Well, now let's look at the shock component of the “mosquito” forces - small rocket ships (MRK) and boats (RK). In order not to traumatize the psyche, let us not recall how many MRK and RK served under the Soviet flag, but take 1 for December 2015 as a starting point and list only those ships that were laid back in the USSR.
RSC 1239 "Sivuch" - 2 units.
Unique hovercraft of a skeg type, ie, in fact, catamarans with two narrow hulls and a wide deck. Speed - 55 nodes (interestingly, the site of the Zelenodolsk plant indicated “about 45 ties”. A typo?), Weapons - 8 PKR “Mosquito”, SAM “Osa-M”, one 76-mm AK-176 installation and two 30- mm AK-630. In addition to impressive speed, they have quite acceptable seaworthiness: RTOs of this type can apply their weapon with waves of 5 points at a speed of 30-40 nodes and in a displacement position - up to 8 points inclusive.
Laid in the USSR in the 80s, completed in the Russian Federation in 1997-1999, so it can be expected that ships of this type will serve 15-20 for many more years. And that's great. The resumption of the creation of ships of this type is hardly rational, since their cost is probably very, very high (specific hull, super-powered power plant), but those that have already been built should be kept in the Russian Navy as long as possible, making repairs and upgrades in a timely manner.
RSC 1234.1 “Gadfly” (according to NATO classification) - 12 units
Having a standard 610 tonnage, these ships had highly developed and balanced weapons, including two built-in launchers for Malachite anti-ship missiles P-120, one Osa-MA air defense missile system, 76-mm artillery, and 30 -mm "cutting". The speed of the MRC of this project also inspired respect - 35 nodes, despite the fact that rocket weapons could be used in waves of up to 5 points.
These ships were laid in the period from 1975 to 1989, and those of them that still remained in the ranks, joined the ranks of the fleet in the period from 1979 to 1992. Accordingly, today their age ranges from 26 to 40 years, and the 9 "Gadfly" has not yet crossed the thirty-year milestone. Based on this, it can be assumed that there is a technical possibility to keep them in the fleet within a decade. Another question is whether to do this?
The fact is that the main weapon of the IRC, PKR P-120 “Malachite”, was developed in the 60-s of the last century, and even at the time of the collapse of the USSR it was far from the peak of technical progress. Its maximum flight range was 150 km, speed (according to various data) 0,9-1 M, flight altitude on the flight section - 60 m. The unique advantages of the rocket were mixed homing (the active radar homing unit was supplemented with an infrared sensor "Bust") and a very powerful 800 -kg warhead, but today this RCC is completely obsolete. At the same time, upgrading nearly thirty-year-old ships for new missiles no longer makes much sense, so their further presence in the fleet will have more decorative than practical functions.
MRK project 1234.7 "Nakat" - 1 units.
The same IRC "Gadfly", but instead of six P-120 "Malachite" carried 12 (!) P-800 "Onyx". Probably was an experienced ship, today removed from the fleet. According to some information, it was written off as early as 2012, but the reference book of S.S. Berezhnova, on whom the author of the article is oriented, counts him at the end of 2015 as part of the Navy, so all the same, Nakat falls into our list.
RTOs of the 11661 and 11661М “Tatarstan” project - 2 units.
Ships of this type were created as a replacement for small anti-submarine ships of the 1124 project, but, being laid in the 1990-1991. already completed in the Russian Federation as a guard (and rocket) ships. Tatarstan had a standard 1 560 tonnage, 28 speed, armed with eight Uran rocket launchers, Osa-MA SAM, one 76-mm artillery unit, two 30-mm AK-630 and the same KNVT 14,5 machine guns. Dagestan had the same characteristics, but instead of Uran, it received eight Calibrovs, and instead of metalcutters, ZAK Palash. "Tatarstan" was commissioned in 2003 g, "Dagestan" - in 2012, both ships serve in the Caspian flotilla.
1241.1 project rocket boats (1241-М) “Lightning” - 18 units.
The main missile boat of the Russian Navy. The standard displacement is 392 t, 42 nodes, four supersonic P-270 Mosquito, 76-mm AK-176 and two 30-mm AK-630. On one of the boats ("The Tempest") instead of two "metal cutters" is installed ZAK "Palash". The bulk of these boats were commissioned in 1988-1992, one - in 1994 g, and "Chuvashia", incorporated in 1991 g - even in 2000 g. Accordingly, the age of 16 rocket boats is 26-30 years, thanks to the equipment of anti-ship missiles "Mosquito" ships still retain their relevance and, apparently, can be saved in the fleet still 7-10 years. The nineteenth ship of this type is also part of the Russian Navy, but the launchers for the Mosquitoes have been dismantled from it, which would make it wrong to count it in rocket boats.
RC project 12411 (1241-T) - 4 units
Ignore insignificant nuances. It turned out this way: in the USSR a rocket boat was developed for the newest supersonic Moskit missiles, but the anti-ship missiles were somewhat delayed, which is why the first series of Lightning was armed with old Termites with the same artillery. The ships were commissioned in 1984-1986, today they are from 32 to 34 years, and their main armament lost its combat significance in the 80s of the last century. It is senseless to upgrade these ships because of their age, and to keep them in the navy too, so we should expect them to be written off in the next 5 years.
RK 1241.7 "Shuya" project - 1 units
It was commissioned in 1985 of the “Molniya” of the first series with “Termites”, but with dismantled “metalcutters” and installed instead of them the “Dirk” CRAFT, which later was also dismantled. Obviously, this ship in the coming 5 years awaits withdrawal from the fleet.
RK 206 MR project - 2 units
Small (233 t) hydrofoil boats. 42 node, Termite 2, 76-mm gun mount and one AK-630 machine gun. Both boats were commissioned in 1983 g, they are now 35 years old and both are obvious candidates for cancellation in the very near future.
Thus, from the “Soviet legacy” as of December 1, 2015 in the Russian Navy were 44 small rocket ships and missile boats, of which 22 had real combat value, including two "Sivucha" and 18 "Lightning", armed with anti-ship missiles "Mosquito", as well as two Caspian "Tatarstan". However, until the 2025 g the bulk of these ships may well remain in service - today Nakat has dropped out of the fleet, and it should be expected that 7 boats armed with Termit missiles will soon follow him, but the rest may well serve up to 2025 and beyond.
Perhaps that is why HPV 2011-2020's. did not envisage the massive construction of shock "mosquito" forces - it was supposed to put into operation only a few ships of the 21631 "Buyan-M" project. These ships are an enlarged and “rocketized” version of the small artillery ship of the 21630 project. With a displacement of 949 T, “Buyan-M” is capable of developing 25 units, its armament is made up of a UKKS with 8 cells capable of using the Caliber missile family, 100-mm AU-190 and 30-mm AK-630-2 Duet and ЗРК Ghibka-R with 9M39 Igla missiles.
But, given the low speed and the fact that “Buyan-M” refers to ships of the “river-sea” class, it can hardly be considered as a replacement for small missile ships and boats oriented towards striking at enemy naval groups in our near sea zone . Most likely, Buyan-M is simply a “cover” for Caliber cruise missiles (not anti-ship!). As you know, ground-based deployment of short-range (500-1 km) and medium-range (000-1 km) cruise missiles is prohibited by the INF Treaty of December 000, 5, however, the armed forces of the United States and the Russian Federation certainly need such ammunition. The Americans compensated for the absence of such missiles by deploying a sea-based Tomahawk missile launcher, but we did not have such an opportunity after the death of the USSR fleet. In this situation, the transformation of our "Caliber" into "river deployment" missiles is a logical and non-violating international treaty step. The system of river channels of the Russian Federation allows you to move Buyan-M between the Caspian, Black and Baltic Seas, on the rivers these ships can be reliably covered by ground-based air defense systems and aviation, and they can launch missiles from anywhere in the route.
Probably, if absolutely necessary, “Buyany-M” is able to act even at sea, having received the anti-ship version “Caliber”, but obviously this is not their profile. The same “hints” their composition of radar weapons, but we'll talk about this a little later.
The real restoration of the “mosquito” fleet can be considered the construction of a series of small rocket ships of the 22800 “Karakurt” project. These are small, highly specialized strike ships, the full displacement of which does not reach 800 t. As the power plant, three diesel engines M-507D-1 produced by PJSC "Zvezda" are used, power 8 000 hp each - together they tell Karakurt speed around 30 nodes. The main armament of the ship is UKSK on 8 cells for Caliber / Onyx missiles, X-NUMX-mm artillery mounts AK-76MA and A-Pantsir-ME, as well as two 176-mm Kord machineguns. On the first two ships of the series, instead of the "Shell," two 12,7-mm AK-30 were installed.
In a number of sources, it is indicated that, in addition to the "cutters", MRKs are equipped with MANPADS, but here, apparently, this is not about "Bending", but simply about conventional MANPADS (a pipe on the shoulder).
The radar armament of the 22800 project emphasizes its shock, anti-ship orientation. On the "Karakurt" is installed radar general detection "Mineral-M", the possibilities of which are extremely large for the ship, whose displacement "does not reach" even to 1 000 t.
In addition to the usual for radar of this type of detection and tracking of surface and air targets, Mineral-M is able to carry out:
1) automated reception, processing and display of information on the surface situation, coming from compatible complexes deployed on ground vehicles or tactical group ships, from external sources (command control systems, remote observation posts located on ships, helicopters and other aircraft), using external radio communications;
2) receiving, processing and displaying information on the surface situation received from the ship’s sources of information: combat information and control systems, radar stations, navigation stations, sonar systems;
3) management of joint combat operations of tactical group ships.
In other words, Mineral-M is terribly network-centric: it can receive (and obviously provide) information to a group of disparate forces, implementing the principle “sees one - see everything”, and can act as a focal point, but this is not all advantages of this complex. The fact is that Mineral-M can work not only in the active, but also in the passive mode, not radiating anything on its own, but detecting and determining the location of the enemy from his radiation. At the same time, depending on the radiation range, the detection range of radar systems ranges from 80 to 450 km. In the active mode, the Mineral-M radar is capable of over-the-horizon target designation; the target detection range, the size of a destroyer, reaches 250 km. Here, of course, it should be noted that the "over-the-horizon" mode of operation of the radar station is not always possible and depends on the state of the atmosphere. Given the 250 km range, for example, are possible only under the condition of over-refraction. However, the usefulness of this radar operating mode for a carrier of long-range anti-ship missiles cannot be overestimated. In general, it can be stated that such a radar would look very nice even on a much larger ship.
But on the "Buyane-M" is placed the radar MR-352 "Positive", which is (as the author was able to understand, not an expert in the field of radar) general-purpose radar in the traditional sense of these words, i.e. without numerous “buns” - over-the-horizon target designation, etc. That is, "Positive" provides coverage of the air and surface situation at a distance of 128 km, and is not intended to control weapons. In principle, “Positive” can give target designation both for missiles and for artillery firing, but it does not do it as well as specialized radars, because it is still a side function for it. The absence of a radar like “Mineral-M” on the “Buyan-M” just suggests that this IRA is not considered by the fleet management as a means of naval combat.
The rates of construction of the “mosquito” fleet for the Russian Navy are quite impressive, and far exceed the plans of the SAPs for the 2011-2020. Starting with 2010, 10 of MRCs of the Buyan-M type were laid, and another two contract was signed. Five ships of this type were part of the fleet in 2015-2017gg, while the duration of the construction is about three years. To put it mildly, this is not a good indicator for serial ships of less than 1 000 tonnes, especially serial ones, but in any case there is no doubt that the other five, the last of which, “Grad”, will be part of the fleet before 2020.
As for Karakurts, their first pair was laid in December of 2015 g, both were launched in 2017 g, their delivery to the fleet is planned for 2018 g and, in principle, these terms are realistic. In total, nine Karakurts are currently being built (7 on Pella and 2 on Zelenodolsk Plant), the tenth tab is being prepared, and another contract has been signed for three. Total - thirteen ships of the project 22800, but it is expected to conclude a contract with the Amur Shipbuilding Plant for another six ships of this type. Accordingly, it can be expected that before 2020 g, nine Karakurts will be included in the Russian Navy, and before 2025 g they will become at least 19, and this will not be decided on the further construction of RTOs of this type.
In general, it can be said that the construction of “Buyanov-M” the Russian Federation secured absolute superiority in the Caspian Sea and to a certain extent strengthened the arsenal of long-range precision weapons of the domestic armed forces, but to speak of “Buyanah-M” as a means of anti-ship combat , according to the author, it is still impossible.
But even without the “Buyans”, the extensive construction of “Karakurts”, in general, guarantees the reproduction of domestic mosquito forces. As we said above, a critical, “landslide” point for them will come in 7-10 years, when the service lives of the Molniya-type missile boats will come close to the 40 years and need to be removed from the fleet. Other RTOs and missile boats, with the exception of Samum, Bora, Tatarstan and Dagestan, will need to be written off even earlier, thus reducing the inheritance of the USSR to 2025-2028 by an order of magnitude (from 44 as of 01.12.2015 to 4 units).
However, if the contract for the construction of six ships of the 22800 project for the Pacific Fleet is concluded, 19 "Karakurt" will replace the 18 "Lightning", and other missile boats and Ovod-type MRKs have virtually no combat value today extreme obsolete weapons. Thus, we can say that reducing the number of our ISCs and SCs will not lead to a drop in their level of combat capability. On the contrary, due to the fact that ships with the most modern missile weapons will be put into operation (it should not be forgotten that the mythical “Zircon” can be used from standard DPS for “Onyx” and “Caliber”), we should talk about empowering the shock components of our "mosquito" fleet. In addition, with the entry into service of "Karakurtov" "mosquito fleet" will acquire the ability to strike long-range cruise missiles at the enemy's land infrastructure - as it was done in Syria.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how many "Karakurts" will be laid down in the coming years on the new LG of 2018-2025. Here, perhaps, both the increase in the series to 25-30 ships, and the rejection of their further construction, limiting the series of 13 ships. However, there are at least 2 reasons why we should expect the construction of Pacific "Karakurt".
First, after the demonstration of the capabilities of the Caspian flotilla to defeat targets in Syria, the country's leadership should look at small rocket ships favorably. Secondly, the admirals of our Navy, having a monstrous failure on surface ships, in the absence of frigates and corvettes, will obviously be happy to strengthen the fleet at least with "Karakurt".
Accordingly, the future of our “mosquito” fleet doesn’t seem to cause concern ... However, the author of this article will risk raising another question, which for many will look like a real sedition
Does Russia really need a naval shock "mosquito" fleet?
To begin, we will try to deal with the cost of these ships. The easiest way to determine the value of "Buyanov-M". As printed RIA "News":
“The contract between the Defense Ministry and Zelenodolsk Shipbuilding Plant signed at the Army-2016 forum amounts to 27 billion rubles and provides for the construction of three ships of the Buyan-M class, the plant’s general director Renat Mistakhov told RIA Novosti.”
Accordingly, one ship project 21631 worth 9 billion rubles.
In many publications it is indicated that the price of one “Karakurt” is 2 billion rubles. However, in most cases, as a source of this information indicate the assessment of the Deputy Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Andrei Frolov. Unfortunately, the author was unable to find documents that would confirm the validity of this assessment. On the other hand, a number of sources give completely different numbers. So, for example, Sergey Verevkin, executive director of a separate division of the Leningrad shipbuilding plant “Pella”, stated that:
"The cost of such ships is three times less than the frigate."
And even if we take the cheapest domestic frigate (11356 project) at pre-crisis prices - it is 18 billion rubles, respectively, Karakurt, according to S. Verevkin’s statement, it costs at least 6 billion rubles. This seems to be also confirmed by reports that Pella transferred an order for the construction of a single Karakurt to the Feodosia Shipyard “More”, and the cost of the contract will be 5-6 billion rubles, but the question is that the amount is not exact - The news refers to the opinion of unnamed experts.
But what if S. Verevkin did not mean the frigate of the “admiral” series of the 11356 project, but the newest 22350 “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov”?
After all, the number in 6 billion rubles. for one "Karakurt" raises great doubts. Yes, the “Buyan-M” is somewhat larger than the 22800 project ship, but at the same time, the “Karakurt” carries much more complicated and, therefore, expensive armament (the Pantsir-ME system and equipment (the Mineral-M radar)) “Buyane-M” was implemented a water jet, which is probably more expensive than the classic one, but on the whole it should be expected that “Karakurt” should be no less, and even more than “Buyana-M”.
The main utility of the "Buyana-M" is that it is a mobile launcher for long-range cruise missiles. But you should take into account that 9 billion rubles. for such mobility look overly expensive. But there are other options: for example ... the very container installations of the Caliber, about which so many copies were broken at one time.
According to people unfamiliar with the sea, these containers are Uberwanderwaffe, which is easy to hide on the deck of an oceanic container ship, and in the event of a war, quickly “multiply by zero” the US AUG. We will not disappoint anyone, recalling that an armed merchant ship that does not carry the naval flag of any country is pirated, with all the ensuing consequences for himself and his crew, but simply recall that River container ship "sailing itself somewhere in the middle of the Volga, no one will ever press charges of piracy. In order to comply with the INF Treaty of the Russian Federation, it will suffice to include several “auxiliary river cruisers” in the fleet, but in the event of a real aggravation of relations with NATO, such containers can be placed on any suitable river vessels.
Moreover. Because in the event that a real collision with the United States and NATO looms on the horizon, then no one will pay attention to the treaties, and in this case, who prevents to install a container with missiles ... say, by train? Or even like this:
Thus, we can state that the task of saturating the domestic armed forces with cruise missiles with a range from 500 to 5 500 km may well be solved without the participation of Buyanov-M. In order to provide us with absolute superiority in the Caspian, in addition to the existing ships, Buyan-M's 4-5 would be enough, and they would not necessarily have been armed with Calibers - to defeat boats that form the basis of other Caspian fleets, " Uranus is more than sufficient. Price issue? The rejection of 5-6 "Buyanov-M" would allow the Russian Navy to finance the purchase of a naval aviation regiment (talking about Su-35, costing about 2 billion rubles in the same 2016g), which, in the opinion of the author of this article, would be fleet much more useful.
With "Karakurtami" is also not all clear. The fact is that rocket boats appeared as a means of fighting enemy surface forces in the coastal zone, but today it is very difficult to imagine enemy surface ships near our coast. Given the extreme danger that aviation poses to modern ships, a carrier strike force is capable of “looking at the light” to us, but it also makes no sense to come closer than a few hundred kilometers to our coastline. But to send in the sea the connection of "Karakurts" against AUG is akin to suicide: if история sea battles teach us something, so only the extremely low stability of small rocket ships (corvettes and rocket boats) to the means of air attack. Suffice it to recall, for example, the defeat of the Iraqi fleet in the Iran-Iraq war, when two Iranian F-4 "Phantom" almost for five minutes let torpedoes and a missile boat of the Iraqi Navy to the bottom, and even 4 rocket boats damaged - although they did not specialized anti-ship weapons. Yes, our ships of the 2 project are equipped with “Armor-ME”, this is a very serious weapon, but it should be borne in mind that the ship with a displacement of less than 22800 t is an extremely unstable platform for such equipment.
In addition, sadly, but "Karakurt" do not have sufficient speed for the dashing "cavalry" attacks. For them, indicate the speed of "about 30 nodes", and this is quite a bit, especially if we recall that during the excitement small ships lose much speed. In other words, in the conditions of the Far East, our "Karakurt" will obviously be slow-moving than, say, Arly Burk - the maximum speed of the 32 node, but in conditions of excitement it loses it much less than small ships of the 22800 project.
Of course, besides global, there are also local conflicts, but the fact is that for them the power of "Karakurts" is excessive. For example, in the well-known episode of the collision of a detachment of surface ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet with Georgian boats, the use of the Gauge anti-ship missiles would be completely unjustified. It may be an exaggeration to state that all five Georgian boats were cheaper than one such rocket, but ...
According to the author, in a full-scale conflict with NATO, “Karakurt” can only be used as a mobile missile battery of coastal defense, with which it is possible to cover relatively quickly objects that are threatened with an attack from the sea. But in this capacity, they almost lose to vehicle complexes in terms of speed of movement, besides this, the ground complex is easier to mask. In general, and here we have to admit that the regiment of modern fighter-bombers would be much more useful for the fleet than the Karakurt 6, and in terms of cost, they appear to be quite comparable.
Nevertheless, the author assumes that in the future we are waiting for news about the increase in the production of "Karakurts". For the reason that the number of surface ships of our Navy, capable of going to sea, is decreasing from year to year, and the industry continues to disrupt every conceivable time frame for the construction of new ships - from a corvette and above. And if the first ships of the 22800 project are commissioned on schedule (which confirms our ability to build them relatively quickly), then there will be new orders. Not because “Karakurt” is a vundervaffe or a panacea, but because at least some surface ships are still needed to the fleet.