For certain reasons, in recent decades, domestic mine-sweeping forces have faced serious problems. First of all, there was no possibility of full rearmament and renovation of the material part. Subsequently, the situation changed, which led to the start of construction of the 12700 project minesweepers. A few days ago, this project gave the first practically significant results - the shipbuilding industry handed the lead ship to the customer, on which the navy flag was raised. In the future, several more flag raising ceremonies are planned for the new minesweepers.
Base minesweeper BT-730 "Alexander Obukhov" during the flag raising ceremony. Photo Bmpd.livejournal.com
Mine defense retains its priority, which is planned to be considered when further developing the surface forces of the fleet. According to the current plans, announced by 9 December December by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, in the near future it is planned to build and put into operation six more Alexandrite-type ships. In the future, the construction of mine defense ships will continue. In the more distant future, it is planned to replenish the fleet with four dozen ships of such designation. Admitted to the fleet "Alexander Obukhov" is the first step in the implementation of such plans.
The 12700 base minesweeper project, the Alexandrite code, was developed in the past decade by the Almaz Central Maritime Design Bureau (TsMKB). This organization has extensive experience in designing surface ships of various classes, which it was planned to use when creating a new project. In addition, as part of the creation of a new ship, the designers had to learn some new technologies. The same applies to the company, which was to engage in the construction of minesweepers. The Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant (SNSP, St. Petersburg) was chosen as the site for the construction of promising ships.
Preparations for the construction of the lead ship, later named Alexander Obukhov, began in 2007 year. The official bookmark took place only in September of 2011. In the middle of the 2014 of the year, after several graphics changes, the head minesweeper was launched. Completion continued until the spring of the year 2016, after which the ship went to sea trials. For several months the ship passed all the necessary checks, after which it was accepted into the Navy. The solemn ceremony of raising the flag, which officially began the service of "Alexander Obukhov", took place a few days ago.
The Alexandrite project was developed with a foundation for the future, because of which it was decided to use a number of new ideas and technologies. The most notable innovation of the project, previously not widely spread in domestic practice, was the use of a monolithic fiberglass hull. With the assistance of a number of related enterprises, SNSZ has mastered the production of large-sized structures, carried out by the so-called. vacuum infusion. In a special matrix of sheets of fiberglass fabricated product of the desired shape and size. Currently, only the Middle Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant owns such a technology for manufacturing ship hulls in our country. In addition, SNSS is the only enterprise in the world capable of making a fiberglass hull up to 80 m.
In previous projects, hull minesweepers were proposed to be manufactured from low-magnetic steels. The 12700 project involves the use of new materials that provide certain advantages. Fiberglass housing is lighter and stronger than steel. Some advantages in terms of survivability are also provided. Stated increase in service life. Thus, with a certain complexity of manufacturing, the ship hull of a new design has great advantages over the existing ones, and is also more adapted for use in the field of mine defense. This application of the ship contributes to the reduction of the level of physical fields and increase the explosion resistance of the hull.
The 12700 Alexandrite project proposes the construction of a base minesweeper capable of operating in the near-sea zone. The main task of such ships should be the search and destruction of sea mines in the waters near the bases of the Navy or in other areas of the near sea zone. In accordance with this designation, the general appearance of the ship and the composition of the special on-board equipment was formed. It should be noted that the new project proposed several original ideas that had not previously been used by domestic minesweepers. In particular, one of the means of searching for dangerous objects should be remote-controlled and autonomous underwater vehicles.
Descent of "Alexander Obukhov" into the water, 27 June 2014. Photo "Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant" / snsz.ru
Minesweeper type "Alexandrite" has a length of 61 m with a width of no more than 10,3 m and draft up to 3 m. The displacement of the ship, according to various sources, reaches 900 t. The ship receives a hull, manufactured according to promising technology, and featuring enhanced performance. The shape of the hull is standard for ships of this class. In the central part of the building is placed a two-tiered superstructure with a cabin and other rooms. The aft deck is divided into two parts, separated by height. There is a part of special equipment, in particular, there is a crane. Also on the stern are some control posts.
According to reports, the basis of the power plant minesweeper is a diesel engine with power 2500 hp There are also three diesel generators that are responsible for generating electricity for the operation of various systems. The existing power plant gives the ship the opportunity to reach speeds up to the 16,7 node. The cruising range at economic speed of 10 knots reaches 1500 nautical miles. To improve maneuverability, the stern propellers and rudders are complemented by a bow thruster located in the transverse channel.
To protect against a possible attack, the 12700 ships must carry some weapons. Before the superstructure, a place is provided for mounting an AK-306 artillery gun with a 30-mm six-barreled rifle. In the aft part of the superstructure there are two tumbing installations with 14,5-mm machine guns KPV. To repel an air attack, the crew of the ship can also use portable anti-aircraft missile systems of the Igla family. Up to eight such systems are proposed to be transported on the appropriate rack in one of the inner spaces of the ship. Any attack weapons for attacking surface or underwater objects are absent.
The main task of the minesweepers of the Alexandrite project is to search for enemy mines and install their own barriers. To solve the latter problem, such ships can take on board various mines and mine-torpedo complexes of domestic production, such as UDM, UDM-2, MTPK-1, MRPK-1, etc. The ship has all the necessary equipment for setting barriers and using mine weapons.
In this case, the main purpose of the construction of new ships is to protect these areas from enemy mines. To solve this problem, the 12700 project uses a set of equipment corresponding to the concept of a “mine hunt”. This concept involves equipping the ship with a set of various means of observation and detection. In combination with the "traditional" means of anti-mine defense, new equipment should provide greater efficiency. All elements of the complex special equipment are combined so-called. automated mine action management system (AMS PMD). The composition of the equipment for mine action is formed taking into account the need for timely detection and elimination of threats at a safe distance from the ship.
The main means of searching for mines are a podkilnaya hydroacoustic station and a towed sonar. Also, as additional search systems, autonomous or remotely operated underwater vehicles of various classes and types can be used, which are controlled from the onboard carrier ship. The control systems for underwater vehicles are integrated with the ACS of the PDM, which allows for an increase in the efficiency of searches.
Together with the latest equipment, the relevant modern concepts, it is proposed to use time-tested products. The PKT-B twin contact trawl, the OUKT-B single universal contact trawl, the Gelatin simulator, and the ShAT-U universal broadband acoustic trawl can be used to combat mines.
In addition to special equipment for the search and disposal of enemy minefields, the 12700 Alexandrite ships must carry electronic, sonar and other equipment for other purposes. So, for navigation it is proposed to use the PAL-N radar. There is a communication complex "Ruberoid" and hydroacoustic system of sound-underwater communication "Structure-35". To protect against possible sabotage there is an additional hydroacoustic station "Anapa".
The base minesweeper of a new type and all its systems must be managed by a crew, which, according to various sources, includes a human 44. The autonomy of the ship on food stocks - 10 day.
The official laying of the head minesweeper of the 12700 project took place in September 2011. The ship was planned to be launched in the 2012 year, but due to some problems this event was postponed for several years. Later, the industry and the customer had to postpone the date of delivery. Initially it was assumed that the "Alexander Obukhov" will be part of the Navy at the end of 2015, but in fact the ship’s service began only a year later.
As it turned out later, one of the reasons for the delay in construction and the repeated displacement of the deadlines for the performance of certain works was problems with the delivery of some components. In February of this year, the leadership of the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard announced the details of cooperation with suppliers of the required products. Some devices intended for installation on the ship "Alexander Obukhov" are made by the French industry. In August last year, the supplier announced the impossibility of transferring the required products due to the imposition of sanctions against Russia.
Excavation of the finished hull for the minesweeper from the matrix. Photo "Middle Nevsky Shipyard" / snsz.ru
In such a situation, the Russian shipbuilding industry was forced to begin the search for a replacement for inaccessible equipment. The search for an alternative and its supplier ended no later than the first months of 2016. In February, it was reported that the required units of domestic production should be delivered in the spring. As further events show, the problem with inaccessible components was successfully solved with the help of attracting domestic enterprises, but this negatively affected the completion dates.
9 December, the lead ship of the new project was transferred to the Navy. In the foreseeable future, the Russian Navy will start operating several other minesweepers of the same type. In April of last year, the laying of the second ship of the type Alexandrite took place on the SNSS. Currently, the ship "George Kurbatov" is under construction. The construction of the first serial trawler for some time was suspended due to the need to complete tests of the onboard equipment of the lead ship. In addition, the June 2016 incident could adversely affect the work. Recall that in the beginning of summer a fire occurred in the shipbuilding plant workshop, where the hull was manufactured for the second minesweeper. According to various sources, the hull received some damage, but the company's management announced the completion of all the required work to build the ship within the specified time.
In May 2016, the Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant began production of a third hull for a new type of minesweeper. Messages about the imminent start of production of the hull for the fourth minesweeper were received in late August. In November, as part of the fulfillment of this order, the laying of fiberglass in the matrix began. So far, the third and fourth ships of the 12700 project (the second and third serial minesweepers) have not been officially laid. According to various data, relevant events will take place in the first months of next year. For some time thereafter, the SNSS will complete the formation of hulls, after which it will be able to start manufacturing other aggregates for prospective minesweepers.
Minesweeper "Alexander Obukhov" in the sea. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
According to admiral V. Korolev, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, made during the flag raising ceremony at Alexander Obukhov, the construction of seven Alexandrite minesweepers has already been planned and contracted. Construction of the six new ships following the recently transferred fleet will be completed before 2021. After that, it is planned to continue the construction of new base minesweepers. The total needs of the navy are estimated at four dozen ships.
Serial ships of the new type are still at different stages of construction and preparation for it, which is why the BT-730 "Alexander Obukhov" will remain for some time the only representative of its project in the Russian Navy. The lead minesweeper of the 12700 project is included in the 64 Brigade of the ships of the Baltic Fleet water area. During the flag-raising ceremony, the commander of the troops of the Western Military District, Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov spoke about the goals and objectives of the newest ship. The area of responsibility of “Alexander Obukhov” is called practically the entire Baltic. At the same time, the general noted that even in peacetime the ship would not remain without work: there are still explosive objects in the Baltic Sea that need to be found and defused.
Minesweeper on trial. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
For a long time, the mine-sweeping forces of the Russian Navy could not count on getting modern equipment and ships that fully met the requirements of the time. The situation in this area began to change only a few years ago. Only at the beginning of the current decade the head base minesweeper of the newest project was laid. Understanding the importance of the development of mine defense, the command of the Russian Navy initiated a massive construction of new-type ships. Contracts have already been signed for the construction of seven minesweepers of the 12700 Alexandrite project. In the future, due to the moral and physical obsolescence of existing minesweepers, it is planned to build more than three dozen similar ships. This will replace the old ships, retaining and increasing the required potential of mine-sweeping forces.
The implementation of the program of building four minesweepers of a new type will probably last for several decades, although the already shown rates of building ships allow you to look into the future with restrained optimism. Raising the flag on the head minesweeper of a promising project in the context of existing plans is the most important event, showing the possibility of building and operating high-tech ships with modern special equipment.
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