At the outset of computer engineering development in the USSR in the 1950s the main attention was concentrated on the creation of computers which could solve complex mathematical problems. Computers then were stationary and intended for successive or batch problem solution irrelatively to the real time and dynamic parameter changes. Later the machines formed the most widespread class of universal computers for various applications.
By the late 1950s the defence industry and the Ministry of Defence took an interest in computers for data processing and control in military systems. The nature of such applications considerably differed from the computational problems which had become traditional by the time.
As a result this trend in computer engineering began to actively progress. It emerged almost simultaneously in a number of branches of defence industry and at various manufacturing plants where systems for Army, Air Force, Navy, Strategic Missile Forces etc. were produced. The ensuing development of military computers was greatly influenced by demands from different customers. Subsequently military computers split into stationary machines for in-door use and mobile models. Such a division led to fundamental differences in architecture and specifications between military computers. Stationary computers gravitated to architectures and technologies immanent to usual universal machines with certain specialised extensions and modifications. Mobile computers were much more specific and greatly differed from other type of computational hardware. The article is aimed to present a historical view on the development of the latter computer category from 1950s to 1980s, both in hardware and software areas.
Particular functional tasks and different demands as well as rigid interdepartmental barriers and stonewalling drastically limited the information exchange between specialists who developed specialised mobile...