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Strela's speed was 2000 operations per second. Its floating-point arithmetics was based on 43-bit floating point words, with a signed 35-bit mantissa and a signed 6-bit exponent. Operative Williams tube memory (RAM) was 2048 words. It also had read-only semiconductor diode memory for programs. Data input was from punched cards or magnetic tape. Data output was to magnetic tape, punched cards or wide printer. The last version of Strela used a 4096-word magnetic drum, rotating at 6000 rpm.
While Yuri Bazilevsky was officially Strela's chief designer, Bashir Rameyev, who developed the project prior to Bazilevsky's appointment, could be considered its main inventor. Strela was constructed at the Special Design Bureau 245 (Argon R&D Institute since 1986) in Moscow.
Strelas were manufactured by the Moscow Plant of Computing-Analytical Machines during 1953–1957; 7 copies were manufactured. They were installed in the Computing Centre of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow State University, and in computing centres of some ministries related to defense and economic planning.
In 1954, the designers of Strela were awarded the Stalin Prize of 1st degree (Bashir Rameyev, Yu. Bazilevsky, V. Alexandrov, D. Zhuchkov, I. Lygin, G. Markov, B. Melnikov, G. Prokudayev, N. Trubnikov, A. Tsygankin, Yu. Shcherbakov, L. Larionova).
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