With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union, all the work of naval research and design institutions that were not related to the direct support of military operations was stopped. fleet. Work on the light aircraft carrier of project 71 stopped even earlier - in early 1940. However, the very idea of strengthening the Soviet fleet with an aircraft carrier was not forgotten ...
In 1944, the People's Commissariat of the shipbuilding industry prepared a voluminous summary report of a group of shipbuilding engineers seconded to the United States. This document described in detail the ship design system and the specifics of the organization of the American shipbuilding industry - up to the shipyard personnel policy. Among other appendices to the report, there was an 55-page "Description of an escort aircraft carrier and amphibious vehicles." In addition, 25 in March 1944, Chief of the Navy's 1 Division, Naval Engineer, 2-rank, Kotov, sent a copy of the information about the aircraft carriers under construction for the British fleet to TsKB-17 and the Navy Scientific and Technical Committee.
But still information about the design and technology of construction of aircraft carriers was extremely stingy. So, in response to a request made by the Shipbuilding Directorate in May 1944 to the Intelligence Directorate of the Main Naval Staff for any materials on the aircraft carrier subject, they were only able to send the brochure “US Escort Aircraft Carriers”.
When the war danger receded a bit, it was time to think about the further development of the fleet, and work on aircraft carrier design resumed. In 1943, the Naval Academy, evacuated from Leningrad to Samarkand, began a large study called "Development trends of the warship." Its sixth section, completed by 1944, was dedicated to aircraft carriers. Such prominent scholars as Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Engineer Rear Admiral PF Papkovich, Professor Engineer Vice-Admiral A.P. Shershov, as well as Engineer 2- go rank N. A. Zalessky.
The pillars of the Soviet shipbuilding. Right in the first row is Professor A.P. Shershov, Head of the Department of Naval Architecture at the Naval Academy, I. Zalessky in the center in the second row, Academician A. N. Krylov in the first row in the center.
The work was carried out taking into account the available data on the British and American aircraft carriers and their combat use, as well as the report of a group of Soviet specialists who visited the German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin before the war.
As part of the study, an aircraft carrier training project was also developed, which at the same time became the graduate work of one of the students of the shipbuilding department of the Academy - senior technician-lieutenant Kostromitinov (unfortunately, there is no other information about it). The technical and tactical task for the project was issued by the Doctor of Naval Sciences, Professor of the Academy, Vice Admiral L. G. Goncharov, who also became the head of the diploma.
In general, the Kostromitinov project was a further development of the 71 project: the ship had a very similar architecture, but much larger sizes: 40 800 t standard and 51 200 t full displacement at maximum speed 32 node. Graf Zeppelin obviously had a significant influence on the project, about which the Academy had sufficiently detailed information. This influence can be clearly seen in the placement of chimneys (reduced to one large pipe that goes through the central superstructure), but the main thing is in the composition and location of the artillery.
The ship was to be armed with sixteen 152-mm guns placed in eight (!) Paired casemate installations. Recall that this is how 150-mm artillery was placed on the Zeppelin, which sharply distinguished it from other pre-war aircraft carriers. In the 20-e, French “Bearn” (155 mm), Japanese “Akagi” and “Kaga” (203 mm) were equipped with casemate tools, but everywhere the gun mounts were single. Moreover, since the 30-s of non-zenith caliber artillery carriers have ceased to be equipped (Germany was the last in this regard). This is partly due to the fact that the "Graf Zeppelin", like other German cruisers and battleships, was supposed to be used also for single cruising operations, when medium-caliber artillery could be relevant.
German aircraft carrier "Count Zeppelin".
Platonov A.V. Frustrated carrier states
Kostromitinov’s universal caliber of the aircraft carrier also looked original: six paired and four built 100-mm units. The ship had two separate fire control systems: for 152-mm and for universal artillery. The huge size of the ship allowed to place on it a two-tier hangar and an air group of 106 aircraft: 66 fighters and 40 torpedo bombers. More 8 bombers and 14 fighters were supposed to be stored unassembled - the ship was clearly intended for long-range raids. About the same spoke and fuel supply - 8000 miles on 18 nodes. The stock of aviation fuel was calculated on the 22 departure of each fighter and on the 5 departures of each bomber — that is, the air defense functions for the ship were considered more important than the impact ones. The length of the flight deck was 300 m, width - 35 m.
Like the Count Zeppelin, the aircraft and conning tower of the Soviet aircraft carrier were protected by 100-mm armor, common to heavy cruisers of that time. Traverse thickness was 130 mm. But the horizontal protection was much more powerful and was close to the protection of the then battleships: 130 mm - armored, 50 mm - flight deck. This was to reliably protect the ship from 100-kg and 250-kg bombs. The sides of the hangar, which was 178 m long, was covered with 40-mm armor.
The powerful booking of the flight deck was a clear consequence of the English experience: it was not booked on American ships; on the “Zeppelin Count”, the flight deck was only in 20 mm.
Project aircraft carrier Kostromitinov.
Platonov A.V. Frustrated carrier states
Nobody was going to build a ship on this project - it is interesting, first of all, as an illustration of the ideas of the Soviet naval theorists of that time about what an aircraft carrier should be. But part of the ideas embodied in the Kostromitinov project were embodied in further developments.
The first studies of a large aircraft carrier
As early as January 1943, the Main Naval Headquarters issued preliminary operational tactical tasks (OTZ) for the design of large ships of various classes, including aircraft carriers. The task was approved on January 14, and the project immediately received the number 72, although in the militaryhistorical It is generally accepted in literature that this designation appeared only in the next year. On March 3, 1943, OTZ was sent to TsKB-4, which was engaged in the design of large military and civilian ships (in particular, battleships of the Soviet Union type, icebreakers Lenin and I. Stalin).
The main purpose of the aircraft carrier was to escort the maneuver formations operating in the open sea and off the coast of the enemy, providing it aviation support, as well as conducting independent air operations, “when the attached maneuvering connection only performs the task of covering aircraft carriers”.
The aircraft carrier was supposed to have a maximum travel speed in 30 units and the reservation of engine rooms, cellars and hangar, protecting against 130-mm destroyer shells at a distance of more than 60 cab. The flight deck was supposed to protect from the same projectiles at a distance of less than 140 cab (which in the case of destroyer fire was clearly redundant - they did not shoot from this distance). The ships were supposed to be armed only with universal and anti-aircraft artillery, with a large range of calibers: eight to twelve paired 130-mm units B-2U; Sixteen single 85-mm installations 90-K; twelve 37-mm automata and 24 paired automata with 20 – 23 caliber mm. It was proposed to consider options with different numbers of air groups: 30, 45 and 60 aircraft.
The task was handled by the Leningrad TsKB-17 (former TsKBS-1) evacuated to Kazan and TsNII-45, the leading research center in the People's Commissariat of the shipbuilding industry, established on the basis of the famous Experimental Basin (now the Krylov Research Institute). ). ZNII-45 itself, meanwhile, continued to work on the 71-B project, with characteristics very close to the 72 project: standard displacement - 24 000 t, full - 30 600 t, speed - 31,5 node).
In addition, other organizations were also actively engaged in aircraft carriers: for example, in March 1944, the Leningrad Plant No. 189 proposed to complete the heavy cruiser Petropavlovsk (the former German Lutzov, bought before the war), making it an aircraft carrier on 40 aircraft.
Even in 1943, during preliminary studies of the HTA for the 72 project, it became clear that with the dimensions specified in it (fighters - 11 × 7 × 3 m, torpedo bombers - 17 × 12 × 4,5 m with folded wings) to accommodate thirty aircraft, an area of about X X would be required sq. Taking into account the area under the elevators and the fill factor of the 1600% hangar with a width of 50 m, its length should have been 20 – 160 m, which is the limit possible on a ship of length 170 – 225 m. Therefore, it would be advisable to make the hangar a two-tiered - then the height both hangars would be 250 – 11 m, which is quite acceptable for a ship of this size, although it increases its vulnerability due to the greater height of the board. However, in this case, the optimal capacity of the ship would be either 12 or 30 aircraft, but it was unprofitable to place 60 aircraft on it.
There were problems with the deployment of universal artillery. It could be placed either on the flight deck in front of and behind the “island”, or in sponsors on both sides - so that the roof of the tower was flush with the deck. However, the twinned 130-mm B-2U projected tower had a lower supply of ammunition and a developed turret section, which rotated with the tower, so it could not fit on the sponson. The installation of such towers on the deck along with the “island” entailed the placement of cellars under them, which lengthened the citadel and led to an additional load on the already overloaded starboard (recall that on the 71 ship for equilibrium it was necessary to strengthen the left side armor ).
CCB-17 offers options
Since there were problems with the B-2U installations, in its report for the Shipbuilding Department from 26 in January 1944, TsKB-17 proposed using 130-mm deck-tower installations, placing them on sponsors on both sides. These installations were noticeably lighter, although they demanded manual delivery of ammunition from the cellars in the distance. But for a given length of the ship along both sides, without any problems, it was possible to place all twelve paired 130-mm units that were required according to HTA. TsKB-17 offered to develop three versions of the 71 project:
“1. A large aircraft carrier on 60 aircraft with the placement of eight X-NUMX-mm B-130U tower installations on one side.
2. A large aircraft carrier on 60 aircraft with accommodation of twelve 130-mm deck-tower installations symmetrically on sponsors on both sides.
3. A small aircraft carrier on 30 aircraft with eight 130-mm deck-tower installations symmetrically on sponsors on both sides. "
In turn, TsKB-17 requested technical assignments for the communications and fire control systems from the Shipbuilding Authority, “as there is no indication of this indication from the HSS.” This request was repeated in February. In response, 26, February, the chief of the 1 division of the Navy CC, engineer-captain of the 2 rank Kotov, said that in early March a deputy chief aircraft designer for the aircraft carrier and representatives of the Navy Commissariat would be sent to Kazan to work out a number of issues. In addition, Kotov wrote that the requirements for fire control devices are being worked out at the Navy Artillery Directorate and will be communicated additionally (they came from the Naval Artillery Marine Research Institute (ANIMI) of the Navy in March 13).
February 25 Kotov sent to Kazan clarified requirements for the 72 project. The purpose of the aircraft carrier was defined as follows: "Operational and tactical support of all types of maneuverable compounds operating at sea and off the coast of the enemy, as well as independent actions of aviation in case the maneuver connection covers aircraft carrier operations." It is noteworthy that the last word is in the plural - that is, it was assumed the serial construction of aircraft carriers.
The ship’s artillery was to be used to repel enemy attacks and light enemy forces: destroyers and torpedo boats. Therefore, in any version of the aircraft carrier had to have at least eight paired X-NUMX-mm units of the B-130U (twelve - for the version on the 2 aircraft). 60-mm installations could be paired, 85-mm automata were also assumed to be paired - that is, the number of trunks doubled. In addition, the hangar was no longer required to protect from 37-mm projectiles. The remaining requirements remained unchanged from January 130. Particularly stipulated that on the wave to 1943 points roll of the ship should not have complicated the takeoff and landing of aircraft. Interestingly, until May 9, the Shipbuilding Department continued to insist on working out an intermediate option - an aircraft carrier on 1944 aircraft.
Gunners and pilots are involved in the work.
13 March The ANIMI Navy provided a brief description of the fire control devices for the 72 project, but did not send the requested fire control system circuit from it. Meanwhile, it was necessary for the design of the most important element of the ship - the superstructure, the “island. Therefore, TsKB-17 informed the Shipbuilding Department that it would develop such a scheme independently, at its discretion. A detailed diagram of the fire control system with the placement of devices and their weight distribution was received from ANIMI only 20 June. The total weight of all fire control systems (along with cables) was 240 T, personnel - 10 officers, 17 foremen and 101 navy men.
On March 31, the head of the Shipbuilding Directorate, Vice-Admiral N. V. Isachenkov, sent a request to the Main Directorate of the Air Force of the Fleet about the final dimensions of the deck aircraft in unfolded and folded form, which need to be laid in the project. He reported that with the dimensions specified in the HTA from 14 January 1943, the standard displacement of a large aircraft carrier is 29 500 t, small one - 22 000 t, flight deck length - 273 and 240 m, respectively.
Head of the Shipbuilding Department, Vice-Admiral N. V. Isachenkov, Engineer. Photos from the family archive, 1964 year
For inclusion in the HTA, it was required to report the main characteristics of catapults, elevators, aerofinishers and other special devices, mechanisms for loading and unloading aircraft, as well as aircraft maintenance posts. Finally, it was necessary to know the aircraft storage parameters in the hangars and the methods of their attachment, the technology and places for preparing the aircraft for departure, the characteristics and features of the take-off and landing parts of the flight deck, the characteristics of the storage of jet fuel and the ways of its supply to the machines, the equipment of the ship by pilots and aircraft maintenance personnel . Isachenkov recalled that "the aircraft carrier's pre-draft design will be completed in April, and submitted in May to the Navy NK, so the data are needed no later than April 15."
The problem was that naval aircraft designers had no experience in designing and using aircraft carriers and had absolutely no idea where to get all this information. Data on aircraft carrier aircraft, its features and methods of use were literally worth its weight in gold. More 8 February 1944, the specialists of the Main Directorate of the Air Force of the Navy appealed to the Shipbuilding Department with a request to transfer for temporary use the reporting materials on the experimental bombing of the ship’s compartment under the code "Sukhogruz". It was necessary to determine the effectiveness of the use of bombs. In response to this, 24 in February, the head of the department said that these materials are only in one copy and can only be provided for work in the department itself, suggesting that the “aviators” send specific individuals who will deal with this.
7 April The Navy Main Directorate reported that the requested materials on the size of deck aircraft and flight equipment parameters can be provided only by June 1:
“The design of the deck fighter has not yet begun, since the People's Commissariat of the Aviation Industry NKAP does not have free design capacity. The draft design of the PT-M72 deck torpedo carrier is currently being considered by the NCAP expert committee, after which it will be submitted for approval to the NKVMF ”.
At the same time, the design of the deck fighter did not even begin. The development of tactical and technical requirements for catapults, elevators and aerofinishers was hampered due to lack of experience. All the few specialists in naval aviation at that moment were in the Black Sea Fleet and were engaged in experiments to launch the Spitfire ejection fighter from the Molotov cruiser.
On April 10, the Deputy Chief Engineer of the Air Forces of the Navy, Major General Prussakov sent to the Shipbuilding Directorate a draft tactical and technical requirements for the Yak-9K ship fighter. At the same time, he offered a deck with airplanes and blow the “island” on a ship model at TsAGI. 15 May in the Shipbuilding Directorate, it was decided to purge the model only on the basis of readiness of the draft design with precisely defined placement of weapons.
The ship's plane was put into the plan of an experienced aircraft building for the 1944 year, it was engaged in plant number 458. His appointment was defined as a single air defense fighter for the ships of the fleet. It follows from Prussakov’s requirements that the Yak-9K was initially considered as a catapult fighter for cruisers (instead of the proposed Spitfire), therefore it was expected to land on the coastal airfields, without using a landing hook.
The Yak-9K fighter is on trial at the Air Force Research Institute, the start of the 1944 of the year. Apparently, it was he who was originally designed to arm cruisers and aircraft carriers, and the letter K in the index meant not “large-caliber” but “catapult”.
Add that already 16 June 5-e Head Office of the People's Commissariat of the shipbuilding industry reported Kotov that the development of fighters and torpedo bombers are carried out by plants No. 458 and No. 477 by the People's Commissariat of the aviation industry, but the state of work is unknown, and all requests from shipbuilders remain unanswered. Management has asked whether these developments are conducted only for the aircraft carrier or for some other purposes. In the first case, it offered to give instructions to the factories to send to the address of TsKB-17 the requested data. As can be seen, coordination between the shipbuilding and aircraft building departments remained unsatisfactory. This was particularly hard on the work on projects that lay "at the junction" of several types of troops.
To be continued.