Water is given a magic power
to be the juice of life on Earth
Leonardo da Vinci

Since ancient times man has sought to scale across the water, for too long propelled only by muscle and the wind.

In 1782, a talented self-taught Russian mechanic named Ivan Kulibin attempted to create a mechanism to sail against the current. He called his invention an «engine-powered water-moving vessel.»

The ship was equipped with a special mechanism with large wooden wheels and a spinning drum. A rope with an anchor would wrap around the drum and the anchor would be thrown upstream. The current would spin the wheels, winding up the rope, pulling the vessel towards the anchor.

The first “vodohod” (water-goer) of Kulibin, 1782. At the time, when the inventor began building his vessel that moved from the force of the water flow, the main river transport was oar and burlak ships.

The first tests of this vessel took place on the Neva River before a vast assembly. Everyone was curious to see how a vessel with no oars or sails would go upstream. Right before the eyes of the astonished crowd, it really did. It moved so fast that an oared yawl could barely keep up with it. For the creation of this “vodohod” (water-goer), mechanic Kulibin was awarder five thousand rubles. The invention got imperial approval but the further development of the project didn’t happen.

In 1804, in Nizhny Novgorod, the tests of the new version of the vessel were held. Loaded with 139 tonnes of cargo, it covered the distance of 872 meters in an hour, which significantly surpassed the speed of a ship towed by burlaks. Although it was officially acknowledged that Kulibin’s self-propelled vessel would “bring great profits to the State”, in the end “vodohod” was sold at an auction to be used as firewood.

The second Kulibin’s vessel, 1804. Despite its tests being a total success, “vodohod” was not accepted for exploitation by the waterways department due to its high production cost and the need for the constant presence of a mechanic onboard.

Nowadays, when the vessels that get off the shipyard slipways are equipped with economical, powerful and reliable engines of the latest generation, Kulibin’s “vodohod” may only prompt a condescending smile. However, these were the inventions like that, made by talented self-taught creators, that changed the look of the modern world. Thanks to them, the recent centuries brought more significant changes to human lifestyle in most parts of the world, than all the previous eras.

Nowadays, Rostec’s NPO Saturn, a unit of United Engine Corp., is also trying to change the world, one engine at a time. Particular attention is paid here to gas turbine engines for military and civil aircraft, navy ships, power-generating and gas-pumping units.

One of the main buyers of Saturn products is the Russian Navy.

Most ships are powered by efficient, reliable, lightweight gas turbine engines that provide high power with a simplistic design.

The Long-term program of military shipbuilding in Russia until 2050 has been recently adopted. Its main purpose is to effectively upgrade general-purpose naval forces to an accomplished standard, having provided their combat and technical readiness at the same time . An adoption of this program will allow such large enterprises as «Saturn» to plan their activity in a long-term outlook.

For decades Russian naval forces has not been modernized with new advanced major surface combat vessels. Today the situation has changed. Nowadays there is a sufficient number of ships and submarine vessels on a design and construction stage to visually picture the image of the Russian naval forces in the next decades.

This is a panoramic video. Press and hold the right mouse button to move the camera and follow the assembly process of marine gas-turbine engines.
NPO “Saturn”, UEC

There is little left to be done now- to execute assigned tasks to an accomplished standard and in due time. to carry out objectives. NPO «Saturn» is the only domestic company which can provide vessels being constructed in Russia with gas-turbine engines. They will be manufactured in Rybinsk. As a matter of fact the new base of Russian navy gas-turbine power engineering industry is being founded in this city.

Gas-turbine engine M70FRU with the capacity of 14,000 hp is designed to be placed on patrol and missile boats, corvettes, frigates, torpedo-boat destroyers, GM cruisers, assault landing ships, as well as civilian marine objects.
NPO “Saturn”, UEC

Following the State defense order, JSC “NPO Saturn” has developed a range of marine gas-turbine engines and gas-turbine aggregates based on them for use by the Russian Navy. These are gas-turbine engines M75RU (with the capacity of 7,000 hp) and M70FRU (with the capacity of 14,000 hp). They are designed to be placed on patrol and missile boats, corvettes, frigates, torpedo-boat destroyers, GM cruisers, assault landing ships, including hovercrafts, ekranoplans, as well as civilian marine objects — drilling platforms, floating power plants, gas tankers and high-speed ferries.

Also, a commission by the Russian Federation Defense Ministry lead to creation of a marine gas-turbine engine M90FR (27,500 hp) and a diesel-gas-turbine aggregate M55R based on it, that by all chief parameters — mass-dimensional characteristics, reliability, operational life and fuel consumption — are completely on a par with the best world examples of the technology of this class. They equip the most powerful and modern surface ships of Russia’s Navy — the multi-purpose frigates (guard ships) of the off-shore maritime zone of the Project 22350.

“Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” is the first frigate of the Project 22350. The vessel is designed to carry out warfare against both surface ships and submarines in oceanic and sea waters, as well as to reflect air attacks.
Northern Shipyard, United Shipbuilding Corporation

The use of such diesel-gas-turbine power units that consist of two augmented gas-turbine engines of 27.5 thousand hp each and two propulsion diesel engines of 5.2 thousand hp each, provide the vessel with the speed of 15-16 knots in the economy mode and of up to 30 knots at full speed.

The lead frigate of the Project 22350 — “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” (yard building number 921) — has already been floated out. Two other ships of the Project are in the building stage: “Fleet Admiral Golovko” (yard building number 923) and “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Isakov”. These are the first big combat vessels designed and built in Russia after the USSR’s disintegration.

NPO «Saturn» has prepared a line of navy GTEs and units equipped with them, which are to be built into the vessels of both marine forces and merchant service. Among them there are ships and aerostatic crafts, hydrofoil crafts,also drilling plates, floating power plants, gas carriers and high-speed ferries.

One of key points of this program is to complete the construction of an assembling and testing complex in order to carry out full-scale builders sea trials of nautical and naval gas-turbine units of a broad-ranging power. Not having any analogues in Russia, this test bench will allow to carry out tests and control the quality of production and efficience of separate bends, engine details and units in general.

Mankind has always tried to find a way to move not only on the water surface, but beneath it. Numerous accounts of desperate inventors trying to conquer the underwater space have survived.

The first archived proof of a submarine built in Russia dated back to 1718, when a carpenter Yefim Nikonov filed a petition with Peter the Great that proposed building a «secret» ship.

«... For the occasion of the military he shall make a vessel aimed at enemy, which at quiet times shall wreck ships at sea... For the first try he shall make a sample vessel and he shall see how many cannons it will have. And should this not be the will of the Tsar, he shall be executed».

Peter the Great was interested, and ordered the construction of the "secret fiery large body ship,” which was supposed to be equipped with gunpowder flamethrowers, according to entries in the journals of the Admiralty Board.

The submarine was first set afloat in the autumn of 1724. However, during a subsequent descend, the wooden bottom of the ship was damaged, and water began to penetrate into the body.

Peter, who witnessed the incident, ordered that the damage be fixed and the experiments continued. But Peter the Great passed away in January 1725 and Nikonov lost his patronage. Soon he was demoted to a simple «admiralty worker» and exiled to Astrakhan Shipyard, while his ship was locked in a shed, where it rotted.

Today, Russian submarines are considered the best in the world and continue to be one of the most important elements of the nation’s nuclear shield. Russia’s most advanced submarines are the Project 955 Borey class, fourth-generation “ballistic missile submarines,” or SSSBN, and the Project 885 (0885) Yasen nuclear submarines with fourth generation cruise missiles, or SSGN.

Rostec supplies these vessels with the latest composite materials, weaponry and equipment.

Ballistic missile submarine “Borey” of the Project 955 performs a launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile “Bulava”. Its range is 8,000 kilometers, launch weight, 36.8 tons. It carries up to 10 warheads with a yield of 150 km each.

Rostec’s Techmash, a specialist in composite materials, covers the submarines’ bodies with a special rubber anti-hydroacoustic coating that has noise-reducing baffles to make them stealthier.

Rostec’s KRET, a radio technology manufacturer, supplies them with Neman series sonars that have high noise immunity, long-range detection and better resolution than competitors’ equipment.

Underwater search expedition «A Salute to The Ships of the Great Victory» have been held regularly for more than 10 years.
Expedition members set exact coordinates of ship and submarine crews lost at sea, conduct identification and discover names of historic heroes who until recently were considered missing.
Many discoveries made by the expedition became possible only through the use of powerful sonars developed by JSC V.Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, which in part is owned by KRET.

Sonars of “Neman” series are mobile hardware-software devices that perform digital signal generation and processing.

They boast improved jamming protection, higher ranges and better resolution as compared with the similar purpose equipment on the market.

Soviet diesel-electric attack submarine С-7 (S-7). It joined the Red-Banner Baltic Fleet on July 23, 1940. During its time of service, it took part in 5 military campaigns and executed 9 assaults with the launch of 12 torpedoes. In the picture below is its sonar image.

On May 4, 2013, an expedition vessel went between Gogland and Bolshoy Tyuters islands, approximately 100 miles from St.Petersburg. It was searching for the Soviet submarine “Щ-320” (ShCh-320), that had sunk in this region during the WWII. Suddenly, an unidentified object appeared on the screen of the side-looking sonar. It measured 60×15 meters, its shape reminded a silhouette of a shipwreck. The very first dive confirmed that it was ship of the line Lefort.

Underwater filming of the shipwrecked Lefort. During the Crimea war of 1853-1856, this ship of the line of the Baltic fleet defended Kronstadt.

That was how the members of the search expedition made a unique historic discovery, finding the place of sinking of a XIX century vessel, whose cause of demise is still shrouded in mystery. The external examination showed that the master wheel on the upper deck of the ship was very well preserved, so were one of the lifeboats, cannons in the poop and personal belongings of the crew. Later on, a virtual underwater museum of the ship of the line Lefort was created on the Internet.

I.K. Aivazovsky
Shipwreck of the Lefort, 1858.

On September 10, 1857, during a storm, the 84-cannon military ship capsized and sank in the space of several minutes, taking its whole crew together with it to the roaring abyss: 13 officers, 743 enlisted men and 70 crew family members, including 53 women and 17 children.

This biggest in the Baltic Sea shipwreck had such profound effect on the painter Aivazovsky, that he painted an amazing picture in a very unusual to him allegoric manner. The painting depicts white souls of people rising from the watery abyss. There are very many of them there. In the front are the mothers, holding babies in their hands, they are followed by children and men. They ascend to the sky on a beam of light.

Even today, no one is immune to an emergency at sea. Providing specialists of the maritime rescue services with modern quality equipment is an increasingly important task. Rostec doesn’t stop there. Besides supporting submariners inside their vessels, Rostec is also trying to safeguard them if they have to venture outside under duress.

Rostec’s Respirator, a subsidiary of JSC Technodinamika Holding, has developed a never-freezing aqualung for professional divers. The SHAP-R can be used at a depth of up to 60 meters, and in extreme conditions. The air is supplied through a hose or from a canister. The device is unique in that its gearbox with a dry etching chamber can work in freezing temperatures and in contaminated water.

ShAP-R is a unique freeze-proof breathing apparatus that provides professional divers with oxygen at the depth of 60 meters.
«Respirator», «Technodinamika»

The «Respirator» company may also boast other developments. The sub-aqua regulator, which is a part of an aqualung «Morzh», can work at a temperature down to — 4 degrees for two hours. The breathing valve LAM-17 and the air reducer BP-172 have already successfully proved themselves in severe conditions of Antarctica, allowing techno divers to slog down on record depth into an eruptive vent of a volcano at the water temperature of −3 degrees Celsius. The new breathing valve LAM-21 is optimized for even lower temperatures. Thanks to new technologies the air reducer, used for air pressure declining and its distribution to the valve machine, is now simpler and more reliable than its previous analogues inventions.

Moreover, the springless technology allowed to make the equipment lighter. Due to the previous invention of «Tekhnodinamika», which had been designed to withstand down to −3 degrees Celsius, divers could already submerge into an eruptive vent of a volcano on a record high depth of 97 meters at water temperature of −3 degrees Celsius. Operating water depth in this area is 20 meters, and the previous record high of submerging was 45 meters. The divers worked for more than an hour the depth. In addition, the submersion record high of 111 meters has been achieved in the Barents Sea by means of «Tekhnodinamika» equipment.

Cryogenic open-circuit scuba is used in the first place for exploration of the Arctic shelf, but also can be used by Russian Emergency Ministry for carrying out speacial submarine operations, related to status monitoring, hook out of water or localization of harmful factors of hazardous underwater objects on-site for purpose of protection of population and the aquatic area in case of emergency situations. At the moment the «Morzh» devices operation feasibility is being worked out by Ministry of Emergency Situations rescuers in Yakutia, Murmansk region and others.

Such equipment, and other innovations as well, would not have been possible if companies like Rostec hadn’t learned how to use water for manufacturing.
For instance, combined with special additives, water is used as a coolant in the grinding and polishing of optical glass at UOMZ, which develops flawless surfaces and sterile equipment.

Generating lenses’ shapes using water is one of the most labour-intensive stages of creating high-precision optical devices.
UOMZ, “Shvabe”

Water is also a part of the refractory ceramic coating, which is used for investment casting at Saturn. At a special robotized area wax models of marine engine’s turbine blades are coated with this ceramic solution so that they form a shell for subsequent metal casting, a major part of the engine-building process.

Even though humans can’t breathe under water, many millions years ago, water gave birth to organic life. No wonder a human embryo is 97 percent water, and a newborn’s body is 77 percent liquid.

A Rostec company, Yalamov Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMZ), part of Schwabe Holding company, develops and manufactures unique neonatal incubators, warmers and neonatal respiratory support devices.

The adoption of innovative technologies of nursing of deeply premature children who were born with extremely low (ELBW) and very low body weight (VLBW) is among of the top-priority tasks set for practical healthcare by the Government of the Russian Federation. During 2010-2014 Russian standards of «neonatology», «obstetrics and gynecology» care have significantly changed and updated. These standards are the main incentive for technological development of technologies of newborns nursing, decrease in infantile mortality and creation of the hi-tech neonatal equipment.

A neonatal intensive therapy incubator. It is used to care for critically underweight babies - from 500 to 1500 grams. These incubators are also used for basic therapy in the neonatal pathology units, resuscitation and intensive care units of specialised medical centres.
UOMZ, “Shvabe”

According to the standards recommended standarts of the World Health Organization, children born with body weight over 500 grams are considered capable of living. A child born before 37 weeks of pregnancy and with a body weight less than 2,5 kilograms is considered prematurely born. When such child is born, doctors immediately start fight for his life. At this stage the main role is played by technologies and equipment which allows to maintain optimal conditions of temperature and to create comfortable conditions for intensive therapy and nursing. "AD Manufacturing group"Ural optical mechanical factory in the name of E.S. Yalamova" (UOMF), a part of «Schwabe» holding, develops and manufactures unique incubators for developmental care and neonatal heating units.

By equipping their maternity wards with neonatal units made by Rostec, Russian hospitals have been able to save countless lives. To date, more than 2 million Russian children have been born with the help of Rostec-made equipment. And the company’s incubators are used in 30 other countries.

This is how ceramic forms of engine parts are made. A wax model is plunged in a solution of liquid ceramic several times, then left to dry. After that, the wax is melted and the ceramic shell is filled with liquid metal.
NPO “Saturn”, UEC

Thus water, which once has played a big role in the origin of life on Earth, continues to be a vital element for the functioning of living organisms. And like water, Rostec plays a role in absolutely every facet of our lives.

Rostec’s Development Strategy until 2025 identifies medical equipment markets as particularly promising. Russia must achieve self-sufficiency in medical equipment production and manufacture its own smart prosthetics and exoskeletons. This work is part of Rostec’s crucial area of development — advance in robotics with a view to create competitive products in this sector that will be launched on the global market. These solutions are particularly important for water and underwater works.

Current robotics work according to the principle: «one operator — one robot». A great example of a step forward is a new system that has been developed by the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation. It will allow the operator to control a whole group of robots at once. It will also teach machines to “think” and make independent decisions. Robots can overcome sudden obstacles and autonomous scripts on their own, with the operator’s consent. The program’s testing began in June, 2015.

One of the latest products of Kalashnikov Concern is a single battle group of assault boats, equipped to launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The ability to transmit video in real time mode in the radius of 25 km provides constant control over the strategically important objects, and helps determine target position while preserving acoustic and visual stealth.

Presently, Rostec is working on perfecting underwater robots and unmanned underwater apparatus.

Underwater robot «Glider-T» made in Russia, can find its bearings in the deep without the aid from GLONASS, identify types of vessels around it by their sound, imitate false targets and hinder the work of sonars and other enemy underwater listening devices. It’s capable of working autonomously for up to 180 days both on its own and as part of a group, and plot a route without human participation.

Together, the focus areas listed in the Strategy will help create highly competitive production operations in Russia. Rostec already boosts creation of completely new capital-intensive markets and workplaces for highly-skilled specialists.