NPO Lavochkin (OKB-301, also called Lavochkin Research and Production Association or shortly Lavochkin Association, LA) is a Russian aerospace company. It is a major player in the Russian space program, being the developer and manufacturer of the Fregat upper stage, as well as interplanetary probes such as Fobos-Grunt. Currently it is headed by Victor Khartov.
The company develops and manufactures spacecraft such as the Fregat rocket upper stages, satellites and interplanetary probes. It is a contractor for a number of military programs, such as the Oko early warning satellite, Prognoz[disambiguation needed] and Araks programmes as well as the civilian program Kupon. One of the company's most notable projects was the participation in the failed Fobos-Gruntsample return mission. NPO Lavochkin has also developed the Elektro–L series of new-generation weather satellites, as well as the Navigator standardised satellite platform, which will serve as the basis for several future Russian satellites.
The company was founded in 1937 as OKB-301, a Soviet aircraft design bureau (OKB). The head designer was Vladimir P. Gorbunov. On October, 1945 Semyon Lavochkin was promoted for the head designer of the design bureau. It gained distinction for its family of piston-engined fighter aircraft during World War II, and later shifted to missile and jet fighter designs. The bureau was reorganized in 1960 after its head designer's death and named after him as the NPO Lavochkin. Later, it turned to work on interplanetary probe designs for Luna sample return program, the Lunokhod program, Vega program, Phobos program etc.
In January 2012, officials of Lavochkin faced administrative punishment for not taking into account of designing the computer system after the crash of Russia's Mars moon spacecraft Fobos-Grunt.