The Royal Navy Great Britain HMS «Queen Elizabeth» (R08) aircraft carrier without auxiliary medium-range radar «ARTISAN 3D»
In recent years, amid the widespread militarization of the European, Near-Asian and Indo-Asian-Pacific theaters of war with the advanced shock bridgeheads of the US Navy and the US Air Force, the main American ally in Western Europe - Great Britain - has become noticeably bolder. Aggressive anti-Russian and anti-Chinese accusatory rhetoric, increasingly coming from the capital of Misty Albion in support of Washington, is becoming deliberately harsh and emotional. London is no longer limited to empty statements, taking an active part in saturating the Baltic states with infantry and armored units in order to establish tight operational and tactical control over the most important sections of the western borders of Russia and the northern borders of the Republic of Belarus. So, in the spring of 2017, a reinforced British infantry battalion of 800 troops, reinforced by an armored unit consisting of several main combat units, was transferred to Estonia as part of the NATO Allied operations “Atlantic Resolve” tanks "Challenger 2" and several infantry fighting vehicles MCV-80 "Warrior". But not only on the basis of this can we draw final conclusions about the growth of London's geostrategic ambitions in the world.
The United Kingdom plans to implement the scope of its plans exclusively by modernizing and updating its main military component - fleetas well as deck and anti-submarine aviation. In particular, in 2020, a crucial moment will occur in the combat potential of the British naval aviation: the delivery of the first two long-range anti-submarine aircraft from the Boeing P-8A Poseidon will be able to control remote areas of the World Ocean within a radius of 3700 km without refueling and about 6000 km with one refueling. Currently, Poseidons, trained by 2 UK Air Force crews, are at the US Navy airfield in Jacksonville, Florida. Pilots and operators of two-crew systems flew over the Atlantic for more than 1000 hours, which is enough to get acquainted with the operational features of both the air platform (Boeing 737-800ERX) and the avionics, including software for processing information from sonar buoys, airborne radar AN / APY-10 (AN / APS-137D (V) 5), magnetic anomaly sensor and multi-band turret optoelectronic sighting system MX-20HD.
Quite difficult to master is the AN / APY-10 airborne radar control software. Despite the fact that the radar is represented by a conventional parabolic antenna array equipped with a communication bus with information processing modules and data display terminals, electromechanical rotation drives and a power loop, Raytheon specialists were able to endow the product with a huge number of complex and valuable modern TVD modes work. The most advanced modes include: synthetic aperture mode (SAR), reverse synthetic aperture mode (ISAR) with the ability to build an 3D terrain model and three-dimensional radar images of surface ships and enemy objects with their identification. The ISAR mode is implemented during the P-8A “Poseidon” loitering around the target area where the target is located. Over a period of time, AN / APY-10 produces several thousand or tens of thousands of radar fixations of a surface object from a varying angle, which makes it possible to get a fairly accurate target silhouette with 1 m resolution. The radar operates in the X-band at a frequency from 9300 to 10100 MHz . At maximum peak power in 50000, the AN / APS-137D (V) 5 can detect the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov / Liaonin at a distance of 450 km, and the BOD of 1155 Avenue “Deloi” - 280-330 km. The mass of the radar complex with attached dovorot mechanisms reaches the order of 250-300 kg.
P-8A British Air Force
Attacking the combat duty of long-range P-8A “Poseidon” patrol aircraft will enable British naval aviation to conduct long-range aerial reconnaissance of both enemy’s surface and underwater targets and coastal military infrastructure. Moreover, there is the possibility of conducting optical-electronic and passive electronic intelligence over sea, land and air objects. The DER is implemented by the highly sensitive sensors of the AN / ALQ-240 (V) 1 radiation warning system, which is interfaced with the AN / ALQ-213 (V) on-board defense complex using the MIL-STD-1553B standard data communication bus. Consequently, the Poseidons can be considered full-fledged aviation reconnaissance complexes operating at strategic distances from their own borders.
Anti-submarine P-8A "Poseidon" are not the main tools for the demonstration of London's inflated geostrategic ambitions. In addition to the SSNB “Vanguard” class strategic missile submarines (being carriers of the Trident-IID133 UGM-5A SLBM) and low-noise multi-purpose Astute SSN multi-purpose nuclear submarines, which will soon resume their combat duty under the Arctic ice as part of the increasing “arct” under the ice of the Arctic. between Russia and Western states, a significant role in establishing global control is to be played by promising HMS «Queen Elizabeth» and «Prince of Wales» aircraft carriers.
Not even a quarter has passed since the exit from the dock to the first test voyage of the head gas turbine aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth”, as rumors about further global missions of the new ship spread in the UK defense structures. In particular, British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darrok let out in Washington about London’s plans to send the lead aircraft carrier to the western part of the Pacific Ocean, where it should become an additional guarantor of "freedom of navigation and air flights." In other words, the new “two-sided” aircraft carrier will participate in long-distance joint campaigns to the shores of Southeast Asia along with the American aircraft carrier strike groups and operate in close proximity to the 9-dotted line, which describes the exclusive economic zone of the Middle Kingdom in the South China Sea. It is quite clear that “Queen Elizabeth” will “run up against China” not alone, but accompanied by modern Daring class destroyers (Type 45), as well as Astute-class multi-purpose nuclear submarines, it will in no way contribute to military political stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
One can expect the appearance of the British AUG to be much more north of Biendong, namely in the East China and Japan seas, as well as in the immediate vicinity of Vladivostok, where the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy is located. It is in these areas that the British aircraft carrier and its support can be “tested for durability” by means of naval aviation radio electronic warfare of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the Chinese Navy, using modern ultra-low noise diesel-electric submarines of the Yuan (Type 041), Paltus (877) classes and Lada (Ave. 677), as well as the Shan multi-purpose atomic submarines (Ave 093B) and Ash-tree (Ave 885). It is easy to detect the approach of these unique “submarine cruisers” among the British even with the use of anti-submarine modifications of EH101 “Merlin” helicopters and promising multi-purpose DRLO helicopters and target designation “Crowsnest” (“Crow nest”).
A very interesting “exchange of courtesies” took place between British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon and Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov at the end of June regarding the comparison of aircraft carriers the Queen Elizabeth and Admiral Kuznetsov. To the approval of the head of the British defense department about the “more beautiful appearance of the English“ two-island ”in comparison with the“ Admiral Kuznetsov ”, I. Konashenkov reminded that the brainchild of“ BAE Systems ”,“ Thales Group ”and“ Babcock Marine ”is nothing more than aircraft ", in need of a more reliable anti-missile and anti-submarine defense from the accompanying submarines, destroyers and frigates of URO, as well as patrol aircraft. This is partly true, but there are some nuances.
Initially, the Queen Elizabeth R08 aircraft carrier does not provide for the proliferation of serious anti-aircraft / missile defenses. The only defensive armament that can be integrated in the foreseeable future on the aircraft’s CWS is 3 or 4 20-mm six-barreled combat module of the Mark 15 “Phalanx” CIWS anti-aircraft artillery systems - or 30-mm from two-block anti-gun systems - 15-mm from two-block systems in the case of 3-block European modules - 120-mm from 2-block, in the case of block, in the case of anti-ballistic European counterparts - 16-mm, 2-block, 8, 9, 9, 9, 8, 9, 8, 9, 9, 9, 15, 15, 15 ". This self-defense arsenal is suitable only for “scaring off” approaching naval aviation patrol planes, as well as for destroying single obsolete subsonic P-35 “Termite” or P-5 “Malachite” missiles that do not have anti-aircraft maneuvering modes. "Swarm" of 7 PKR X-3U "Uranus" or 45 - 43 50М70 "Granit" will destroy the British aircraft carrier in a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, the Queen Elizabeth has internal volumes reserved for the installation of universal built-in vertical launchers of the A15 / 30 / 2 "Sylver" type used by the ASAM-16 / 32 SAMs of the PAAMS medium / long-range shipborne air defense systems, as well as intended for the deployment and launch of strike missile weapons. British sources claim that the 15x30 UVP with XNUMX transport-launch containers for the Aster-XNUMX or Aster-XNUMX missiles can be placed in the underdeck niches of the aircraft carrier.
This is quite good, given that the anti-aircraft missiles of the Aster-30 family have excellent anti-missile capabilities thanks to the transverse control engines, which bring the overload during maneuvering to 62G. But there is one more discrepancy: in the radar architecture of the R08 aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, not a single S / or X-range radar / target radar has been observed that has sufficient resolution to capture airborne objects for accurate tracking. On the aircraft carrier there is only a general ship radar component. Its basis is the S1850M high-potential decimeter L-band radar (with the ability to detect and track operational-tactical ballistic missiles and MRBDs on the ascending and descending branches of the trajectory, as well as their combat units). The station is represented by an active-passive HEADLIGHT with 24 elements, 16 of which operate in active mode and 8 in passive mode. In the “upper beam” mode, the S1850M can detect exoatmospheric aerospace objects at altitudes around 150 km and 200 range - 250 km, which was confirmed during testing of the similar Radars from the Thales Smart-L in the Pacific Ocean, which accompanied the training OTBR ARAV-B at an altitude of 150 and a distance of 200 km. However, with the 15-30 cm wavelength, this radar will not be able to give accurate target designation to Aster anti-aircraft missiles.
Installation of the antenna post of the radar "ARTISAN 3D" on the second superstructure of the aircraft carrier "Queen Elizabeth"
Installed on the rear add-on of the Queen Elizabeth and the additional radar complex ARTISAN 3D, capable of operating in the E-band of decimeter waves (frequency 2-3 GHz, wavelength 10-15 cm). Its ability to issue target designation of the Aster family of missiles has not yet been confirmed, since it is known that this requires a frequency of 2-4 GHz (S-band). Based on this, one can confirm the words of Igor Konashenkov that the British aircraft carrier is only a “vulnerable aircraft fleet”. Meanwhile, it is impossible to close our eyes to its presence off the coast of China and Russia, as the deck air wing consisting of 24 - 32 deck tactical fighter jets of 5 generation / S / S FP 35B can pose a very serious threat to both Chinese and Russian fighters naval aviation. Many media outlets and experts in the field of military equipment, on completely objective grounds, ridicule the disgusting F-35A / B flight-related qualities with regard to maneuvering combat, and also note the small radius of action in 865 / 1080 km, rarely focusing on the avionics and weapons of fighters . And here everything goes far away in our favor.
Not only do the F-35Bs have sufficiently small EPR in 0,2 m2 and carry AN / APG-81 ANFAR radar onboard, capable of withstanding most types of REB, thanks to a flexible, customizable radiation pattern, they will soon have a “rocket” -line »URVV MBDA" Meteor ". In terms of the effectiveness of intercepting air targets at ranges over 120 km, the Meteors are several times superior to the latest American air-to-air missiles AIM-120D AMRAAM. Due to the adjustable flow rate of the gas generator of the mainstream integrated rocket-ramjet engine (IRPD), Meteors can accelerate to 4M on the final leg of the flight, while maintaining high energy and maneuverability at 140 - 150 km, which will pose a serious threat as for Chinese fighters J -15S / J-16 and Su-35С, and for our Su-30СМ, which are in service with the Pacific Fleet. But if the Chinese talk about the development and preparation for the adoption of similar “rocket-ramjet” URVV PL-15 / 21D are not stopped for a season, then we have almost forgotten about the “direct-flow” URVV project “180-PD”. We have already considered this unpleasant situation for the VKS and naval aviation of the Navy several times in our previous works, but nothing has changed.
Sending the British carrier strike force led by HMS "Queen Elizabeth" to the shores of Southeast Asia, and possibly the Far Eastern Federal District, will be solely demonstrative in order to emphasize London's global ambitions, but with increasing tension in the APR over time such missions can be reincarnated in real, joint with the US Pacific Fleet, military operations. It is for this reason that it is already necessary to know exactly the fighting qualities of the new English aircraft carrier and the carrier wing located on it, as well as to determine in advance the list of retaliatory measures for the "stopping" of the new threat.