With the arrival in 2011 and the adoption of the Leopard nuclear submarine for repair, the Zvezdochka opened the era of repair and modernization of Project 971 multipurpose boats (code "Shchuka-B"), better known to shipbuilders and naval sailors as Bars. Today, next to the “Leopard” on the slipway of the factory boathouse is “Wolf” - the second representative of this series from the submarine forces of the North fleet. Two of their colleagues from the Pacific Ocean - "Bratsk" and "Samara" are still waiting for their turn to stand on a solid foundation.
Despite the fact that the enterprise was busy with repair and modernization of underwater and surface ships of various projects, the construction of a series of special purpose vessels for the Navy was the only contractor to upgrade Shchuk-B who chose the “Star”.
The fact is that the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center today remains the only enterprise in Russia to which a large-scale program on the modernization of nuclear submarines is on the shoulder. Therefore, the command of the Navy decided to assign the headquarters enterprise of the Ship Repair Center and its branch “Nerpa” to implement part of the program to maintain the combat readiness of the multi-purpose submarine grouping. Moreover, in the domestic ship repair Zvezdochka is the most developed enterprise, which has a huge and, most importantly, relevant experience in technically complex projects. Such a project, for example, was the modernization of all strategic rocket carriers of the 667BDRM project - the basis of the naval component of the nuclear deterrent forces. These circumstances explain the fact that the Pacific Barça arrived at the improvement to the Yagrinsky shipyard.
In addition to the repair, all of them are waiting for a deep modernization, after which the code of the project will change. Modernization will affect both the “stuffing” - all systems and complexes, and the hull of the ship. Multipurpose submarines of the third generation of the 971M project will be closer to the next generation submarines - the 885 “Ash” project - according to the updated tactical and technical characteristics. We can say that a new ship will be created in the old building.
The inevitable withdrawal from the existing composition of submarines of the second and third generation, physical and moral obsolescence of the 971 submarine of the 20 submarine, which has more than XNUMX years of service, especially in the absence of the necessary repairs, combined with extremely low rates of commissioning of the fourth generation ships, forces the command of the Navy Seriously to maintain the existing grouping of multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the Northern and Pacific fleets.
The actual condition repairs carried out in recent years cannot overcome the obsolescence of electronic weapons and equipment. And the characteristics of the shock complex of ships no longer adequately meet modern requirements. To support the grouping of multi-purpose submarines, speaking of the 971 project, repairs and modernization are required, according to experts, including a number of mandatory elements. These areas should cover the transition to the modern level of control systems, communications and navigation, hydroacoustics, CICS and other REV systems, the introduction of advanced models of missile and torpedo weapons of a wide range, means of ensuring nuclear safety, survivability, habitability, operational reliability, reducing acoustic visibility.
The total complex of repairs and upgrades will extend the life of these ships by another 15 years. If we consider that their service life with only maintenance repairs is a quarter of a century, then a half dozen years before the commissioning of the required number of submarines of the 4th generation is a sufficient guarantee of maintaining the combat capability of the multi-purpose group.
Under the implementation of such a large-scale task, even for many decades, the shipyard successfully coping with the repair of a nuclear submarine had to undertake serious training, ranging from the coordination of design documentation with the designer to the reconstruction of its production facilities.
Unfortunately, good initiatives, as often happens, are faced with a harsh reality. The classical scheme “first design, then execution in metal” was actually turned upside down. The ships are coming in for repair, and the R & D and technical re-equipment of the shipyard is still ongoing, despite the fact that the go-ahead about the beginning of the contract is given. Because of the rush to perform the general task, the ship repairmen are forced to go ahead of the designers, who, in turn, urgently have to make constant adjustments to the “raw” design documentation, long working on issues that require operational solutions. Such dissynchronization between the designer and the performer inevitably resulted in the backlog from scheduled tasks. And this is only one component of the difficult process of updating Barsov.
The boats of this project belong to the third generation, in which Soviet designers and designers introduced the latest scientific and technical developments at that time. The increased role of process automation in the management of ship systems and systems allowed a reduction in the number of crew members. On the other hand, this resulted in a tight layout of the interior of the boat with equipment. The approach to the construction of ships of the 971 project was also changed, with the transition to the block one, when the zonal blocks were placed in the hull as a finished unit. All this, undoubtedly, complicates the already difficult process of modernizing NPS data, requiring new concepts for the implementation of this program.
Using the example of the first-born of the Leopard enterprise series, one can judge about the difficulties that the Zvezdochka shipbuilders suffered. Already at the stage of dismantling equipment, hull structures, body and equipment fault detection, we had to face inertia of design organizations that delayed production for several months design and technological documentation. A separate line in the general course of repair and modernization is the process of manufacturing and repairing equipment by manufacturers. The situation, unfortunately, is characteristic not only in relation to the given ships. Many enterprises barely make ends meet, some have completely disappeared from the once-all-Union network of industrial cooperation. It must be admitted that delays in the supply of basic equipment and spare parts for repairs have become a headache for builders Zvezdochka.
The installation of foundations for equipment, testing of hull elements and tanks continues. With a significant delay, but the "Leopard" presented to the electrical work, and they are already in full swing. The accumulated pace of work and the incoming equipment (albeit with a more than six-month delay) make it possible to say with confidence that the order will be delivered within the period indicated by the state contract. Analysis of the errors received while working on the lead ship of the Barsov series will significantly shorten the return time for the remaining ships of this project.
The timely implementation of the task requires the company to also implement a number of investment projects for technical re-equipment and reconstruction of the Zvezdochka production facilities. In addition, it required the introduction of the broadest list of equipment for ordering equipment, including stands for testing and setting up systems and mechanisms, and means of providing repairs. All of this was to be “run in” on the head Leopard for the Asterisk. About how extensive work was carried out, say the numbers. From the time of preparation and during equipment unloading and repair activities, more than 1400 units of technical equipment for 971М project orders have been manufactured, which is more than half of the required quantity. At the same time, the creation and introduction of new stands continues, for which research and design institutes are involved.
As for the infrastructure, it should be noted: to carry out the program of medium repair and modernization of 3rd generation nuclear submarines under the federal target program, calculated up to 2018, the reconstruction and construction of a number of production and technical facilities of the shipyard is underway. Due to multi-billion budget and own funds, a low pressure steam boiler room was reconstructed, shop No. 10 was reconstructed, technical shop No. 15 was being reequipped - the plant’s slipway shops. The construction and re-equipment of several more objects are underway. Among them are hydraulic structures (first of all, deep-water and shallow embankments), ship-lifting and transport-transfer complexes, screw-processing production.
Unfortunately, it is this combination of factors: the delay in the implementation of the technical re-equipment program (really time consuming and time consuming), gaps in preliminary design and organizational work, non-performance by contractors, inevitably shifted and continue to shift to the right the implementation of 971 project submarines .
This situation is not new for the "star". Similarly, the start of the multi-year phase of factory repairs of the nuclear submarine of the 667BDRM project began. The initial difficulties and inconsistencies were eliminated by joint efforts, and in the future the repair of strategic missile carriers was put on the conveyor. It is with a great degree of confidence that the original roughness of the Barsov repair and modernization program will be eliminated, and subsequent ships of the 971М project will be returned to service according to the contract terms.