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The Nizhny Novgorod Design Bureau «Vympel» was founded in 1927 on the basis of a branch of Leningrad Maritime Shipbuilding Bureau. The status of a self-sufficient organization, named as the «State Office of River and Sea Ships Design”, briefly as the «Rechsudoproekt», was obtained by the Office in 1930.

For a period of 80 years of activity the DB «Vympel», responding effectively and with initiative to the demands of the times, is a direct participant of principal revolutionary technical changes in the development of national shipbuilding.

In 1930s, by the DB’s projects there was built up, practically from the start, river fleet of the country: towing steamships and barges, cargo-passenger motor ships and dray cargo motor vessels. Provision was made for transition from wooden shipbuilding to welded metallic shipbuilding, dieselization of the fleet, transition from paddle wheels to propellers. In1939, the design office was renamed as the «Central Design Bureau No. 51»

In 1940s, in conditions of maximum realization of the DB’s resources, there were created series of ships and vessels of defence purpose: large and small submarine hunting ships, landing craft and barges, floating batteries, motor boats, mine-sweepers and hospital vessels, and many other craft.

In 1950-1960s, by projects of the DB “Vympel”, there were built large tonnage transport ships for river-sea navigation and shallow-draught sea-going vessels; it was created a new automatized towing fleet and there were built river and sea railway ferries. For the first time in shipbuilding there were designed sea-going shallow-draught dry cargo ships and tankers with double sides, providing free transit of cargos from river estuaries ports. Specialization of wiping vessels and crane transport/mounting ships was also assimilated.. There were started acivities on introduction of remote control means and integrated control of ships, realized measures for improving technology and applying sectional method of ship building. In 1966 the Central Design Bureau No. 51 was renamed as the Central Design Office “Volgobaltsudoproyekt”, and in 1972 as “Vympel”.

In 1970-1980s, it was ensured the development of really new ships in the field of shipbuilding – floating electric power plants «Severnoye Siyanie» to solve energetic problems of the Extreme North. There were developed unique principally new high-speed sidewall air-cushion vessels, nuclear technology maintenance ships, mobile bridge-ferrying facilities for engineering troops of the army. It was started the work on introduction of ship integrated automation systems, computation of the design work. The quality control system has been applied.

For merit bonus for the cause of the national fleet development the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, by their decree dated 25.10.1977, decorated the DB “Vympel” with the Order of the Red Banner. The DO’s studies in the field of development of special bridge-ferrying facilities were marked off with:

-The Lenin Prize of the USSR, 1963 (A.A.Fadeev, Ch. Project Designer), I.A.Dychko (ass. Ch. Project Designer);

- The USSR State Prize in the field of science and engineering, 1987 (V.F.Trefilov, Ch. Project Designer; V.S.Rosanov, Head of Division; M.Z.Zlotnik, Leading Specialist);

- The USSR State Prize, 1951, marking the development of the project of a ferry for the strategic important Amur ferrying system (K.P.Bubnov and A.S.Rachkov Ch. Project Designers).

- The USSR Council of Ministers in the field of construction, 1974, marking a package of studies on the development of the of “Sakhalin” ferry project and the construction of Vanino-Kolms ferrying system (V.A.Evstifeev, Head of the DO, Y.P.Volkov, Ch. Project Designer)

Package of the DB’s studies for development, introduction and application of floating electric power plants “Severnoye Siyaniye) was marked with the USSR State Prize in the field of science and engineering,1975 (Y.V.Leukhin, Head of the DO; A.I.Golovin and H.I.Tsygankov, Ch. Project Designers). Package of studies for development a nuclear technology maintenance vessel was marked with the RF Government Prize in the field of science and engineering, 2004 (V.V.Shatalov, Head of the DO; V.B.Belyanichev, Ch. Project Designer)

In 1990s, the DB was characterized by large number of subjects-matters of the work, a package of projects in different design stages, provision of the construction of ships simultaneously at many shipyards. The development of new ships was carried out in close contact with research institutes of the industry, customers, shipping companies and makers of shipboard equipment. There were actively used its proper experimental divisions for operative investigation and study of sea-going and manoeuvring qualities of the designed ships on the basis of towed and self-propelled models in testing basin and in open water areas, as well as strength, vibration, acoustic and other tests of real vessels. It was made principal engineering refit of the DO and transition to information technologies of the design and production management, computer-aided design systems AutoCAD, CAD/CAM TRIBON have being implemented.

During recent years new strategic directions of the activity, forming the most significant competitive advantages of the DB have been implemented:

- studing of new specializations including desighn of technically complicated vessels and strengthening of the position on international engineering shipbuilding market;

- design of ships and craft to the rules and regulations of foreign classification societies;

- full scale introduction of up-to-date information technologies for designing ships of wide range, including  3D design system AVEVA Marine, NUPAS CADMATIC, Tribon. It was established a large design-engineering backlog for the perspective. It has being done an essential engineering refit of the DB, modernization of its experimental base.

According to the DB “Vympel” projects, new generations of war ships and auxiliary vessels of the Navy, ice breakers and arctic vessels, research and fishing vessels, transport and technological facilities for shelf reclamation, universal sea-going dry cargo and special purpose vessels, sea-going ships of tanker fleet, ecology monitoring vessels, floating complex of nuclear technology maintenance vessels are in developement.

To raise competitive capacity and due to the trend in export activity, the new projects are developed on the basis of advanced design solutions providing economical efficiency, reliability and safety of the ships operation, ecological cleanness and modern comforts for their crews.

In our days, the DB «Vympel» has a solid basis, long order book and is positioned in the Russian Federation as an universal design organization – one of the leading offices for developing civil ships of various class and purpose and auxiliary vessels for the Navy.