Today, the Russian Navy, not counting SSBNs and special purpose nuclear ships, includes 9 nuclear-powered missile cruiser submarines (SSGN) and 18 multi-purpose nuclear submarines (MAPL). Of course, 27 submarines on paper look impressive. But it should be understood that the vast majority of our submarines were introduced in the period of the end of the 80-x - the beginning of the 90-ies of the last century. We have only two more or less new (in terms of construction) submarines: the “Severodvinsk”, on which the naval flag was raised in 2014, and the “Cheetah”, commissioned in 2001. Accordingly, the number of ships the system (and not on paper) will be determined primarily by the carrying capacity of the repair capacity.
Four companies are engaged in the repair of nuclear submarines in Russia:
1) Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center JSC (hereinafter referred to as “Zvezdochka”), located in Severodvinsk;
2) Nerpa SRZ, Snezhnogorsk (Murmansk region) - is a subsidiary of Zvezdochki, therefore in the future we will count it as part of Zvezdochki;
3) JSC "Far Eastern Plant" Star "(hereinafter -" Star "), located in the town of Bolshoy Kamen, Primorsky Krai;
4) Amursky Shipbuilding Plant PJSC (hereinafter referred to as “AES”) located, respectively, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
Without being either a submariner or a shipbuilder and in no way claiming the truth in the last resort, but after wandering through specialized forums, the author of this article made the following impression about the possibilities of the above-mentioned enterprises.
An asterisk can do everything: repair of any degree of complexity and major modernization of a nuclear submarine.
"Star" is able to cope with repairs of boats, but will experience some difficulties with the modernization.
"ASZ" - the "black hole" of the underwater nuclear fleet, the ship that got there is waiting for decommissioning and cutting.
Let's look at what the above companies are going to load in the coming years.
The basis of the non-strategic nuclear submarine fleet of the Russian Federation today consists of two types of submarines: these are the 949 “Antey” SSGNL (the dead Kursk belonged to them) in the number of 8 units and 11 MAPL of the 971 “Shchuka-B” project (the 12th boat of this type, Nerpa leased to India). At the same time, the SSGM is obviously the basis of the strike forces and are intended to fight large enemy ship groups (including AUG), and MAPL are primarily focused on anti-submarine warfare.
Let's start with the project 971 "Pike-B".
In fact, under the common name “Pike-B”, four modifications of the 971 project “hid”, for the enumeration of which we use the NATO classification (in the domestic one it is much easier to get confused). NATO project 971 dubbed "Akula". Today, the Russian Navy has 5 submarines of the “original” 971 (the brackets indicate the year of entry into service): “Sperm Whale” (1988); Bratsk (1989); Magadan (1990); Panther (1990); "Wolf" (1991).
MAPL of this type was a domestic response to the American submarine "Los Angeles", and the answer is extremely successful. N. Polmar (renowned naval analyst) at a hearing on the National Security Committee of the US House of Representatives said:
"The appearance of Akula-type submarines, as well as other Russian submarines of the 3 generation, demonstrated that Soviet shipbuilders have closed the noise level faster than expected."
I would like to recall the famous 29 incident of February 1996, when a national submarine came in contact with NATO ships asking for help: emergency medical assistance was needed for one of the crew members because of peritonitis. Shortly thereafter, a Russian boat floated in the center of the NATO ships' order, the patient was transferred from it to the British destroyer, and then to the hospital. Such a touching picture of the friendship of peoples “slightly” was spoiled by the fact that the NATO squadron, generally speaking, conducted anti-submarine exercises, but until our submariners did not get in touch, nobody knew about their presence in the immediate vicinity of the warrant ... then, that we faced the newest "Pike-B", but it was a mistake: in fact, the help was requested by the Tambov, the ship of the project 671РТМ (К), i.e. previous type of boat.
The noise level of the Akula 971 submarines was reduced relative to 671РТМ (K) 4-4,5 times.
Of course, in the future, the USSR was not going to stop there and proceeded to the construction of an improved version of the 971 project, which received the designation “Improved Akula” in NATO. These boats for low noise no longer set parity, but took the lead. The Americans noted that at operational speeds of the 5-7 nodes, the noise level of boats of the Improved Akula type, recorded by sonar tools, was lower than the noise of Improved Los Angels (that is, Improved Los Angeles). At the same time, according to the head of the operational department of the US Navy, Admiral D. Burd, the American ships were unable to accompany the Improved Akula submarine at speeds of less than 6-9 nodes.
The Russian Navy today includes the 4 MAPL "Improved Akula": "Kuzbass" (1992); Leopard (1992); Tiger (1993); Samara (1995).
Subsequently, ships of this type were still improved: the ship on which part of the proposed innovations were worked out was the Vepr (1995), designated as Akula II, and the first production (and alas, the only new boat) to be commissioned was the " Cheetah "(2001) in the terminology of NATO -" Akula III ". These two ships in a number of parameters (including the noise level) came very close to the 4 generation of atomic submarines.
MAPL project 971 "Pike-B" along with the previous type 671РТМ (K) became the favorite ships of Russian submariners, who valued them for their reliability, convenience and combat power, and, in the end, ships of this type are amazingly beautiful. They certainly were able to cope with the tasks of anti-submarine defense, while the backbone of the American submarine forces were submarines of the "Los Angeles" and "Improved Los Angels".
In other words, for its time, the ships of the 971 "Pike-B" project were both perfect and extremely formidable weapons. The problem is that this time is a thing of the past.
In order to understand with whom (if something happens) our MAPL will have to fight, we will make a small excursion into history American Navy.
For a long time in the US Navy acted the concept that the multi-purpose submarines had as their main task to destroy Russian submarines on the lines of antisubmarine defense. But the development of Soviet technology led to the fact that there was absolutely no need for Russian SSBNs to go to the ocean. The increased range of ballistic missiles made it possible for submarine rocket carriers to hit targets in the United States while in the seas of the Arctic Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, and the growing sea power of the Soviet Union made it possible to ensure domination over water and air in these areas.
The deployment areas of the Soviet SSBNs were located near the Soviet naval bases and were covered by everything that the Soviet Navy had. Including numerous Aviation land-based, many surface ships, and, of course, the latest atomic "Pike" and "Pike-B." These areas in the US Navy were called "Bastions": the US Navy, with all its might, could not invade the "Bastions", defeat them and take control in order to destroy the Soviet SSBNs at the beginning of the conflict, and then it would be late.
From here, in fact, went to changes in the US naval strategy. The fleet demanded submarines capable of searching and destroying submarines of the USSR directly in the "Bastions". To do this, the Americans needed anti-submarine atarins capable of successfully operating in the zone of domination of the Soviet Navy and Air Force. And such ships were created - the Sivulf series submarine. They were the first submarines of the 4 generation, and, by the totality of their combat qualities, they became, and perhaps still remain, the most formidable multi-purpose submarines of the world. Of course, nothing is given in vain, and the cost of the newest American submarines was too heavy even for the US budget. As a result, the Americans built only three Sivulf, and later switched to cheaper, but somewhat less efficient Virginia.
However, the "Virginia", although they are essentially a kind of "light version", designed with certain requirements, one of which was the preservation of noise at the level of "Sivulf." And besides, the "Virginia" retained from their formidable "ancestors" a very perfect sonar complex. In general, Virginia is an unconditional step forward in comparison with Improved Los Angels, and of all our eleven 971 MAPLs, the equivalent of our Virginia is just two submarines: “Boar” (“Akula II”) and "Cheetah" ("Akula III"). At the same time, the US Navy already now has the 15 "Virginia" and the 3 "Sivulf".
On the other hand, “Shuki-B” have a very large modernization potential. Currently, there is a project 971М, which envisages, literally, the construction of a new submarine in the old building for less than half of modern atomarines. The volume of alterations is very large, but for this money we get a boat, closely close to the 4 generation and quite capable of resisting the Virginia. At the same time, according to some data, the lifespan of the upgraded MAPL is increased by 10 years.
Initially, there was talk that the 971 boats would be upgraded under the 6M project, and the Zvezdochka was to do this. However, as of 2017 g, we are already talking only about four: "Leopard", "Wolf", "Bratsk" and "Samara". At the same time, the Leopard was put into modernization as early as the middle of 2011, and the contract for its “transformation” into 971M was signed in December 2012. The boat had not returned to the fleet before, the deadlines for the sailors were constantly shifted “to the right”. Not so long ago, they talked about 2018, but now about 2019. On the one hand, this is quite explicable by the global scale of work on the ship. Modernization of "Leopard", according to some sources, was supposed to cost 12 billion rubles. still in old prices. But on the other hand, such rates do not inspire optimism at all: it should be assumed that the delivery of four MAPLs of the 2019М project to the fleet in 2025-971 will be the limit of Zvezdochka production capacity for the next decade. And that is if the fleet for the new HPV 2018-2025 has enough money for all four nuclear submarines!
What is the fate of the rest of the boat project 971? Sad as it may seem, but most likely, the two Kashalot and Magadan submarines will leave the Russian Navy: both are now on the Amur shipbuilding yard, and they have little chance of returning from there. “Vepr” (“Akula II”) is finishing the repair at Nerpa (branch “Zvezdochki”) and, probably, after it repairs will be carried out (“Akula III”) “Cheetah” (this is not about costly modernization, but rather on average repairs, although it is possible that the Cheetah will need a major overhaul).
You can also probably guarantee that “Kuzbass” (“Improved Akula”), which completed the repair in 2016, will be preserved, but everything about “Tiger” and “Panther” is not so simple. These ships resembled repairs in 2002 and 2008. accordingly, so by 2025, obviously, the next one will be needed, but will these boats receive it? Before 2025, they have practically no chance of major repairs, but will the military invest after 2025 in 32 and 35-years old ships? Who, after expensive repairs, will still not be equal to the American “Virginia”? Let's face it: hardly.
Most likely, and even in the most optimistic version, by 2025 we will have 4 boats upgraded by the 971M project, and also 2 approaching the 4 generation “Vepr” (“Akula II”) and “Cheetah” (“Akula III), and all of these boats will be in the fleet, and not in repair or waiting. In addition, it is possible that the Kuzbass will remain in the fleet, but the rest will most likely go into the reserve, from which they will never return. Not that they could not be put into operation, but what's the point? Today, when the 971-22 boats upgraded under the 28 project have made years to invest big money in order to provide the fleet with four powerful atomarins capable of serving 12-15 after repair for even a little more years, but why invest large funds in 35 summer ships? To send them to scrap in 5 years after leaving repair?
Eh, if the Russian Federation had money and production facilities to “drive out” all eleven ships, or at least nine, with the exception of the newest “Cheetah” and “Boar” over the next decade, with the 971 modernization program! .. But no money , we have no capacity for this ...
Therefore, our forecast for ships of the 971 project: seven ships to 2025, four 971M and Akula II, Akula III and Improved Akula, one, while the last, Improved Akula, to 2030. will leave the formation. And, no matter how sad it is to realize, this scenario should be considered as optimistic. And by 2035, we will most likely have to say goodbye to all the ships of the Pike-B project - by this time all of them, except for the Cheetah, will be transferred to 40 for years in the fleet.
However, the attentive reader has already noticed that, considering the prospects for repairing “Shchuk-B”, we take into account only the “Asterisk” and “NEA”, but not the Far Eastern “Star”. Why? To answer this question, let us consider the second basis of our submarine forces - the SSGN of the 949A Antey project.
These ships, "aircraft carrier killers", do not need a special introduction, because, probably, there is not a single person at least interested in the state of the modern Russian fleet and not knowing about them.
Opinions about their combat effectiveness vary. Some people see in the Antei an ultimatum weapon, which is guaranteed to “multiply by zero” enemy AUG at the beginning of the conflict. Others, on the contrary, consider the 949А ships almost useless, because, in their opinion, the Granit 24 RCC is not enough to overcome the AUG warrant's air defense system. According to the author of this article, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
In order to use their main weapon at a distance close to the limit, the Anteyam needs external target designation, which is not so easy to obtain and not so easy to send to a submarine. In the USSR, for this purpose, the system of sea space reconnaissance and target designation Legend and target designation aircraft Tu-95РЦ were used. But “make friends” satellites with submarines did not work, because too much should be done too quickly: find the target with a satellite, classify it, calculate target designation, transfer it to the submarine ... In theory, it all worked fine, but in practice it regularly crashed . A "carcass", built in 1962 year and on duty obliged without fighter cover to operate in an area controlled by enemy carrier-based aircraft, had few chances to complete the task.
Today, no “Legend” is gone, the “Liana” (full impression) that replaced it has never “arrived,” having limited itself to only four satellites, which is absolutely not enough. Theoretically, ships of the 949A project could have received target designation from over-the-horizon radar stations (if the latter still learned to do this) or (which looks more realistic) from DRLO A-50 or A-50У aircraft operating in the interests of the fleet. But the author is not aware of any teaching in which the VKS and the fleet would try to work out such an interaction.
It should be understood that the need to deploy 24 huge anti-ship missiles "Granit" could not affect the characteristics of "Anteev". The boats of the 949А project are more than 1,8 times as large as the MAPL “Pike-B”. It may not have affected the maneuverability of the missile submarines too much (in fact, their power plant represents a double Schuki-B power plant), but one can hardly expect the same capabilities of the Anteyev to resist enemy submarines, as well as 971 submarines. Still, the “Antheus” are highly specialized submarine-carrying submarines intended for the destruction of squadrons of surface ships, and not for anti-submarine warfare.
But still, despite the absence of external target designation, the 949A project still remains a formidable opponent of the carrier strike groups. Even in cases when “Antey” has to rely on its own GAK, it is still capable, with good luck (the entrance of the AUG to its patrol zone) to deliver a “dagger” strike at it from a distance of 120-150 km, and possibly more (for GAK boats The 949 project indicated the maximum detection range of 230-240 km, but, of course, it all depends very much on hydrology). And whatever calculations the supporters of the Aegis American system would give, giving second-long timekeeping, how one Arly Burk destroys the full volley of the SSGN of the 949 project, but in real combat everything happens “a little” not according to the formulas. Wonderful British air defense system "Sea Wolfe", during exercises without problems, intercepted 114-mm projectiles in flight, in real combat conditions often could not react to the subsonic Argentine attack aircraft. Instead of a “paper” 85% efficiency, the air defense missile system “overslept” almost 40% attacks, while in the others it showed approximately 40% efficiency. The same applies to the American Patriot air defense missile system: in ideal conditions, “Desert Storm” (no EW, Skud launch salvo), at best, they demonstrated 80% efficiency.
But what is the 80% effectiveness of air defense when attacking the 24 ASM "Granit"? These are 4-5 that have broken through to the target of the rocket, which may not be enough to destroy the aircraft carrier, but in order to severely damage and disable it, disrupting the performance of the combat mission, more than.
Thus, until recently, “Antei” of the 949A project could be considered as a rather formidable naval weapon, although it did not become “vundervaffe” due to the lack of external target designation, but still, under certain conditions, representing a terrible danger to enemy surface ships. Alas, the years are flying fast.
Despite the indisputable advantages of PKR Granit, it must be remembered that this is the development of the 70s of the last century, which was put into service in 1983, that is, 34 a year ago. During this time, the electronic "stuffing" of the rocket is certainly very outdated and, probably, today it does not fully meet the requirements of the naval war - it is quite possible to assume the increased vulnerability of the AHFS rocket to the effects of electronic warfare.
Therefore, our SSGNs needed new missiles, and the modernization project that exists today implies not only upgrading the missile-carrying equipment, but also installing the 72 Launchers for the new Caliber, Onyx and, probably, Zircon instead. Such a number of modern missiles in one salvo practically guarantees a glut of modern air defense AUG and the destruction of an aircraft carrier, but again - only if the modernized SSGN can approach AUG at its detection range by shipboard SAC (or if AUG itself approaches the SSGN patrol area) , despite the low noise level and the capabilities of the SSGN sonar complex of the 949A project, even after modernization, they will be inferior to the submarines of the 4 generation of the US Navy and will not be able to withstand the Sivulf and Virginia.
Nevertheless, the modernized "Antei" will remain a rather formidable weapon. The problem is that from 8 there are only four such upgrades that are currently part of the Russian Navy. "Irkutsk" and "Chelyabinsk" are passing it now, and after them, probably, the turn of "Omsk" and "Vilyuchinsk" will come ("Omsk", probably, has already risen to modernization).
The problems are the same: such modernization is extremely large-scale and complex, and therefore expensive, despite the fact that Star specialists, as it can be supposed, do not yet have enough experience to implement projects of this level. From this it follows that the next decade, “Zvezda” will be busy with work on “Anthey” and will not be able to do anything else.
As can be understood from open sources, in the coming years Zvezdochka will focus on upgrading Shchuk-B, and Zvezda will focus on Anteyev. It’s far from the fact that the “Star” will succeed, that the dates will not move to the “right” and that within the framework of the HPV 2018-2025. four updated SSGNs will return to the fleet, but ... let's say, they have returned. What will happen to the remaining four? Alas, their prospects are completely bleak.
The fact is that by 2025 the age of Voronezh, Orel and Smolensk will reach 33-36 years, and only Tomsk, transferred to the fleet in 1996, will be still relatively young, 29-year-old. Accordingly, only "Tomsk" has some hope of upgrading in the following HPV 2026-2035, but extremely illusory. First, taking into account the real terms of our ship repair, the modernization of the four Anteevs will be delayed, and secondly, such a modernization will take several years, and it’s not a fact that the Navy will want to pay for the outdated ship entered into service year in 2030 th or even later.
Most likely, while four “Antey” are being upgraded, the second four will serve, especially since “Tomsk” and “Orel” completed repairs in 2017, Smolensk - in 2014, and only “Voronezh” - in 2011 g. But as the upgraded ships come into service, they will leave the fleet and go for recycling. And the main reason for this will not be their technical condition, but the absence of the main weapon, for the sake of which these boats, in fact, were created.
Although the author does not know when the production of "Granites" was discontinued, it can be assumed that this happened quite a long time ago. Already at the beginning of the 2000's, Granit was not considered a rocket at the cutting edge of military technological progress, and in 2001, the design of its upgraded version was started. But these works were not completed (about 70% of the development work was completed), after which they were stopped in 2010. Thus, the updated version of Granite did not take place, of course, no one will have to restore the production of missiles according to the original and outdated project, and the previously released 2025 missiles will run out of warranty periods with the highest probability. Thus, the non-modernized SSGN of the 949A project will lose their main weapon, and as multi-purpose submarines they are untenable even now. Accordingly, their presence in the Russian Navy will lose all meaning.
As a result, we come to the conclusion that from the 11 MAPL of the 971 “Pike-B” project and the 8 SSGN of the 949A “Antey” project that are now part of the Russian Navy a decade later, we will have the 7 MAPL and 4 PLARK. Yes, from this number 8 atomic will undergo a deep modernization, but from 19 ships 11 will remain, that is, the number will fall more than one and a half times! And even such a result is achievable only with the allocation of a sufficient amount of funds for the fleet in the new HPV 2018-2025 and the shock labor of our ship-repair industry. And it still looks overly optimistic!
At the same time, surprisingly, but the number of atarin projects 971 and 949А bearing the service, and not standing in reserve, for repair or waiting for it will not dramatically increase. Now we have 4 MAPL Shchuka-B and 5 Antey SSGNs, i.e. 9 ships, and by 2025 g they will be either 11 or 10 in case the “Cheetah” is still put in for repair by that time.
And what about the rest of the Russian Navy submarines? The first thing to consider when trying to predict their fate is that they cannot count on any serious repairs, because money and power will be used primarily for the Anteyev and Schuk-B modernization programs.
Currently, the Russian Navy has three MAPL project 671РТМ (К) "Pike". The boats of this type are outdated, and even in 2013, it was decided that it would not be expedient to modernize them, because ships were built on 70 technical solutions of the last century and it is impossible to bring them to the necessary parameters today. Of the three remaining “Shchuk”, “Daniel of Moscow” is in reserve, and it is unlikely to ever come out of it, “Tambov” seems to be under repair, but most likely is simply decommissioned and remains in the sludge in the ship repair yard. (possibly - "Nerpa"). Only one Obninsk remained in the ranks. With the highest probability to 2025, not a single ship of the 671РТМ (К) project will remain in the Russian Navy.
The 945A “Condor” project is a relatively non-old boat of the 3 generation “Nizhny Novgorod” (1990 g) and “Pskov” (1993 g).
They have titanium cases, were overhauled in 2008 and 2015. respectively. In terms of their fighting qualities, they are not inferior to MAPL of the first series 971 project, respectively, will become obsolete by 2025 and, with a high degree of probability, will leave the system, although it is possible that they will extend the service life to 2030, but not further. By this time, the age of the boats will be 40 and 37 years.
Two Barracudas, the 945 project: Kostroma and Karp complete our list. And if the fate of their “descendants” - “Condors” is questionable and there may still be various options, then, alas, everything is clear for Barracudas. They are in reserve and will end their days there, because their modernization does not look justified, and besides, there will be no money or industrial capacity for it.
Based on the foregoing, it can be assumed that from the non-strategic atomarines in the 26 fleet (excluding Severodvinsk) by the 2025, the year will remain good if the 13 boats and the 2030 g remain 11. At the same time, the number of nuclear submarines of the 885 “Severodvinsk” project, which we will examine in detail in the next article, is limited to 7 boats, and there will be no new atomarins other than 2025-2030 except them. This means that the number of SSGNs and MAPLs in the composition of the Russian Navy continues to decline, and in the next 15 years it will decrease from 27 to 18. Of course, the quality of the nuclear fleet of the Russian Navy will become much stronger, but its number, which is completely insufficient today, will continue to decline.
Someone might object: of the 27 atarin available today, most of it is in reserve and repair. This is definitely the case. But the calculation of combat-ready submarines does not give much reason for optimism. Today, 1 Severodvinsk, 5 Antey SSGNs, 4 MUPL Shchuka-B, 1 Shchuka, and 2 Condor, that is, 13 boats, are ready for the march and the battle. By 2030, we will have 18 boats. Obviously, some of them will be undergoing maintenance, so that there will be no major improvements here, alas.
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