Russian tank 'Slingshot' vs. Israeli 'War Chariot'

Sometimes it seems that the creators of Russian military equipment were picking on a "potential enemy" deliberately, since the Soviet times. Just think about it - the name of an Israeli tank Merkava translates as "war chariot" and Russia's T-72B is known as "slingshot." What about the equipment for Russian special services? Handcuffs "Tenderness," shock baton "Caress-Super" baton "Argument," gas "Bird Cherry."  Who comes up with all these names?

Catalogues of Russian military equipment contain such items as digging tools "Vigor," stretcher "Inspiration," sabots "Mummy." Publications of the Russian defense industry mention a manual six-shot revolver "Gnome," naval torpedo "Raccoon," anti-tank mine "Tick," tactical free-falling bomb with a special warhead up to 40 kilotons "Natasha," silent automatic grenade launcher "Canary," aviation system of single indication "Narcissus," etc.

Russian artillery systems do not bear threatening names, as they do in foreign countries. Russian names for such systems are more than just peaceful, they are flowery: "Carnation," "Acacia," "Tulip," "Hyacinth," "Peony," "Chrysanthemum" and so forth. The world's most powerful 30-barrel propelled flamethrower is called "Pinocchio."

There are many other fascinating names: automatic mortar "Cornflower," company mortar "Tray," mortar "Sledge," system of active wired protection "Cactus," intercontinental ballistic missile "Good Boy," fire control system "Cabbage," artillery radar system "Zoo," container system for rocket control "Phantasmagoria," self-propelled gun "Capacitor."

We can continue with coastal defense missile system "Ball," anti-tank missiles "Half-Breed," heavy tank support combat vehicle "Frame," grenades for grenade launcher "Foundling," grenade launcher "Shoes," radar artillery reconnaissance and fire control complex "Zoo."

As it turns out, the fashion for specific names of arms, except for digital and abbreviated codes, began to be used around the world back in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Americans were the first to invent intimidating names for their weapon systems. Apparently, the American trend forced Soviet military designers to invent ironic names to their creations.

For example, formidable naval missile systems "Trident" or "Polaris" clearly inspired Russian engineers to name the world's most massive strategic nuclear submarine of Project 667A "Navaga." Navaga is small edible fish that tastes best when fried.

Afterwards, the confused "probable and potential" enemy, apparently not to confuse their commanders and spies introduced the so-called "NATO classification" for Soviet submarines. "Navaga," for some reason, was called "Yankee."

Today, even in Russian naval reference books, domestic nuclear submarines have NATO names. For example, our project 667BDRM submarine is called "Dolphin" or "Delta-4." Project 661 "Upas Tree" (aka "Goldfish") is simply "Papa" under NATO classification.

The world's largest heavy strategic missile submarines of Project 941 "Akula" under NATO classification go as SSBN "Typhoon." Submarine of Project 971 "Pike-B" under NATO are known as "Akula." Project 949A "Antey" submarines under NATO classification are known as "Oscar-II." NATO renamed all Russian weapons to their own liking, the basic principle of which is impossible to understand. Apparently, the principle was as follows: "We can't understand your names, so you won't understand ours."

Naval historian, writer and journalist Sergei Aprelev said:

"Alas, history has not left the names of those outstanding and undoubtedly talented people, who had a keen sense of humor. It may well be that some of our weapons were named randomly, not even from the top. Here is a story. A Russian submarine recorded the noises of so-called "Quakers." The commander was instructed to describe those signals, so to speak, in his own words. The description eventually said: "They sound like steel balls jumping on an iron plate with a decreasing amplitude." It appears that the description was included in secret reports from a special group of scientists, who were studying the phenomenon ..."

Andrey Mikhailov

Read the original in Russian 

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov