On November 29, the press service of the Russian military department announced a statement by Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov at a meeting with the leadership of the Navy and representatives of the USC on the implementation of the state defense order 2017. The statement says that the key point of the marine part of the state armament program (GPV) at 2018 – 2027 will be the construction of ships of the near sea zone (BMZ) with high-precision cruise missiles, as well as strategic (SSBN) and multi-purpose submarines.
In that order: the ships BMZ, then SSBN and multipurpose submarines. Thus, the fighting surface ships not only of the ocean, but even of the far sea zone remained, if not for brackets, then on the side of the new LG. “The main provisions that we have formulated are approved,” the deputy minister summed up.
What is happening almost looks like a conspiracy against the oceanic prospects of the Russian naval fleet.
Ten years for stories God knows how long, but for an individual, a huge one (especially for a military retiree or a military-industrial complex veteran). If the former military pilots and aircraft manufacturers, tankmen and tank builders, infantrymen and many others waited for the holiday on their street, state officials (in and without shoulder straps) deprived such an opportunity. Moreover, they have for a long time (if not forever) postponed the revival and multiplication of Russia's sea power in comparison with the naval potential of the USSR. Of course, not by the number of pennants, but by the shock power, efficiency and diversity of the tasks to be solved.
More recently, nothing foreshadowed trouble. 20 July 2017 was approved by the President "Fundamentals of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2030 year", which states that "only the presence of a strong Navy will provide Russia with leading positions in a multipolar world in the 21st century", that Russia will not allow "exceptional superiority [over its own navy] naval forces of the United States and other leading naval powers", "will strive to secure it in second place in the world in terms of combat capabilities," and repeatedly mentions the need for lnosti fleet "in the remote areas of the oceans."
30 July 2017 for the first time in our modern history was held a grand Main Naval Parade in St. Petersburg and Kronstadt and parades in Severomorsk, Vladivostok, Sevastopol and Baltiysk, which reminded the citizens of Russia that we have not just a fleet, but an ocean fleet which can be proud of. October 6 at a conference call with the leadership of the Armed Forces Sergey Shoigu recalled that "strengthening the power of the Navy is one of the priorities of the Russian military policy", October 9 meeting of the Marine Board Dmitry Rogozin declared inadmissibility of losing Russia's position in the World Ocean, October 27 again Shoigu (on the board of the Ministry of Defense): “The fleet has solved the task [of Russia's naval presence in all strategically important areas of the World Ocean]. But in an unstable military-political situation, it has acquired particular significance. ” Along with the recent raid of the ship-based aircraft carrier group led by Kuznetsov to the shores of Syria, which was widely reported in the media, and almost continuous demonstration of the flag by 1 – 2 ships of the world rank. All of this produced a sense of naval boom and movement.
And suddenly - the “near sea zone”.
The warships of the near-sea zone (approximately 500 nautical miles from the coast), currently under construction for the Russian Navy and armed with cruise missiles, include: large diesel-electric submarines (PLB, DEPL) Pr. 677 and 636.3, multipurpose corvettes, etc. 20380 and 20385, small rocket ships (MRK), etc. 22800 and 21631. Rocket complexes weapons (KRO) in modular design can potentially take on board and patrol ships (PC). 22160 Ave. - a new subclass, largely duplicating the Coast Guard of the Coast Guard of the Border Guard Service of the FSB, invented by the Navy Commissariat, which already has enough tasks to be solved with large tension forces. Ridiculous Ave. 20386 did not even want to mention because of its oversize, interim, nedoavruzhennosti and shamefully ugly appearance. All the hope that the “Bold” will be the only purely experienced “ugly duckling” in our fleet. In general, whatever was said in the promotional materials, all the projects listed are tied to the shore.
The submarines of the 636.3 Ave. (improved 877) and 677 (without an air-independent power plant, which is not there yet) have a 45 autonomy for 24 hours, but extremely low sea navigation range - 400 and 650 miles, respectively, at a speed of only 3 node. The full submerged cruise range (around 20 nodes) was not disclosed, however, according to some data, the first 877 series at the maximum speed of 17 nodes had a full battery discharge time of only one hour (17 miles!), And since has changed. Since, in a combat situation, the use of an RDP (a device for operating a diesel engine underwater), which provides a cruising range of up to 7500 miles on 7 nodes (636.3), is not possible (the secrecy decreases sharply), the boats have nothing to do except to deploy (single or in the veil) in close proximity to their bases (in BMZ) and perform tasks in a given area or at the turn, while at low speed, anchored or on the ground.
Unlike the submarine (there is no storm at the depth), small surface ships (NK BMZ) have a very limited seaworthiness on the use of weapons, propulsion (ability to maintain a given speed) and habitability (ensuring comfortable living conditions for personnel).
No innovative hull lines, brought to perfection in the hydrodynamic basins of the Krylov Research Center, no supermodern pitifulators will not allow small craft to feel confident and solve problems in the far sea and ocean zones. They will be thrown on the waves like splinters, disarmed and defenseless, and military posts, cabin and cabins will turn into torture chambers for the personnel. Even such proven first-timers as the BOD Ave. 1155, which are with the ocean for “you,” sometimes have to wait out bad weather in a safe place to avoid unnecessary problems (as was recently the case with Vice Admiral Kulakov in the North Sea).
Undoubtedly, small NC BMZs can work in distant waters (those “remote areas of the World Ocean”), however, “distant waters” and “far sea zone” (referred to as “green water” in the West and ending approximately 1500 miles) should not be confused. from the coastline). Corvettes, IRCs and PCs, accompanied by supply vessels, are capable of making long-distance crossings, clinging to the shore and waiting for adverse hydrometeorological conditions (in other words, storms), and then perform military service in the BMZ at a great distance from the permanently stationed station. This is confirmed by the “Boky” and “Savvy”, currently at a distance of about 4000 and 5500 miles from Baltiysk. However, for the normal functioning of fleet forces in remote areas of the ocean, if not naval bases, then at least logistics facilities (E & P) with the appropriate infrastructure that can provide equipment repairs, resupply and rest of personnel are necessary. And we still have only one such PMTO - in the warring Syria.
There are big doubts that in the coming years 10 will be able to organize some PMEC (at least one or two) somewhere other than Tartus. Instant (in the eyes of an astonished world) the construction of a full-fledged military air base Khmeimim makes a very strong impression, but the construction of the naval base (PMTO) is quite another matter. In addition to the very difficult diplomatic side of the issue, mini-SRZ (ship repair plants) will be needed instead of the now far from new floating workshops (of which we also have very little), floats, cranes, berths (or reconstruction of berths), fuel storage facilities, possibly dredging and pr. Basing of ships designed according to the modular principle (22160) raises the problem of building a PMEC in a square, because it requires large storage rooms for storing modules, workshops for their maintenance, additional rooms s shore and shipboard technicians. Otherwise, new-fangled multifunctional PCs will turn into highly specialized, unarmed combat units.
In the absence of naval bases or anti-tank weapons facilities abroad, BMZ ships with high-precision cruise missiles, the construction of which is based on the LG 2018 – 2027, are intended to become the basis of the coastal defense fleet. In such a fleet at risk of becoming our entire Navy, if its construction will be led by people with a land outlook. Another guise of the BMZ ships will be nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence within the range of the KNBR 3М14 KRO Caliber (2500 and 1500 km, respectively). To do this, it is not at all necessary to leave the Baltic, Black, Barents and Japanese seas (just like the SSBN Ave 955 there is no need to move far from Gadzhiyevo or Vilyuchinsk). The new “mosquito fleet” of Russia, without leaving home, will keep at gunpoint medium-range missiles with SBCh all of Europe, the entire Middle East, Japan, South Korea, and if something goes wrong, then Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong. From the unprecedented opportunities bestowed on the Navy by its current builders, it would have taken its breath away, but instead tears came to my eyes.
The basis of the country's sea power are warships of the main classes. The canonical (generally accepted) interpretation of this term is absent in nature, but it would be logical to attribute nuclear and non-nuclear submarines (except for special purpose submarines), aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers (including BOD), frigates (including TFR), large corvettes to the main classes. (say, from 2000 tons full.) and seaworthy amphibious ships (universal, helicopter ships-docks, BDK) - that is, everything that allows you to project power to remote regions of the world to one degree or another. All other self-propelled floating engineering structures of the Navy belong to the warships guarding the water area (OVR) - the same notorious BMZ (MRK, small anti-submarine ships - IPC, missile boats, minesweepers), small landing ships and boats, special purpose ships (reconnaissance, training, command complex, etc.), sea and raid support vessels.
To date, the average age of warships of the main classes of the Russian Navy has already overcome the psychological barrier in 25 years (the “normal” service life of the ship) and has reached 25,3 of the year.
At the same time, the share of ships of new projects under the age of 10 years inclusive is only 17% (17 / 103), if we assume “over the heads”, which is not entirely correct, since the aircraft carrier and the corvette with this approach have equal specific gravity. When recalculated for full displacement, the share decreases to 11%, which strongly disagrees with 53% of modern naval armaments voiced by Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov at the board of the 7 November Defense Ministry (apparently, everything was calculated there - Grachata, Raptors, raid tugs, and it is "on the head"). Attempting to evaluate the same indicators at the time of the completion of the LG 2018 – 2027 gives the following picture (assuming the preservation of the Soviet legacy and the implementation of the program at least - the transfer to the fleet of five SSBNs 955 Ave., six APCRA 885M ave. 677.1, four frigates Ave 636.3, four TFR Ave 22350, one corvette Ave 11356, two Ave 20386, five Ave 20385 and two BDK Ave 20380): the average age at the end of 11711 of the year - 2027 of the year, the proportion of new ships (by displacement) - 27,6%.
Thus, the implementation of the coastal defense fleet construction program will lead to further aging of the main ship structure (although it should be the other way around) and a negligible increase in the share of new combat units. It’s good if, immediately after the end of the next dark period in the history of the Russian fleet, new aircraft carriers and destroyers are laid, then by the middle of the 2030s we will be able to start updating the ocean component of the Navy. Until that time, the tasks of combat service in faraway waters and displaying the flag would have to be basically all the same 8 BOD, 1155, and three RRCs, 1164, whose average age is close to 2035, beyond the limits of the non-avian racers, at the end of 48. Despite the fact that these outstanding creations of the domestic shipbuilding industry with an elegant predatory silhouette will look more and more anachronistic every year, we have no other way out. To represent a great maritime state in the oceans should be large ships, respecting one of its kind. 22160, "Karakurts" and "Buyans" will not help here.
One might think that the bias towards BMZ was caused by financial difficulties experienced by the country and its Armed Forces. However, almost every day we hear that the economic situation in Russia has stabilized, the national currency is also not observed, there are no crisis phenomena, the GDP has slowly begun to grow, as well as tax collection, the price of oil exceeds the state budget, although the expenditures on defense have decreased , but not fundamentally, and then only at the expense of those types and genera of the Armed Forces, which are already largely saturated with new models of weapons and military equipment (SV, VKS, Strategic Rocket Forces, Airborne Forces). Therefore, if difficulties really exist (which is not a fact), they are most likely caused by the redistribution of funds in favor of some short-term whims of the Ministry of Defense.
It is very disappointing that in a quarter of a century since the collapse of the USSR and the formation of the Russian Federation, we have not been able to begin updating the surface forces of the ocean component of the Navy. Even more offensive is the fact that in 16 years from the tab of the “Guardian” (21.12.2001), perceived by society as the beginning of the revival of the national fleet, not a single 1 surface ship (ocean zone) was laid. Finally, with bitterness and heart-heavyness, it must be stated that the time that Emperor Alexander III and his followers, admirals von Tirpitz and Gorshkov, were enough to bring the military fleets of their states to second place in the world (by 1904, at worst they shared it with France), the modern Russian shipbuilding industry and its near-captains didn’t even have to reach the starting line. One of the shameful results of our sluggishness soon (after the transfer of the PLA Navy to 2028, two new aircraft carriers, at least four large destroyers, etc. 055 and not only) will be the loss of the second position in the table of the ranks of leading maritime powers, which at the beginning of 2017, we shared with China with a difference of some 1,3% (according to the total total displacement of ships of the main classes).
At the same time, I want to believe that the well-known Russian saying “slowly harness, but quickly travel” will turn out to be prophetic in relation to domestic shipbuilding and the construction of an oceanic Navy after 2027.