In July, President Vladimir Putin approved the "Foundations of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2030 of the year". The document identifies the main threats to national security, emanating primarily from the United States because of their desire for sole dominance in the oceans. Therefore, the main subject of the document is the Russian Navy.
Despite the significance of The Fundamentals ..., not all of their chapters are absolutely flawless. There are controversial points that require some clarification, because if not errors, then the document has not escaped ambiguities in its interpretations. In general, a topic for discussion, an occasion to reflect on the construction of our military fleet on the face.
Hero but second
Most of the questions are the head of 39. It sounds like this: "The Russian Federation will not allow the substantial superiority of the naval forces of other states over the Navy and will strive to secure it in second place in the world in terms of combat capabilities."
It turns out that our Navy initially at the legislative level is being prepared for a secondary role in the oceans. It is extremely clear to everyone that the first place is assigned by default to the US Navy. That is, according to the logic of the authors, it turns out that our fleet is unable to resist the Americans. In the "Basics ..." given a priori wrong and strategically harmful message, pre-programmed defeat in a military confrontation with the "number first."
The question immediately arises: is it necessary to determine the position of our fleet in the world at all and is it not better to confine ourselves to a phrase like “Russia will not allow any fleet to dominate in the oceans”? This is more than enough to understand the meaning of the installation.
In order to visually show how harmful such messages are, let us give an example from another field of activity, from sports. Before the competitions of any rank, the coaches set up the athletes only to win, otherwise they will not be able to give all their strength, they will not give everything in full. And who will be the most worthy of gold, the competition will show. Victory is possible only when you believe in it.
One gets the impression that the compilers of “Fundamentals ...” have become adept in jurisprudence, but they are not innovators in the field of military thought and are used to measuring the power of fleets, guided by purely quantitative criteria. To destroy their arguments, one example is enough. It’s no secret that, in addition to the usual, the Russian fleet also has a nuclear weaponwhich makes no difference - destroy one ship or the whole carrier-based connection. It operates according to the principle: the thicker the grass, the easier it is to mow. Therefore, no state dares to openly attack our fleet, knowing that it can receive in response. Hence the conclusion: it is unbecoming with such and such power to give the opponent first place without a fight. Especially fix it documented.
And the compilers of such doctrines want to give good advice for the future. Before you take on such a serious matter, look at the old Soviet film "Admiral Ushakov." Then surely there will be inspiration, and in your heads there will immediately appear the correct vector of work.
Legs and clothes
The development strategy of the new Russian Navy is generally chosen correctly. First of all, this is expressed in the developed scientific approach to naval construction, which can be designated by the formula “from simple to complex”. The emphasis is not on the number of combat units and the total displacement of ships, the optimality and effectiveness of the ship’s personnel are put at the center.
When, with the advent of 2000, funding for the purchase of naval armaments was resumed, they first began to build ships of auxiliary fleet (tugs, supply and support vessels), then boats for various purposes (counter-sabotage, etc.), later it was the turn of minesweepers and small artillery ships . The real rebirth of combat power began with the launching of new corvettes. There are a lot of ships of this class, so their creation is actively conducted simultaneously in several shipyards, including the Northern, Amur and Zelenodolsk shipyards. The creation of a new series of stealth corvettes project 22800 "Karakurt" is planned. The construction will involve the Pella plant in the Leningrad Region, enterprises in Kerch and Feodosia.
Behind the corvettes came the turn of larger ships - frigates of the new generation. The Baltic Shipyard has already created three samples of the 11356 project for the Black Sea Fleet. Unfortunately, the series has slowed down due to the failure of the Ukrainian manufacturer to supply turbine installations.
A completely new frigates project 22350 using stealth technology builds the Northern shipyard. The work is not without difficulties, with delays due to the complexity of integrating the latest weapons systems. Nevertheless, it is expected that already this year the Admiral Gorshkov, the lead ship of the series, will be part of the Navy. Such frigates are very necessary for the renewal of the composition of the Northern and Pacific fleets, so it would be reasonable for the Northern shipyard to concentrate on building this series for at least a dozen years without switching to other projects.
Race for the "Leader"
In the near and medium term (10 – 30 years), the destroyers of the 23560 project, which are being designed in the Northern Design Bureau on the subject “Leader”, should become the main striking force of the Russian surface fleet. The new destroyers with nuclear power plants are conceived as universal ships of the far sea zone, designed to replace several old projects that are retiring by age. "Leaders" will carry several hundred missiles of various purposes and types, including hypersonic "Zircons". It is possible that on board these ships will appear weapons based on new physical principles, such as laser and electromagnetic installations, as well as drones. Moreover, some samples have already been created and are being tested, the other is in development, but will be ready for the appearance of promising destroyers.
According to preliminary information, it is planned to build 12 units of this project. So that the adoption of this complex type of ships did not stretch out for many years, it seems reasonable to conduct their construction at two production sites at once. The first is the Far Eastern shipbuilding complex Zvezda, located in the Bolshoy Kamen Bay of the Primorsky Territory. The company has recently been experiencing rapid technical re-equipment and today it is capable of producing both large oil tankers and gas carriers and warships. Nuclear submarines are also being repaired and modernized. And the plant has a wealth of experience in disposing of decommissioned nuclear icebreakers. In general, there would be orders, and the performer is ready to join the work. The tandem of the Baltic Plant (St. Petersburg) and the Northern Machine-Building Enterprise (Severodvinsk) may become the second production site. At the Baltic Shipyard, with its experience of building large ships, the corps of new destroyers would be formed, which would then be distilled to Sevmash for final completion.
Taking into account the international situation, at least two thirds of the total number of “Leaders” is logical to send to serve in the Pacific Fleet, to the region where the world center of the economy, finances and, consequently, military activity is gradually moving. Based on the sad experience of the past years, when the ground infrastructure of our fleets constantly lagged behind the commissioning of new ships, it is necessary today to begin preparing the home base of future supersmighters on the Far Eastern coast, at least to make design estimates.
Save the "Sharks"
The new Russia received a huge submarine fleet from the Soviet Union. By the beginning of 90's, the number of atomic submarines was measured in dozens, and the diesel score went up by hundreds. However, it should be noted that by that time most submarines were morally and physically obsolete, requiring replacement and disposal. Dozens of submarines got amused.
Dismantling the submarine turned out to be difficult and troublesome, ship repair plants were not ready for it either technologically or financially. As a result, the process stretched for decades. Money was collected by the whole world. Among the investors were the USA, Canada, Japan, Norway and other countries that willingly allocated funds, if only to quickly and safely for the environment to cut the old NPS for scrap.
But the question arose: what will come to replace them? It is good that at the beginning of 2000's, funds for new naval armament began to appear in the state budget and the development of the submarine fleet resumed. The long-awaited replenishment of the shipbuilding enterprises came down to the water, primarily the strategic missile carriers of the Yuri Dolgoruky type, the multi-purpose Yaseni, and the upgraded diesel submarines. However, it becomes clear that the line of submarines under construction should be more diverse. Along with the huge dimensions and impact capabilities of the Severodvinsk, new small and relatively cheap submarines with a displacement of four to five thousand tons are needed. This is nothing new - submarines of this dimension were produced serially in the Soviet era.
It is also logical to resume the construction of modernized small diesel submarines of the project Piranha 865. Two of them entered service in the late 80-x, but for someone's stupidity hastily disposed of. However, life and military practice show that the submarine with a displacement of hundreds, or even just tens of tons today is very much in demand in combat service. For example, North Korea has an impressive number of small submarines, and their opponents are forced to reckon with this factor.
The Baltic and Black Sea fleets control areas with shallow depths. It is here that small submarines are able to show their best qualities and demonstrate an advantage over large-sized equipment.
Some submarines that are in service or retired will be seriously upgraded. To a greater extent, this concerns the submarines of the 971 and 945 projects, which in the coming years will have to be renovated and updated. And the submarines still serve the fleet. The designs of these boats are very successful, and they have far from exhausted their modernization potential.
The 941 “Shark” nuclear submarines deserve special attention, two of which (Severstal and Arkhangelsk) are now awaiting a decision of their fate at the pier in Severodvinsk, and the third, Dmitry Donskoy, is formally listed as part of the Northern Fleet. Today, it’s enough just to throw a cry that we need money to dispose of them, as Western "friends" will line up in order to get rid of these submarines, which terrified our opponents, as soon as possible. So it was in 90, when the United States paid for the destruction of three such boats, and another unfinished was cut right on the stocks.
However, these are unique submarines, which currently do not require scraping, but repairs and upgrades. After all, it is quite realistic to make relatively inexpensive repairs with partial reworking of launch canisters under the Bulava SLBMs. Having 20 such missiles on board, the boat for dozens of years can carry combat service. Let it be not long hikes, but patrols along the Northern Sea Route under the reliable protection of the ships of the Northern Fleet. Or take, for example, the White Sea, which is internal, military ships of foreign countries cannot enter here, it is large enough and there are no critical depths. And rockets from here are guaranteed to reach any potential enemy.
There is another important point that is put at the forefront in planning the use of strategic nuclear forces. Given the emergence of a layered missile defense in the United States, missile launches should be made as far as possible from the missile defense system of a potential enemy. Patrolling submarines near enemy shores becomes irrelevant for the reason that warheads, along with means to overcome missile defense, must have time to turn in all their glory. Therefore, the closer the boats are to their native shores, the safer and safer for them and their more effective combat use. Five to ten extra minutes of flight time do not matter. That is why it is necessary with two hands to vote for the return of 941 submarines of the project to military service.
Cook like a champion
As early as the 19th century, American admiral Alfred Mahan stated: "Who owns the sea, he owns the world." At the beginning of the twentieth century, Russian Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin echoed him: “There can be only one slogan, only one password -“ Forward ”in the re-creation of our sea power, our sea power. And it was an absolute truth, because in those times it was the fleet that was the most mobile type of armed forces capable of projecting power into any part of the world.
Of course, times are changing and the primacy in speed and mobility has long passed to aerospace systems. To fight in this area created a new kind of armed forces. With a certain reduction in the defense budget, the fleet will inevitably have to move, so many expensive ship programs will either be postponed to a later date, or closed altogether. What kind of aircraft carriers are there ?! Most likely they will remain a pipe dream. It would be nice to overpower the destroyers. Although China, for example, is able to allocate any amount for the construction of its ships of various types. To the question “What to do?”, As the classic said, “there is only one answer”: to develop the country's economy. If one more time to double the GDP in the next ten years, one can also threaten aircraft carriers. Only then it will be possible to talk not about the struggle for the notorious second place in the ocean, but really and without a doubt claim for gold.