12th of September. It was the day the legendary director of YUZHMASH, Oleksandr Maksimovich Makarov was born. This event took place 114 years ago in the settlement Tsymlyanska in Rostov region.
Oleksandr Maksimovich had a difficult life full of events, including success and disappointments, ups and downs. He had a successful career as a production manager and even he was imprisoned. Not political, but “professional” imprisonment for the production of poor-quality products. At that time, the objective circumstances, unqualified and inexperienced staff were ignored, there was the universal personal responsibility of the head. However, Makarov served only two of his eight years, after which he was re-appointed director of the plant. It was the year 1942, and the warring country desperately needed industrial products.
And three years later, in 1945, Oleksandr Maksimovich was transferred to Dnipropetrovsk to the Automobile Plant (DAZ), now known as YUZHMASH. At that time, the plant was just being built, there was a lot of work, so Makarov’s managerial qualities came in handy. In 1948, Makarov was already managing a branch of DAZ, a factory of auxiliary equipment.
In 1951, DAZ was repurposed for the serial production of ballistic missiles. The glorious history of the YUZHMASH rocket building began, inextricably linked with the name of Oleksandr Maksimovich Makarov.
From the production of the R-1, R-2 and R-5 missiles developed by Sergei Korolev, YUZHMASH in 1954 switched to the production of its own missiles. These were R-12 strategic ballistic missiles. In the same year, Makarov was appointed chief engineer of YUZHMASH. In March 1961, Oleksandr Maksimovich headed the plant.
For 35 years at the enterprise Oleksandr Maksimovich made the outstanding contribution to creation and development of production of rocket and space equipment. Under his leadership, the production of the most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles was established. From the early 60’s YUZHMASH began to produce space launch vehicles, and later spacecraft. It was a whole era in rocketry: launch vehicles of the “Cyclone” and “Zenith” families, boosters for the project “Energy-Buran”, a number of spacecraft (“Space”, “Intercosmos”, “Ocean” and others) to explore the Earth and the Sun, monitoring the earth’s surface and near-Earth space.
Working in close cooperation with the general designer of special design bureau of the plant № 586 (later Design Office «Pivdenne») Mykhailo Kuzmych Yangel, for many years he led the work on the development of serial production of all types of missiles developed by this design bureau.
YUZHMASH led by Makarov became the main manufacturer and supplier of intercontinental ballistic missiles for the Strategic Missile Forces of the USSR, as well as launch vehicles for launching Soviet spacecraft.
Not only production issues worried Makarov. Oleksandr Maksimovich always took care of the workers of the plant, during his work in Dnipro, housing and infrastructure facilities were built for several hundred thousand in the city.
Oleksandr Maksimovich has been the head of YUZHMASH for 25 years. During these productive years of Makarov’s work, the plant mastered the production of four generations of ballistic missiles and more than four hundred spacecraft, producing a large number of “peaceful products” (tractors alone , more than three hundred thousand).
In 2000, the name of Alexander Maksimovich Makarov was assigned to YUZHMASH.
Oleksandr Maksimovich passed away on October 9, 1999, leaving a deep mark both in the history of the development of the rocket and space industry and in the memory of all who knew him. His selfless work was awarded many high awards and distinctions, including two Golden Stars of the Hero, five Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of Yaroslav the Wise, medals of Lenin and State Prizes, the title of Honored Engineer and Honored Citizen of Dnipro.