and all good things take up little space, but weighs a lot. There is some imbalance between the need for the gregarious feeling and the soloists. I prefer solo numbers more - musical, scientific. And when a million fans come in decorated, it does not reach me. Perhaps, it will reach when I celebrate my next anniversary.
To be continued