If you take the American CVN-78 Gerald Ford as an icon of style, then it is difficult not to call this project a further modernization of the Nimitz type. Yes, electromagnetic catapults, yes, a new type of reactors without the need to replace the core, and even new electronics and a slight crew reduction. Everything! The same building, the same composition of the wing, three elevators instead of four and optimistic statements about the 15-20% growth opportunities for the production of aircraft per day. The change in the cost of dropping a bomb / missile launch into 7,5 million per unit is not modestly discussed. We in the navy would change just the last figure in the project. Initially, there are simply no opponents of such ships in the western hemisphere of the planet, the excess dimensions are justified by the duration of the passage across the oceans to the coasts of Eurasia and back. Twenty years ago, on such ships, it was planned to use up to three specialized wings (shock, anti-submarine and universal or multi-purpose), depending on the tasks to be solved.
The English “Queen” seems to be a warrior princess from a Hollywood series, which has a “terrible Russian bear”, a fabulous Middle East and black bloody Africa. Carpet bombardment and napalm fires are not for her. After all, no one doubts the ability of Britain to create an aircraft carrier similar to the US, as they did when creating the platform for the Tridents, only common sense warned the blind copying of leaders in this area. But the troop generation type "Invincible", which for budgetary reasons attributed to the concept of "ships of control of the sea", disappointed the command of the royal fleet after experience with the Anglo-Argentine conflict. An understanding of this was confirmed by the decision of the Soviet leadership to increase the displacement of ships of 1143 projects to the size of "Admiral Kuznetsov", "Varyag" and the designed "Ulyanovsk". The English shipbuilding school in the new project still refused to use starter catapults, deck aircraft DRLO and vertical takeoff of the strike air group, finding these elements too expensive for their aircraft carrier. We take this into account for yourself. The declared ability to lift 24 attack aircraft in 15 minutes, and this is the entire strike group of the ship, which is able to perform any combat mission in the air, at sea and on land, is impressive.
I cannot help but express a personal impression: in the new English aircraft carrier there is still a lot of heavy aircraft carrier “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov”! Comparable size, displacement, composition of the wing, springboard, the absence of catapults, three launch positions on the deck ...
We can solve the two main problems of our ocean fleet (cover the SSBN patrolling area and the fight against the American AUG) from the air if we continue to creatively develop the concept of a heavy aircraft carrier cruiser, without getting involved in the multipurpose aircraft carrier race with the Americans.
And now justice and harmony of figures from open sources. When comparing ships, Russian TAVKR and English HMS, out of respect for the difference in age, I will be the first to set the parameters of our ship and through the fraction of the British.
Maximum total displacement 61390 / 70600 tons, maximum width 72 / 73 meters (at the waterline at the mid-point 34 / 39 meters), length 306 / 284 meters, flight deck area 14800 / 13000 square. meters - these geometrical dimensions create the impression that our ship is more “airy”, has a lower density, though it has armored rolled steel, body duplication with dry compartments, anti-torpedo three-layer protection up to 4,5 m wide, which withstands the impact of 400 kg of TNT charge while the complete absence of side armor and armor bulkheads in English is claimed. And indeed, the booking elements correspond more to the name of a heavy, albeit aircraft carrier, cruiser than to a classic aircraft carrier. But the laws of physics are indisputable in our reality: the ratio of length to width with the same draft and almost the same power of the power plant gives an advantage in speed of a full stroke (29 / 25 knots) and economic stroke (18 / 15 knots) to our ship.
In the future project of the Russian heavy aircraft carrier cruiser, such an advantage should be not only with respect to English, Indian or Chinese, but also all the huge nuclear-powered American aircraft carriers. Our AUG should be capable of both catching up and avoiding the pursuit of a potential enemy. A similar situation was in Germany during the construction of "pocket battleships" in the late thirties of the last century. Only German engineers at that time for the first time decided to equip such large warships with diesel power plants. The decision to use a nuclear power plant on the latest Russian aircraft carrier cruiser will not look revolutionary. The country's experience in the construction of submarines, nuclear-powered icebreakers, cruisers and civilian vessels will also create a nuclear heart for a single aircraft carrier. Reactors hidden deep beneath aviation hangar and flight deck, will provide not only the high energy level of the ship and speed, but also have a positive effect on the external architecture of the add-ons. There is no need for huge chimneys and ventilation shafts for internal combustion engines and several thousand cubic meters of tanks for motor fuel.
This speed advantage will also have a positive effect on the work of the aircraft strike group of the ship, increasing the combat load or the duration of the flight of airplanes without an ejection launch. And of course such planes should become if not Su-57, then at least Su-35C. In order for the above-mentioned heavy fighters of the VKS to be adapted as easily as possible for operations from the deck of the ship, sailors and designers should take the categorical requirements for two launch positions with a launch track length of at least 250 meters and two launch positions with a run length of 150 as basis for the ship design. meters Using models of engines with variable thrust vectors of the same type of aircraft with land models will reduce the angle of elevation of the nasal starting springboard from 14,30 (on Admiral Kuznetsov TAVKR) to fully adequate 130 (as in Queen Elizabeth). Only in this way, collecting bit by bit tactical, technical, technological advantages and the best world experience in combination with domestic realities, it will be possible to achieve an unsurpassed result.
Specific characteristics for aircraft carriers are the flight deck area (14800 / 13000 m2) and the size of the deck-mounted hangars for aircraft (153 * 26 * 7,2 / 155 * 33 * 6,7 m). The increase in these dimensions will directly affect the increase in the composition of the air group based, the acceleration of training and the increase in the number of aircraft ready to ascend into the air as soon as possible. The Nimitz type has a deck area of 18200 m 2 and a hangar within 206 * 33 * 7,6 m. The ratio of hangar length to ship length varies between 0,5 for TAVKR, 0,54 for Elizabeth and 0,62 for Nimitz. Given the placement of Admiral Kuznetsov under the deck of the Granit SCRC, which will not be on the new Russian TAVKR, and without going beyond the length of the ship in the same 305 meters, we can count on an increase in the hangar length to 190 meters. If we also neglect the “model slimness” of our “Admiral” in 34 meters to the fullness in the middle of “Queen Elizabeth” in 39 meters, it makes sense and incentive to try to expand the hangar to those same 34 meters with a height of 7,5 meters. In the estimated operating conditions of our ship in the polar and Far Eastern seas, where the polar night will cover the flight deck, and salty splashes and snowstorms polish it to icy brilliance, the presence of a spacious dry room will not seem unjustified luxury.
One of the main drawbacks of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov”, as an aircraft carrier, is the presence of a lengthy and massive superstructure almost in the center of the flight deck and only two aircraft lifters. The American "Gerald Ford" has relatively the smallest deckhouse and even more biased to the stern, in comparison with its predecessors. The British rejected the prevailing stereotype and established two separated "towers", moreover, they separated the functions of controlling the ship and controlling the flights of deck-based aviation between them. For the Russian newest TAVKR, the English version seems more preferable. The advantages lie in the advanced capabilities both for the placement of two of the most powerful antenna posts of surveillance radars, on-board detection and control systems, communications and navigation equipment, and on issues of improving the combat stability of the ship as a whole. And the absence of exhaust engines and the absence of the corresponding highways will simplify the conditions of operation and maintenance of electronic equipment. In the interval between the "islands" will be located the third elevator for aircraft.
None of the above will not cause such disputes as the question of the composition of the air group of the new ship. Any serious operation of the American carrier-mounted wing begins with the rise in the air of the indispensable “Hokaya”, which gives the management the lion's share of information about the air and sea situation within the reach of the onboard locator. But he is also the main harbinger of the appearance of both carrier-based aviation and the aircraft carrier itself in this area of the ocean, as a lighthouse on the coast warns of the dangerous proximity of coastal cliffs. It is difficult to imagine the movement of a carrier strike group of ships, and even when flying in full radio silence mode. Hunter AUG enough to have modern means of electronic reconnaissance to determine the coordinates of the connection of ships. A comparatively small and economical unmanned aerial vehicle, cruising at an altitude of 12000 meters at a speed of 650 km / h for up to 12 hours, is capable of no worse than a deck manned aircraft or a DRLO helicopter in opening the surface and air situation in a passive manner, as for reconnaissance purposes, and target designation shock group with the Russian aircraft carrier. 12-16 of such reconnaissance aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier, when organizing round-the-clock duty of one or two of them in the air, in conjunction with space reconnaissance systems, the VCS reliably guarantee the timely opening of threats and the detection of potential targets for the strike group of aircraft. With a corresponding change of onboard equipment to EW devices, such UAVs will not be superfluous, either during an attack or in a retrade of our connection of the ships.
Considering the composition of the shock air group of the ship, I would like to substantiate the choice at the beginning of the article in favor of heavy domestic aircraft. If we take the choice of Su-35C in peak with the existing MiG-29K or MiG-35, then this is due primarily to the greater range and duration of the flight. Even for American giants, the increase in the number of take-offs and landings is difficult. But to solve the problems of patrols, it is enough to increase the duration of the flight of the aircraft twice, thereby reducing the number of takeoffs and landings in the same two times. And if Ford will probably have more than one year to puff to achieve the 220 announced departures per day, then the much more modest Elizabeth will most likely quickly achieve maximum intensity in 110 departures in 24 hours. Having on board more long-range aircraft, our aircraft carrier will be able to nullify the advantage in the number of strike aircraft on board a potential enemy when operating in the open ocean. Acting off its shores, the aircraft carrier will also be able to fulfill the role of a kind of aerodrome of a jump, which will easily double the intensity of fire impact along the targets reached from the deck. If the “Queen Elizabeth” in 15 mines take up the 24 F-35C in the air, which will perform the combat mission for two hours and return to full deck in 24 minutes, then these two hours may well be used to receive, refuel and lift into the air of yet another, albeit smaller, group of aircraft from the coastal air base. Such a feint with ears is unlikely to be possible with a small duration of the flight based aircraft. The presence on board the "regiment" in 36 of the same type of heavy universal aircraft will simplify the service system, and the range of specialists and spare parts.
Without reinventing the bike, we will arm the new aircraft carrier according to the old scheme on a new element base, replacing four batteries of the DIRECT "Dirk" with four batteries "Armor M" and 24 vertical PU ZRK "Kinzhal" with ammunition 192 missiles for four packages 15 9М334 with ammunition in 240 missiles for SAM "M-Tor". I do not specifically focus on the types of ammunition and missile modifications; by the time a ship is commissioned, they may have changed several times. But it would be worthwhile to think now about the sabot 30-mm projectile and a radar or programmable fuse. It is impossible not to think about the threat of ballistic missiles. Having abandoned the good old six-piece AK-630М in the arsenal of the new ship, its missile defense will hardly suffer, but it is possible to increase the effective area of the upper flight deck at their expense.
As a non-specialist and as a supporter of the "traditional orientation" of ships, I was shocked by the news of the absence of the SJC on the newest British, and then also on German destroyers. Raising the available literature on the subject of underwater acoustics on aircraft carriers, he was convinced that there were at least hydroacoustic means for detecting and protecting against torpedo threat on aircraft carriers, even though Admiral Kuznetsov did have doubts about its effectiveness. In the pictures of “Gerald Ford” in the dock chamber or on the slipway, the size of the ship’s bow bulb is striking - it’s just a sin not to install the most powerful multifunctional hydroacoustic complex! After all, if the connection of the ships or the area of the SSBN on duty is reliably covered from the threat from the air and the sea surface by the presence of a detachment of our ships with the flagship aircraft carrier at the head, then the threat from submarine hunters has not been canceled either. And the number of captains, successors of Günter Prine and Otto Krechmer, who want to raise the laurels of the winner of the Russian aircraft carrier, in the world around us is much more than on all the American and NATO aircraft carriers combined. I may be mistaken, but the presence and conditions of the use of the SAC on an aircraft-carrying cruiser of estimated sizes will be preferable than on existing BOD and destroyers. And this circumstance will only give more flexibility and stability to the PLO compound, as well as the universality of the cruiser itself when basing on it heavy anti-submarine helicopters or helicopter-minesweepers.
So, the performance characteristics of the future Russian TAVKR from the author:
Length, width (midship), draft (m) - 305, 39, 11.
Displacement standard (full) (t) - 63000 (70000).
The width of the flight deck 73 m, its area 15000 m2.
Underdeck Hangar (length * width * height) (m) - 190 * 34 * 7,5.
The nuclear power plant will provide the 32 ship with full-speed ties and 18 cruising units.
Armament: 36 aircraft type Su-35С; 12 UAV; 12 helicopters PLO and PS; four batteries "Armor M"; four batteries of the M-Tor SAM system with ammunition in 240 missiles; two survey three-coordinate radar of decimeter and centimeter ranges; GAK.
Providing up to 100 departures per day at maximum intensity in 18 sorties in 12 minutes.