Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant (LZOS)

JSC Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant ( LZOS ) is an instrument-making enterprise located in the city of Lytkarino, Moscow Region. It is part of the Shvabe holding of the state corporation Rostec.

It specializes in the production of optical glass, civil optical products, specialized equipment and optical instruments for law enforcement agencies.


On October 1, 1933, order No. 887/204 of the All-Union Trust of the Optical and Mechanical Industry of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry (NKTP) was signed on the construction of a mirror reflector plant near the village of Lytkarino, Ukhtomsky District, Moscow Region (ZZO – the name of the plant before its renaming) for searchlight installations with mirrors up to 150 cm in diameter. The construction of the plant began in 1934-1935. The first mirror reflectors were produced at the factory in 1939.

During the war years, the plant launched the production of armored glass for the Il-2 attack aircraft.

In July 1946, the plant was transferred to the jurisdiction of the USSR Ministry of Armaments. A new specialization of the plant was determined by the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR – the production of optical glass based on the use of equipment, technology and the experience of the Schott Jena company (Germany), as well as the organization of a new production – complex glazing for sealed high-altitude aircraft. By the order of the Minister of Armaments of December 27, 1946, the reconstruction of the plant was envisaged. In 1949 the plant received its current name: “Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant (LZOS)”.

In June 1947, V.O.Safronov, one of the most experienced directors of the optical-mechanical industry, was appointed director, and I.I. Nazarov, a prominent specialist in the field of optical glassmaking, was appointed chief engineer.

In 1948, the refinery worked out the casting of glass using the “Schott” method, adjusted the casting of glass on the table, and mastered the manufacture of large astro-optics from Pyrex glass. In 1949, equipment for ramming pots was manufactured, replacing the German – slip casting.

In 1952, the organization of optical and mechanical production began, primarily glass-intensive devices such as viewing prisms for armored vehicles and devices for civilian use.

LZOS products in the form of large disks were demonstrated in the Soviet pavilion at the EXPO-58 World Exhibition in Brussels and were awarded the Grand Prix. In 1960, LZOS began work on the creation of lanthanum and fluorotitanium glasses. In 1961, melting of highly crystallizing lanthanum glass was mastered.

On December 7, 1960, by the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the plant was instructed to organize, together with the State Optical Institute (GOI), the development of a completely new optical material – sitall – an artificial polycrystalline material with high homogeneity and a coefficient of linear expansion equal to zero in the temperature range from -60 ° C to + 120 ° C. At the plant, in cooperation with specialists from the State Optical Institute and the Institute of Glass (GIS), compositions, technology and equipment for the production of sitalls were developed, which replaced the heat-resistant glasses previously used for astronomical mirrors. In connection with the development of infrared technology, the production of a completely new class of oxygen-free (chalcogenide) glasses, developed by GOI, operating in the range up to 18 microns, the production of glass products of the GLS type, was mastered,

In 1964, the plant was instructed to create a new production – fiber-optic elements. Igor Mikhailovich Buzhinsky was a long-term head of a special design and technological bureau (SKTB) for the development and mastering of the production of new brands of optical glasses, fiber-optic elements and products from them, optical glass-crystal materials and optical quantum generators.

In the 60s, the largest domestic ZTSh telescopes with mirrors made of LZOS blanks were built at the Crimean and Byurakan observatories. The plant was appointed the lead contractor for the production of a 6-meter mirror blank for the Large Azimuthal Telescope (BTA). On November 20, 1964, within 5 hours 56 minutes, a blank of the telescope’s main mirror was cast. Then, within 2 years, the casting was annealed in an electric furnace. The temperature decrease rate did not exceed 0.03 deg / hour. Annealing of the casting ended on December 5, 1966. The workpiece was processed for one and a half years. Only when the 28 ton stock was removed, 7000 carats of diamond were consumed. Acceptance of the blank for further precise processing of the front side was carried out by a special commission under the leadership of Academician L.A.

The final grinding and polishing of the main mirror was carried out by LOMO specialists in a thermostatically controlled case on a unique grinding machine manufactured by the Kolomna Heavy Machine Tool Plant. In June 1974 a mirror with a diameter of 6 meters and a weight of 42 tons was ready for certification. On July 10, 1974, a commission chaired by Academician A.M. Prokhorov accepted the mirror for installation in a telescope. The mirror was transported to the observatory built near the village of Zelenchukskaya (Karachay-Cherkessia) by a motor-water route, and on August 21 the mirror arrived at the site. On December 30, 1975, the entire complex of the Large Azimuth Telescope was put into operation.

In February 1970, by order of the minister, the production and technical association “Rubin” was created, where LZOS was approved by the parent enterprise. Vitaly Anatolyevich Shestakov, director of LZOS, was appointed the general director of the association. The association includes the largest optical and optical-mechanical factories of the country: LZOS with branches in Feodosia and Belozersk, Izyum Instrument-Making Plant (IPZ) with a branch in Kadievka, Nikolsky Plant of Optical Glass and Art Glass Products “Red Gigant” , Kuzinsky mechanical plant in the Vologda region.

Since the beginning of the 70s, the production of consumer goods and medical optics has been developing. In 1972, LZOS began mastering the production of large-sized lens objectives.

LZOS was instructed to produce many complex optical parts, such as: quartz windows for long-term orbital stations “Salyut” and spacecraft “Soyuz”, glazing carrying the main temperature loads during the passage of dense layers of the atmosphere of the first tier of “Buran”, triple prisms with a second long-range radar, optical elements of the power path of lasers, windows of the SKAT cameras for the Institute of High Energy Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences and “Lyudmila” for the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research – for the Serpukhov accelerator.


For merits in the creation and production of new equipment and the successful implementation of the seven-year state plan, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated 07.28.1966, the plant’s staff was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. For shock work in the 9th five-year plan, the successful implementation of the State plan in 1976, the association was awarded the Order of the October Revolution.

Samples of products of the Lytkarino optical glass plant

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