"Astrophysika National Centre of Laser Systems and Complexes" OJSC is the only state scientific center in Russia that specializes in the development of laser optical technologies.
The history of "Astrophysika National Laser Centre", OJSC began in 1969 when Luch Central Design Bureau was established—the largest specialized scientific and design organization for the development, research, and testing of high-power (high-energy) lasers and laser systems based on them. Later on it was renamed into Astrophysika Scientific and Production Association and up to December 2012, it was called Federal State Unitary Enterprise, Astrophysika Scientific and Production Association.
Since the day of its establishment, the organization has performed a significant amount of work in the two major spheres: full-scale exercises and tests to achieve laser energy sufficient to engage air- and space-based targets, and the development of laser locator systems to control air and space. A separate area of activities was the creation of tactical weapon for counter effort against the opponent's optical-electronic systems on the battle field.
The major result achieved by the organization is the development of a number of complexes and systems in the interests of the country's defense and security.
In 1979, laser locator exercise was accomplished confirming its high precision characteristics for engaging artificial Earth satellites, missiles, aircraft, and other air- and space-based objects. The team of the developers were awarded the Lenin Peace Prize and two State Prizes, and the company was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
One of the most important tasks that D. F. Ustinov—Minister of Defense of the USSR—set for Luch Central Design Bureau was the development of the 1K-11 laser device. The most difficult problems that the company encountered developing the device was creating a laser that could reliably operate in various climatic conditions.
In 1982, the 1K-11 device was passed into service, and the team of the developers were awarded the Lenin Peace Prize and the State Prize. V. K. Orlov, chief engineer, was awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor.
By the Order of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Astrophysika Scientific and Production Association was given a task to develop a Dal system for the protection of troops from chemical weapon. As a result, a remote chemical reconnaissance complex was developed—a laser lidar capable of remotely detect aerosols of neuroparalytic toxic materials.
In 1988, the complex was passed into service, and the team of the developers were awarded the Government Prize in the sphere of science and technology; seven employees of the company were given government awards.
Another important task that the Government of the USSR entrusted the company with was the development of the 1K-17 self-propelled unit–a new generation of high-power weapon, largely automated and operating in a wide spectral range. The unit successfully passed shop, preliminary and governmental testing, and in 1992 passed into service.
Among modern developments we should mention Taran–small-size equipment designed to detect optical and electronic devices, which was developed by the Order of the Russian Ministry of Defense. This equipment is designed to detect and determine distances to the optical (day-time), night-time (based on electron-optical image converters), and low-level TV units of the opponent who is performing counter observation and aiming in the day- and night-time. The distance to the target is communicated to the operator by a speech message through a headset.
After performing a number of large-scale research and development projects, the company has developed its own unique scientific and technological potential that includes the knowledge and expertise of scientists, designers, and engineers, laboratory and experimental equipment, testing, production and technological base.
Today, the major spheres of the activity of "Astrophysika National Laser Centre" OJSC still include the development and creation of complex laser-optical systems and complexes in the interests of the country's defense and security.