On October 25, the American edition of The National Interest published in The Buzz's heading a new article by Dave Majumdar "How the US Navy Is 'Helping' Russian Submarines Become Even More Deadly" - "How the US Navy" helps "Russian submarines become even more deadly." The topic of this material was one of the promising Russian projects in the field of underwater development fleet, as well as its relationship with some other developments.
D. Majumdar begins his article with instructions on the characteristic features of new Russian projects. According to him, the program to develop a new generation of submarines for the Russian navy is being created with an eye on the activities of the United States naval forces.
The task of further development of the submarine fleet will be solved with the help of the project with the Husky code. According to data available to the American author, the Husky project involves the construction of three types of nuclear submarine. The first representative of this family will be the base submarine with a nuclear power plant and torpedo weapons (SSN according to the American classification or PLAT according to the Russian). The second is the submarine carrier of cruise missiles (SSGN - SSGN). The family will also include a strategic missile cruiser armed with ballistic missiles (SSBN).
The construction of new types of ships can start already in 2020-21. By citing this information, D. Majumdar refers to the publication of the Russian Internet publication “Lenta.ru,” entitled “Underwater Deficit”, written by Ilya Kramnik, published in mid-July of the current year.
The author of The National Interest notes that Russian specialists are striving to ensure maximum unification of the three promising submarines of the family. At the same time, the ships of the Husky line in their concept are in many ways similar to the American submarines of the Virginia type. These submarines were created and put into series after the end of the Cold War, when it became clear that the existing multi-purpose boats of the Seawolf project were too expensive to operate in the existing conditions.
Initially, the Virginia submarine was created as a representative of the SSN / PLAT class and was a hunter carrying torpedo weapons. Subsequently, the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) complex was introduced into the project, which allowed the boats to carry strike missile weapons. Thanks to this, the ships were able to go into the SSGN class - multipurpose missile submarines weapons. The author notes that future strategic submarines of the Columbia type, for a variety of reasons, can be considered a further development of the ideology embodied in the Virginia project. The similarity will be in the use of "old" ideas and solutions, along with an enlarged body and other weapons.
The article "Tapes.ru", to which D. Majumdar refers, states that the Russian project "Huskies" will develop in a similar way. The first modification of the submarine in the future will be the basis for several new versions with other features.
According to reports, the promising Husky submarine in the original version (PLAT / SSN) will have a displacement of the order of 8-9 thousand tons. The maximum travel speed is estimated at the 32-33 node. The main weapon of the submarine will be torpedo tubes, with which it will be able to use existing torpedoes, as well as sea mines of various types. In addition, torpedo tubes can be used as launchers for cruise missiles. Finally, the Russian military wants new type submarines to transport special forces soldiers and their equipment. The last problem, curiously, is already being solved by the Virginia-class American submarines.
It is proposed to build two versions of the submarine capable of carrying cruise and ballistic missiles by “stretching” the existing hull and integrating an additional section-compartment with the appropriate equipment. In a similar way, the Virginia submarines of America had been modernized. They received an additional section of the hull, equipped with a VPM launcher. The latter has four mines, each of which can hold up to seven missiles in a Multiple All-up-round Canister (MAC) transport and launch container.
Russian experts, as far as the author knows, are also considering the possibility of using devices like the American MAC product. This will make it possible in the shortest possible time and with minimal effort to turn a strategic submarine into a multi-purpose submarine. After installing a new launcher in each of the mines for ballistic missiles can be up to five or seven items for other purposes. Similarly, four American Ohio-type submarines were re-equipped earlier: Tomahawk missile launchers were installed in the mines for Trident II missiles.
The promising Columbia submarine can be considered an enhanced and refined version of the Virginia submarine, which retains most of the internal systems and mechanisms. Similarly, according to various estimates, it will be the case with the newest Russian project Husky. For example, in the article "Tapes.ru", quoted by D. Majumdar, it was mentioned that new Russian submarines can get a part of devices and units from modern ships of the 955A Borey and 885M Yasen projects.
Strategic and multipurpose submarines of existing types can “share” with promising main elements. So, it is possible to borrow a nuclear power plant built around a pressurized water reactor. It is also possible to use existing sonar systems, radio-electronic equipment, etc.
The Russian military, as the author of The National Interest notes, hopes that the promising nuclear submarine of the Husky type will differ from the existing Yasens at a lower price. Project 885M ships are excellent representatives of their class, but extremely expensive. Indeed, if we take into account the possible savings on certain components of the project, the Husky construction program will reduce the cost of the finished ships and bring it to acceptable values.
The total number of boats with torpedo or rocket armament can be increased to 16-20 units or more. Ideally, Moscow wants to order a new submarine once every two years with the delivery of the finished ship no later than four and a half years after laying. Thus, if all the processes are carried out in accordance with the plans and schedules, the Husky submarine will enter service in the 2025 year, and mass production will continue during the thirties.
The “Huskies” in the configuration of the strategic missile submarine will begin to be built only in the distant future - when the fulfillment of the order for the Borey serial boats is completed. As I. Kramnik wrote for Lenti.ru in the summer, if Moscow could not reach new agreements with the United States in the field of nuclear weapons, it would have to modernize its strategic forces. One of the methods of such modernization will be the construction of new submarine missile carriers.
In the meantime, American specialists, observing the current processes in Russia, remain at a loss. For example, researcher Michael Kofmen from the analytical organization Center for Naval Analyzes is somewhat puzzled by the current situation and cannot understand why the Russian fleet needs another SSGN class submarine project to complement the Yasen ships under construction. In addition, in his opinion, the SSN class multi-purpose “hunter” with torpedo armament should have a higher priority.
In the final of his article, Dave Majumdar comes to certain conclusions. He believes that in the event that the Russian military and specialists can still form a full-fledged concept of their prospective Husky submarine, Moscow will receive new opportunities. The Kremlin will be able to launch the construction of a large number of submarines, and the new serial equipment will ensure the gradual replacement of Soviet-made ships that still form the basis of the submarine fleet. However, even after receiving a large number of Husky submarines, the submarine forces of the Russian Navy could not become the same threat as the group of Soviet submarines used to be.
The project of a promising nuclear submarine "Husky" is expectedly attracting the attention of domestic and foreign experts, as well as the general public. Great interest in combination with a minimum of available information leads to known consequences in the form of estimates, forecasts, discussions and even outright speculations. A vivid example of an attempt to evaluate a project that has not yet been developed and a submarine that has not yet been built is the recent article by The National Interest.
The title of the article by Dave Majumdar posed the question: how does the American fleet "help" Russian submarines? The material itself provides curious information and comparisons that give an answer. The author notes that the main ideas proposed for use in promising Russian projects, in general, are not fundamentally new and unknown.
Thus, it turns out that American shipbuilding, developing submarines for its fleet, proposed and implemented several new ideas that soon showed their full potential. Russian engineers, in turn, “spied on” their foreign colleagues and decided to use some of the most interesting ideas. Their use will give obvious advantages of a technical, technological and operational nature.
According to known data, the Husky program provides for the construction of several types of submarines for various purposes, with the greatest possible degree of unification. To solve this problem, it is proposed to use a set of common units and systems supplemented by the necessary equipment. In particular, missile weapons of various types can be located in separate “plug-in” compartments installed in a standard unified corps.
The idea of the added rocket compartment has already been used and brought to practical use in the framework of the American project Virginia Payload Module. Now it - albeit in a modified form - can be applied in the Husky project. Also promising Russian submarine can be equipped with universal mine launchers that can be used with ballistic missiles or with special containers for several cruise or anti-ship missiles. The equipment of a large mine with an additional module for weapons of smaller dimensions was also tested by the American industry - with the deep modernization of submarines of the Ohio type.
From a certain point of view, the consistent use of common ideas in projects from different countries can indeed look like a borrowing. It may give the impression that Russian engineers have studied their own and others' developments, and also have found the most successful ideas. Now the latter can be used in promising projects. Since such solutions have already passed theoretical, practical and operational testing by the forces of American industry and the naval forces, the title of the article from The National Interest has a certain meaning. With its previous works, the United States, in a sense, helped the further development of the Russian fleet.
However, despite the expected similarities, one should take into account the difference in the prerequisites for the emergence of the projects mentioned by D. Majumdar. Modernization of the submarine type Virginia was carried out in order to increase firepower through the use of a new launcher. The rebuilding of Ohio project boats, in turn, was intended to reduce the number of strategic missile carriers with a simultaneous increase in the fleet of multi-purpose submarines at reasonable costs. The Russian project "Husky" has other goals. The customer and the contractor intend to unify the submarines for various purposes, having obtained the desired results of tactical and technical kind, but reducing the cost of construction and operation of equipment.
Anyway, judging by the information published so far, the promising project of the Husky submarines may have some similarities with some foreign developments. Nevertheless, while such conclusions are based only on fragmentary data and assumptions. What will be the result of the new Russian project, and whether D. Majumdar, who wrote about the “help” from the US Navy, was right, time will tell. The first Husky boats can be built early in the next decade.
The article "How the US Navy Is Helping" Russia's Submarines Become Even More Deadly: