Military Review

Black Sea Shipyard: “Varyag” goes to the east

In the spring of 2000, it already became known that the Chinese side had revised its plans for the completion and re-equipment of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Varyag at the Black Sea Shipbuilding Plant. The ship was going to tow for the relevant work in China.

Black Sea Shipyard: “Varyag” goes to the east

"Varyag" in the Bosphorus

And east again

The destination was originally indicated by Macau, and then the port of Dalian, located on the Liaodong Peninsula, began to appear instead. Once it belonged to the Russian Empire and was called the port of Dalniy. As a result of the unsuccessful results of the Russo-Japanese War, Dalniy, together with the fortress and the naval base Port Arthur, withdrew to Japan. After the end of World War II, the Liaodong Peninsula returned to the former owner in the person of the USSR and remained under its control until the middle of the 50s, when this territory was returned to the People's Republic of China.

The conclusion itself of an unfinished, deprived aircraft cruiser with a length of more than 300 meters from the plant’s water area, followed by wiring along the winding fairway of the Bug-Dnepr-Limansky canal was a very difficult operation. When the question of towing "Varyag" to the Far East was finally resolved, the appropriate preparation for this action began. The situation was under the control of the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine and the State Space Inspection of Ukraine.

To ensure the wiring of the towing caravan experienced pilots were involved. The course of towing, its variants and details were repeatedly honed on simulators of the Odessa Maritime Academy. Of course, ships of large displacement and size and previously passed this route. However, in the case of the “Varyag”, it was a towing of a hulk deprived of its course, on which there was no crew.

For the movement of the ship on the Bug-Dnieper-Liman channel, it was planned to use three tugs. The total length of the caravan, taking into account the towing ropes, was about 400 meters. Posting "Varyag" was preceded by a whole range of preparatory measures. Dredging works were carried out - the volume of soil extracted from the bottom during the entire preparatory period reached 4,5 mln. Tons. A whole system of temporally installed buoys and milestones in the fairway was developed. They were supposed to set immediately before the start of towing. Before the caravan had to go a dedicated boat hydrographic services, which would carry out regular measurements of the depths.

11 June 2000, the buoys were delivered. On June 12, it was announced that the Bug-Dnieper-Limansky canal was announced to be temporarily closed due to the future towing of the unfinished Varyag aircraft cruiser, which is scheduled for June 14.

The main fiddle in the upcoming operation was to be played by the ocean tug Suhaili, which had arrived in advance at the Black Sea plant. The vessel had a displacement of almost 1 ths. Tons and was equipped with two diesel engines with a total power of 9 ths. Hp. Built in 1977, Suhaili had a certified tow bar in 102 tons. The tug was assigned to Panama, the majority of its crew consisted of Filipinos. The captain of “Suhaili”, seeing the winding channel of the Bug-Dnieper-Limansky canal, at first expressed serious doubts about the possibility of posting on it such a large object as “Varyag”. Only a long and detailed instruction of experienced pilots could somewhat dispel his skepticism.

The day of operation was approaching. By the evening of June 13, 2000, all shipping traffic along the Bug-Dnieper-Liman Canal was stopped. In the area of ​​two o'clock in the morning on June 14, towing cables began to be launched on the Varyag. The process of unmooring from the construction wall of the Black Sea Plant turned out to be laborious - only three hours later the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser, and now just a “towing object”, broke away from the place where it was joyfully set in back in November 1988 after launching. The place in which he stood for nearly a long 12 years. There was no longer the country by whose will he appeared. Many of those officials and military officials whose signatures have verified the orders and instructions for this ship have already lost their seats, offices and posts. All this time, the "Varangian" stood in a silent steel block, an unfulfilled plan, an unfinished business, an unfinished sword that had sunk into the past fleet Union.

Not without difficulty, with the help of factory tugs, they pulled out the ship's hull and deployed along the fairway. Now the main violin of the caravan is “Suhaili”, which was assisted by tugs “Tigris” and “Basalt”. They were assisted by their colleagues from the Chernomorsky Plant “Ukrainian” and “Docker”.

Posting "Varyag" Bug-Dnieper-Limansky channel

Early in the morning of 14 June 2000, the cruiser Varyag began its march to the East. No one then imagined how long it would be. On board the huge ship was only a small factory team of 10 people, headed by the Deputy Director of the Black Sea Plant Ivan I. Vinnik.

During the difficult forcing of the Bug-Dnieper-Limansky canal, the speed of the caravan was no more than 4 nodes. Most of the problems were created by sudden gusts of wind which are not uncommon in these waters - because of the high side and large superstructure, the island “Varyag” had a large sail area. On the passage of the channel was spent 12 hours. After the caravan left behind the Kinburn Spit, it was disbanded. The tugs under the Ukrainian flag, after removing the factory mooring team, turned back. Only the Suhaili remained with the cruiser, which began towing the Varyag to the Bosphorus.

Turkish Straits and Barriers

Initially, nothing foreshadowed any particular difficulties in passing this geographical point, however, on the approach to the Turkish coast, they arose for the caravan, like a sudden ocean squall. The fact is that Istanbul categorically rejected any possibility of passing the towed "Varyag" through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The motivation of the Turkish side was unclear, since a preliminary agreement on the passage of the caravan was reached in advance. The ships were forced to anchor while the Bulldogs kneaded their jaws under a political rug to mate with each other again.

Even the Chinese representative, who was under the caravan, did not manage to get a clear answer from the owners of the straits. With high probability, it can be assumed that a certain force applied its obstinate hand to the stubbornness of the Turks, carrying freedom and democracy with the help of aircraft-carrier strike groups. The passage of Admiral Kuznetsov in the autumn of 1991 was made freely, not only because of the sudden decision to urgently transfer the cruiser to the North, but also from the growing euphoria from the collapse of the dangerous enemy in the person of the USSR.

It is obvious that the passage of the "Varyag" prepared in advance. Perhaps, analysts of the relevant US structures were well aware of what a floating entertainment center could wonderfully transform into. It is possible that the desire of the Americans to slow down an unfinished cruiser, which had every chance of becoming an unfinished cruiser, overlapped with the desire of Istanbul to receive material profits from this situation. Therefore, "Varyag" and "Suhaili" continued to wait for the solution of their own, which turned out to be so difficult, the issue.

Towing through the Bosphorus

Summer passed, and autumn passed, winter came on the Black Sea. “Varyag” spent this cold season in the Bulgarian territorial waters. In April 2001, the Turkish authorities finally refused to allow the People’s Republic of China to pass through the Bosphorus. Such a categorical explanation was explained by the serious fear that the Varyag might be stuck in the strait, or that the uncontrollable ship would blow it onto the coast full of buildings with a gust of wind. All this time the Varyag drifted along with regularly changing tugs.

The situation with the ship, which could not be returned to the seller, hung in the air. Finally, the Chinese government intervened firmly and confidently. During the new round of bulldogs under the carpet in August 2001, an agreement was reached: China paid billions in insurance in case of unforeseen situations and assumed all costs if they occurred during the passage of the Bosporus and Dardanelles. In addition, the Chinese side promised a large flow of its tourists, which would have a very positive impact on the Turkish economy.

1 November 2001, on the 506 day after the Black Sea Plant was left behind, the Varyag, accompanied by the Norwegian ocean tug Havila Champion and the Russian tug of the Russian fleet SB-131, Nikolai Chiker entered the Bosphorus. Contrary to the fears of the Turkish side that an accident will happen with the cruiser, and it will block the transport artery with its hull, the crossing of the Black Sea straits has passed unhindered.

The Aegean Sea met the caravan with a storm, which soon reached 10 points. Wind gusts fell on ships at speeds of 25 – 28 m / s. On the night of November 3, the towing cable that connected the Varyag with the Norwegian tugboat Havila Champion broke. The huge ship hull was in the grip of the elements. At this time there were seven people on the cruiser, among them three representatives of the Black Sea Shipbuilding Plant, headed by the last main builder of the Varyag, Yevgeny Mikhailovich Entis.

Early in the morning of November 4, it turned out that no one controlled the ship was carrying the cliffs of the nearby island. The situation was critical: neither the Norwegian nor the Dutch tugboats could take the ends from the Varyag. The situation was changed by the Russian "Nikolai Chiker", who managed to receive a tug, served from the stern of the cruiser. All 12 storm watch is the largest and most powerful tug in the world (of the same type, "Fotiy Krylov") held the huge Varyag hull.

The people on board the cruiser were able to evacuate the helicopter that sank to the deck and deliver it to Piraeus. During maneuvers around the "Varyag" while transferring a cable from a Dutch tug to a Norwegian one member of the crew died.

After the elements calmed down, Yevgeny Yentis and his colleagues were again brought aboard the Varyag, the towing of which continued unhindered. The Mediterranean Sea remained behind the stern, and the caravan continued its movement at an average speed of 7 nodes around Africa. In contrast to the not very hospitable Aegean Sea, the weather in the ocean remained favorable. On New Year's Eve from 2001 to 2002, Varyag and its accompanying tugs, including Nikolay Chiker, passed the Cape of Good Hope.

Missed entertainment center. On board is the home port "Kingstown"

The caravan did not enter the ports — fuel was towed, provisions, and fresh water delivered by ships chartered by China. 3 March 2002, the Odyssey of Varyag, is finally over - it has reached the waters of the port of Dalian. So ended история Soviet unfinished heavy aircraft carrier cruiser, and began the history of the Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning".

Under the chinese flag

The idea of ​​having an aircraft carrier as part of our own fleet has existed in China since the end of the 1960s, when the country was already firmly established in the nuclear club. Continuing problems in relations with the USSR, the Taiwanese problem and the presence of American bases at the side pushed the thoughts of some of the Chinese military circles to the feasibility of building an aircraft carrier.

The shipyard in Dalian

In the spring of 1970, a special commission was created headed by General Liu Hua Qing to work out this issue. After carefully analyzing the situation and the possibilities of the country, this commission spoke out against the program of building such ships because of their excessive cost of living and the lack of the necessary technologies for this. In 1992, the Chinese delegation visited the unfinished Varyag, which was parked, because the temptation to acquire a ship in high readiness was too great, but then this idea was abandoned for political reasons. Finally, in the year 2002, after a completely successful economic combination with a double bottom, China got a unique ship.

Thanks to a pragmatic approach and clearly defined goals and objectives, Beijing has acquired not only the ship, but also ready-made technologies, the development and implementation of which takes decades. The price of the issue was expressed in an insignificant sum for the Chinese economy - 25 million dollars.

25 September 2012 was held the solemn ceremony of commissioning the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army of the aircraft carrier "Liaoning" of China, whose service successfully continues to this day. On the territory of the outbuilding embankment of the Black Sea Plant, where Varyag once stood, the Nibulon enterprise is now located, one of the main areas of activity of which is grain and fertilizer trade.
Articles from this series:
CSY: TAKR "Varyag"
CSY: “Tbilisi” - “Admiral Kuznetsov”, completion and service of a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser
CSV: TAKR "Riga" - "Leonid Brezhnev"
CSY: aircraft carriers and espionage
CSY: rolls of the project "Atlantic"
ChSZ: military weekdays of dry-cargo ships of the Nikolaev construction
CSY: reconstruction of the plant and the transition to large-block assembly. TAKR "Baku"
CSY: the development of heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers. "Minsk" and "Novorossiysk"
CSY: TAKR "Kiev"
CSY: research vessel "Akademik Sergey Korolev"
CSY: whalers and anti-submarine cruisers
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  1. Chichikov
    Chichikov 30 January 2018 15: 13
    My grandmother remembered how the Old Believers were baptized!
  2. Simon
    Simon 30 January 2018 15: 43
    Well, the Chinese turned out to be advanced! They snatched an almost ready aircraft carrier and still got the technology to build others, at such a low price.
    1. Mar.Tirah
      Mar.Tirah 30 January 2018 15: 49
      Our sailors gave a blunder, it was still necessary to chop off the cable during a storm.
      1. seti
        seti 30 January 2018 16: 18
        Quote: Mar. Tira
        Our sailors gave a blunder, it was still necessary to chop off the cable during a storm.

        We are just decent, but I agree with your opinion.
        1. Mar.Tirah
          Mar.Tirah 30 January 2018 16: 53
          It’s for our decency that everyone inclines us, including the IOC. They know that the United States wouldn’t get this number with a setup. They would condemn all the IOC members according to far-fetched articles, and we don’t know how. We express our concern. There is no prophet in his own country. Including with ships. Here ATLANT stands rotting, and no one cares about him.
        2. TermNachTer
          TermNachTer 26 May 2018 11: 25
          So w. The commander or captain of the Chicker is fined two bottles of vodka. After all, they could say that it was impossible to do anything.
      2. Ural resident
        Ural resident 30 January 2018 17: 14
        Why not just help, and see how the ship swims past the river ...
      3. apro
        apro 30 January 2018 23: 30
        And if there is anyone who will fight with the Amer? Russian Pont bespontovy? ​​The PRC aircraft carrier is needed primarily for the liberation of Formosa and the confrontation with the Amer fleet.
    2. seti
      seti 30 January 2018 16: 20
      Forgot to add that they still bought from Svidomo and drawings T-10K for a penny. And many other goodies.
      1. Curious
        Curious 30 January 2018 16: 48
        You would have looked less at Svidomo in the keyhole, and asked what and how much you yourself have given to China over the past 25 years.
  3. ImPerts
    ImPerts 30 January 2018 16: 06
    Shipbuilding technology with an almost finished aircraft carrier to China, missile technology in the DPRK ...
    What else will we learn new?
    By the way, it’s good that we also received something from France and the unsold Mistral)))
    1. sabakina
      sabakina 30 January 2018 16: 34
      Maybe they got it, but what's the point? Where are the shipyards, where are the specialists? Will lawyers and accountants build?
      1. faiver
        faiver 30 January 2018 19: 12
        economists forgot to add laughing
      2. ImPerts
        ImPerts 31 January 2018 05: 58
        Quote: sabakina
        Maybe they got it, but what's the point?

        Those. should the new arpriori technology give everything all at once?
        Doesn't it even have to be adapted for you?
        Next, about the good.
        What is NTsUO of the Russian Federation do you know? One of the technologies went into it.
        Let me remind you that Fiat, along with the factory and the 126 model, was bought in 1964, the release of a penny began in 1970. And then, with Italian components.
  4. sabakina
    sabakina 30 January 2018 16: 36
    Mdya ... As they say. eh, if youth knew, but old age could ... Such a ship is about .........
    1. avt
      avt 30 January 2018 16: 45
      Quote: sabakina
      .This ship is about .........

      Actually, if you regret it, it’s about 1143.7, sawn on a slipway. Now, if the Ulyanovsk’s building had really been lowered to the outfitting wall, so that they could have taken it to the North, then in addition to Varyag, Kuzya could have been sold either to the Chinese or to the Indians after Gorshkov "
    KVU-NSVD 30 January 2018 19: 34
    Thank you, Denis, for your articles. I read with great pleasure. I look forward to new ones. I wish you success and unexpectedly pleasant finds of unique materials good hi
    BRONEVIK 30 January 2018 20: 01
    Sorry "Varyag" - no words
    Such a flagship would be for our fleet
    Now especially, a dozen Kuznetsovs are
    1. bk0010
      bk0010 30 January 2018 21: 08
      Quote: BRONEVIK
      Now especially, a dozen Kuznetsovs are
      Why all of a sudden? You do not confuse him with Ulyanovsk?
      1. BRONEVIK
        BRONEVIK 31 January 2018 08: 26
        Yes, probably confused with the nuclear Ulyanovsk.
        But the "Varangian" is still a pity, like other lost TAKRA
  7. The Siberian barber
    The Siberian barber 30 January 2018 22: 34
    An example of the "Varyag" and other aircraft carriers of the USSR is very revealing. In terms of what was done with the Navy, in those dashing times. Of course, against the background of such giants, the sale and sawing of small ships went "imperceptibly", in "business silence." In addition to warships, auxiliary fleet ships, hydrographs, pss .. Darkness ... About the civilian fleet, in general it’s silent, there’s almost everything under the root .. Here are such "reforms" ...
    Thanks to the author! Many interesting points described)
  8. 7gor
    7gor 31 January 2018 00: 37
    The Chinayozes treated the ship decently!
  9. Metallurg_2
    Metallurg_2 31 January 2018 06: 56
    In general, Ukrainians sold it for 20 lyamy greens and 10 boxes of Chinese pervach, which the Chinese delegation zealously watered their Ukrainian colleagues for a week.
    Selling nation, of course ...
  10. UVB
    UVB 31 January 2018 12: 05
    Early in the morning of November 4, it turned out that no one controlled the ship was carrying the cliffs of the nearby island. The situation was critical: neither the Norwegian nor the Dutch tugboats could take the ends from the Varyag. The situation was changed by the Russian "Nikolai Chiker", who managed to receive a tug, served from the stern of the cruiser. All 12 storm watch is the largest and most powerful tug in the world (of the same type, "Fotiy Krylov") held the huge Varyag hull.
    The Russian Federation also contributed to this betrayal; there is no other way you can name the sale of a ship to China! Yes, it would be better if he crashed on the rocks and went for scrap!
    1. bk0010
      bk0010 31 January 2018 22: 02
      Not a fact: now he is hemorrhoids for amers. And the more they pay attention to the Chinese, the less they spoil us.
  11. Cossack
    Cossack 1 February 2018 12: 48
    Went on this ship even when it was called “Riga” and stood on a slipway. Then, on completion at the wall, it already became a “Varangian.” The first time I got aboard this TAKR I really got lost in it. Sunday. There is no one to ask for directions nobody around. Only temporary emergency lighting in the form of light bulbs suspended from the ceiling is lit. Decks ... decks ... decks ... bulkheads ... n
    bulkheads ... bulkheads ... dozens of doors and hatches between them ... and not a single ray of sunlight ... winked The engine room is colossal ... The hangar is huge ... The upper deck is simply gigantic and the view from it is amazing ... almost 30 meters high ... Next to the slipway was a nuclear submarine reloading ship. Leonid Brezhnev was at the end of the TAKR building “(first“ Riga ”, and then“ Tbilisi ”and finally“ Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov ”). A little further there was the Vladimir Vaslyaev gas turbo-ship RO-RO undergoing mooring trials, and next to it was the completion of the Baku“ Takr ” . On the roadstead was the helicopter carrier Leningrad that came to be repaired ... In short, tired of examining the cruiser, I started to get out of it ... and so at least another 40 minutes passed ... I still did not go to the escalators to raise and lower people during working hours ... smile But I got out through some technological cutout in the board at an altitude of 10-12 meters above the ground and went down the forests that stood around the hull to about the middle of the board ... But Ulyanovsk was not so impressed, but apparently for the fact that it was not yet fully formed ... The Admiral Lobov missile cruiser is also a very interesting ship. It’s a pity to die without being born ...