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Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant (KOMZ) is a Russian diversified enterprise specializing in the development and production of optical devices. The full name of the enterprise is Joint Stock Company Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant.
Located in the village of Derbyshki, Sovetsky District, Kazan, Tatarstan. Since 2015, Stella-K JSC has been operating on the territory of the enterprise, which is engaged in the serial production of electronic warfare equipment.
In 1935, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR made a decision to build a large new optical-mechanical plant – a backup GOMZ in the Volga region. A commission has been created to select a site for the construction of a new plant
On October 11, 1936, the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR adopted a resolution on the construction of a new optical-mechanical plant – a backup of the Leningrad State Optical-Mechanical Plant (GOMZ) (currently – JSC “LOMO”) – on the site of the former carriage plant in the Tatar ASSR at 18 km from Kazan. In Kazan at that time there were reserves of labor, several technical universities trained qualified specialists, there was an established railway and water connection and a prepared site for the construction of Vagonstroy. The design of the plant was entrusted to Lengiprommash, and GOMZ was entrusted with providing the future plant with documentation and training.
On February 3, 1937, the plant under construction was assigned the number 237, in June the Construction Department was organized, the head of which was appointed Olshansky Vladimir Leonardovich.
In the same year, along with the factory buildings, construction began on adobe barracks, two-storey wooden houses and school No. 101. In December 1939, Building 7 (mechanical shop No. 7) was commissioned, in which 25 pieces of equipment for the production of periscope tubes were installed.
On February 8, 1940, the People’s Commissariat of Finance of the USSR registered the plant as operating, assigning it No. 237. This date is considered the day the plant was founded.
With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, on July 11, 1941, the USSR State Defense Resolution No. GKO-99ss was issued on the evacuation of industrial enterprises, including plant No. 349 (GOMZ) to the site of the plant No. 237 under construction in the Tatar ASSR of the People’s Commissariat of Armament 
From July to August 1941, 7 echelons with people and equipment arrived at the plant. 1284 workers and 327 engineers and technicians arrived with their families. On August 31, 1941, the last 7th echelon with the equipment and employees of the GOMZ arrives in Kazan. The director of GOMZ A.F. Soloviev, chief designer P.S.Konev, chief technologist M.A.Minkov come with him. Together with the evacuees, the staff of the plant number 237 is 3.5 thousand people.
Two months after the arrival of the first echelon with Gomzovites, the first among all the evacuated factories of the industry, our plant produced the first products for the front – 5000 binoculars assembled from work-in-progress parts brought from Leningrad.
September 16, 1941 – order of the NKV No. 451 on the merger with GOMZ and assignment to the plant in Kazan No. 349. Andrey Soloviev is appointed director of the plant
October 4, 1941 – the chief designer of the plant developed the first trademark of the Kazan plant – semi-pentaprism with a ray path – like a half of the GOMZ-a trademark – pentaprism. This trademark was registered in the Trademark Registration Office of the USSR Ministry of Trade (Certificate No. 2999 dated 10.17.1946) and is the oldest trademark of the Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant.
In December 1941, the plant gave the front mortar and tank sights, and from the beginning of 1942 – the “famous” artillery sight-panorama of Hertz PG, which became the “crown” product of the plant during all the war years.
As of January 1, 1942, the plant employs 3,960 people; 1574 pieces of equipment, including 1292 machines from Leningrad
July 21, 1942 – by order of the NKV, number 237, under which it was built, is returned to the plant, GOMZ (in Leningrad) remains at number 349
By the end of 1942, the production of binoculars at the plant was brought to 15,000 units per month.
In 1943, the plant already produced 43 items, of which 10 – in large series – binoculars, sea rangefinders, photo lenses, photo control devices, mortar and tank sights, including the artillery panorama of Hertz “PG”, sights for dive bombers PBL-2 , simulators
February 10, 1943 – the staff of the plant collected from their personal savings and donated 1,004,000 rubles for the purchase of art weapons “Stalin’s artillery”
October 12, 1943 – the order of the NKV notes the exemplary work of the plant 237, working on schedule, from month to month overfulfilling the program.
1944 – the plant completed two and a half programs of 1942.
By the end of the war, thanks to the introduction of the first overhead conveyor in the USSR for assembling binoculars with a given production rhythm, the production of binoculars was brought to 25,000 pieces per month.
At the beginning of 1945, the plant employs 5663 people, of whom 50.6% are under the age of 18.
During the war years, the plant was presented with the Red Banner of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the State Defense Committee 17 times, and in 1946 it was awarded forever; 198 workers of the plant were awarded orders and a large group were awarded medals.
In total, during the war years, the plant sent to the front 700,000 binoculars, 30,000 gun, mortar, tank and about 1,000 bomber sights,
On September 16, 1945, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the plant was awarded the Order of Lenin for outstanding services in the uninterrupted supply of field artillery, the Navy and aviation with optical instruments.
August 5, 1945 – 45 employees of the plant are awarded by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the development of new samples of artillery, tank and aviation optical devices and the successful fulfillment of the GKO task to increase their production for the front
September 16, 1945 – The decree is awarded to workers in the armament industry for the successful fulfillment of GKO assignments to create new types of weapons and to provide the Red Army with artillery, small arms, and military optical devices. 38 employees of the plant were awarded
In the postwar years, the range of products changed significantly, the production of military equipment was significantly reduced.
In 1946-47, 6×30 binoculars, several types of magnifiers and lenses were produced. The plant is mastering the production of interferometers, astronomical and projection devices, aerial photocontrol equipment for the air force, filming equipment, refractometers based on microfilming and electrophotographic equipment
By 1950, the plant was already producing 80 types of products – the photo-control devices for the air force S-13 (1947), SSh-45 (1950) were put into mass production, the first prototypes of shadow devices for aerodynamic research were manufactured supersonic gas flows (1948 – IAB-451)
March 1951 – by order of the Ministry, an experimental design bureau (OKB) was organized at the plant.
1951 – the plant is renamed into mailbox number 157
Since 1952, export supplies of products have begun, first to the PRC, Mongolia, the countries of people’s democracy, and then to the capitalist countries
Binoculars of 6x magnification are replaced by binoculars of 8x magnification (1954), the production of theater 4x binoculars has begun.
The plant for the first time takes part in the work of a foreign international exhibition – at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, where new products are demonstrated – a small-format film camera “Kama”, a film projector and a mirror-lens telescope with three interchangeable magnifications of 25x, 50x and 100x – ZRT -454
March 6, 1966 – an order of the Minister of Defense Industry was issued to change the name to Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant
July 28, 1966 – the director of the plant Pavel Aleksandrovich Khalezov was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor
1967 – the plant was awarded the Red Banner of the Tatar Regional Committee of the CPSU, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the TASSR
Samples of the N-14 photocamera were made for filming during spacewalk, which was used by cosmonaut A.A. Leonov. (1972-73).
The Lira wide-field telescope-spectrograph, manufactured by KOMZ, from the Soyuz-13 comic spacecraft, provided unique ultraviolet spectrograms of stars in various parts of the starry sky (December 1973).
The Salyut-3 space station operates the Sokol all-round periscope (manufactured by KOMZ) for panoramic observation of outer space and observation of cosmonauts outside the spacecraft, external elements of the station structure (1975).
The Salyut-6 space station is equipped with a BST-1 onboard submillimeter telescope with a 1.5 m primary mirror (1977), developed and manufactured at KOMZ. Work has begun on the creation of a multipurpose electronic instrument complex “Pion-K” for long-term manned stations such as “Salyut” and “Mir”
1970 – the plant is listed in the city book of Labor Glory
At the end of the 1980s, in terms of the conversion of military night vision binoculars, the first in the country was developed the Baigish family of night vision devices for civilian use. This series included binoculars, pseudo binoculars, monoculars, scopes
1980 – two models of binoculars and the Jupiter-37A photographic lens received the right to be issued with Olympic symbols of the Moscow Olympics
Photo lens ” Jupiter-37A ” was awarded a gold medal at the international exhibition in Plovdiv
June 1987 – the plant has a new status – Production Association “Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant”
1987 At the international exhibition in Leipzig, the ZT8-24x40M “Zenitsa” telescope was awarded the gold medal of the exhibition
1990 in honor of its 50th anniversary the plant is awarded the Red Banner
August 16, 1996 – the plant was incorporated in the State Property Committee of the Republic of Tatarstan as OJSC Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant
Since 2011, the plant has been developing a new direction and producing electronic warfare products.
At present, JSC “KOMZ” remains the only serial manufacturer of daytime observation equipment in Russia.
- Astronavigation systems and periscopes
- Observation and photo-recording devices
- Visors, optoelectronic surveillance and target designation systems, optical sights
- Binoculars, spotting scopes and night vision devices
- Laser rangefinders and thermal imaging systems
- Rigid industrial endoscopes
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