Talking about the Sarmat missile system and the so far an unnamed cruise missile with a nuclear power plant, Vladimir Putin touched on the subject of weapons for the naval fleet. He recalled that currently in the world are creating various unmanned systems for one purpose or another. At the same time, similar work is being carried out in our country. One of the samples of such equipment is proposed for use in the interests of national security.
According to the president, new unmanned underwater vehicles, characterized by high performance, have been developed in Russia. They are able to dive to a greater depth and move at a speed that is a multiple of the characteristics of surface ships, submarines, torpedoes, etc. In this case, the device has an intercontinental range. Devices have low noise, high maneuverability and "almost invulnerable to the enemy." Means to counter this technique at the moment are simply not available.
V. Putin also said that new underwater drones are capable of carrying the most varied payload. They can be equipped with ammunition with a nuclear or conventional warhead. This approach will increase the flexibility weapons and expand the range of targets hit. The devices can be used to attack carrier strike groups, coastal fortifications or infrastructure.
Announced the completion of work, allowing to implement all existing plans in the field of underwater unmanned vehicles. According to the president, in December, 2017, Russian scientists and designers completed the entire test cycle of a promising nuclear power plant for UAVs. Inspections of such products lasted for several years and led to the desired results.
It is noted that the promising power plant has a uniquely small size, but it is characterized by ultra-high energy performance. It takes a hundred times less space than the nuclear reactor of a modern submarine. At the same time such a product shows a higher capacity and faster 200 just goes to battle mode with the maximum possible power.
Completed tests open the way for new projects. The results of research and development work the last time make it possible to start the process of creating a fundamentally new type of strategic weapons. Such systems will be able to carry various combat equipment, including high-powered nuclear warheads.
V. Putin noted that a promising underwater unmanned vehicle designed for delivery to the armed forces has not yet been officially named. The task of choosing a name for a new weapon this time is entrusted to the general public. Anyone can use the special Internet service of the Ministry of Defense and offer their own version of the name.
As part of the last Message of the Federal Assembly, the President’s speech was accompanied by demonstrations of videos showing the basic principles of the work of advanced weapons. After a brief story about underwater drone-guns, a video clip titled “Ocean Multi-Purpose System with Unmanned Underwater Vehicles Equipped with a Nuclear Power Plant” was shown. With the help of computer graphics and documentary frames from the production, the authors of the video demonstrated how new weapons will be used.
First of all, the video demonstrates some work at one of the shipbuilding enterprises. This part of the video is completed with frames in which the diesel locomotive takes the platform with a container of variable circular cross-section out of the workshop. Apparently, in this "package" is a promising drone. Then follows the animated part of the video showing the operation of the complex.
The submarine, similar to the 949A missile cruiser, opened a special hatch behind the cabin fence, from which the unmanned vehicle came out. The launch of the second product, resembling a torpedo, was also carried out. Moving at a small height above the bottom, both vehicles set off towards their goals at different points of the conventional World Ocean. The capabilities of the unmanned system were shown on a conventional globe, not a bit dissimilar to our planet.
One of the products coming out in the area of finding the enemy aircraft carrier group, went on the ascent, and was struck by ships. The route of the second was much longer. It reached the enemy's port, approached one of its structures, and only then did it destroy the warhead. The submarine carrier, in turn, continued swimming.
In the video were shown two products of different appearance. The first, wherein a characteristic yellow color, have a size on the level of conventional torpedoes and a similar configuration of the chassis. At the same time, there were special features in the form of a protruding longitudinal casing on the upper part of the hull, a pair of internal water cannons for depth control and a specific steering wheel group. The aft body located X-shaped stabilizers, which is located between the column with its own propeller. The axes of the latter are placed at an angle, which facilitates maneuvering. In different parts of the hull of a yellow mini-submarine, it was possible to see one or another different areas, which may well turn out to be sensors or some technological equipment.
The second sample from the demo looks more like a torpedo. It has a cylindrical body of large elongation with a hemispherical head fairing. In the stern are vertical and horizontal steering wheels, as well as a propulsion propeller in the annular channel. Other noticeable features of such a device were absent. However, it was he who was shown as the carrier of the warhead. Two such unmanned systems hit the ship group and port.
It should be recalled that for specialists and the public interested, a promising unmanned submersible with a nuclear power plant did not become a novelty. Back in the fall of 2015, a poster describing a certain project with the cipher “Status-6” allegedly hit the lens of the camera of one of the Russian TV channels. From this it followed that the Russian industry was working on a project of an unmanned submarine capable of carrying a warhead or its own weaponry. At the same time, such a submarine itself could become a payload for existing submarines.
A few days ago, shortly after Putin’s speech, it was announced that such a leak of data on a promising secret project was not accidental. Sheet with infographics specifically "framed" under the camera. Such a planned “leak” caused a stir among the public, and also became a cause for concern for officials from third countries. In the recent past, the Status-6 project has repeatedly become the topic of new discussions, and last Thursday the Russian president launched their next round.
According to the 2015 data of the year, the Status-6 project was developed by the Rubin Central Engineering Bureau. The task of the prospective apparatus was to deliver a special warhead to important objects of the enemy’s economy in the coastal zone. In addition, he had to create extensive radioactive contamination, making it impossible for the economic or military use of the area. These facts alone were able to attract attention, but some technical details were present on the poster.
"Status-6" in the form shown was a nuclear-free submarine with a set of special equipment. The hull with a diameter of 5-7 m was supposed to provide the ability to dive to a depth of 1000 m. The range using a nuclear reactor was determined in 10 thousand km. The maximum travel speed reached 180-190 km / h. The product "Status-6" was proposed to operate in conjunction with submarine carriers. In this capacity, the ships Belgorod (project 09852) and Khabarovsk (09851) were considered. On their bottoms could appear devices for the transport of a rather large drone.
The poster indicated that in the 2018-19 years CKB MT "Rubin" was supposed to complete the design. Tests and refinement should be carried out before 2025. Further plans were unknown, because they did not fall into the frame.
The planned information leakage provoked active discussions of a new Russian project. Public heated debate about various features of the project, including adding to the known data for its estimates and assumptions. Quite a few new data of an estimated nature were made by experts in the field of armaments. Officials, however, did not replenish a certain amount of data. Moreover, it was stated that the “Status-6” information was not subject to publication.
In 2016 and 2017, foreign publications, referring to their sources in intelligence structures, repeatedly reported on possible testing of the Russian product “Status-6”, and also supplemented the existing picture and clarified known data on its technical appearance. The Russian side, in turn, no longer mentioned the unusual project at the official level. This did not prevent the emergence of new estimates, but none of them was based on confirmed data.
Over time, the project "Status-6" has ceased to be the topic of the most active discussions, giving up this title to other relevant developments. However, 1 March 2018, the head of the Russian state told about the ocean multi-purpose system with unmanned underwater vehicles. The president announced the main features of the project, and also revealed some of the progress data. All this was accompanied by a demo video. It cannot be said that V. Putin revealed many new data, but a brief description of the promising program was enough to re-launch the wave of discussions.
Curiously, the new project was previously discussed under the title “Status-6”. Now it turned out that he does not have his own name. And they offered to solve this problem to the public: the Ministry of Defense accepts options for the names of the new apparatus.
The main and most interesting the news V. Putin should consider the data on the project for developing a nuclear power plant and the running characteristics obtained with its help. The President said that in December last year, the industry completed a multi-year test cycle of a compact but powerful power plant. It is alleged that this product is about 100 times smaller than the reactors of modern domestic submarines. It is easy to calculate that in this case, the power plant can fit in a reduced-size housing, which will save weight and increase power output. Another important feature of the reactor is its high “throttle response”. According to the president, to reach maximum power, a power plant requires 200 times less time than existing products. It seems that now we are talking about a real breakthrough in the field of nuclear energy.
Back in 2015, it became known that the underwater drone can develop high speed. Now V. Putin noted that this parameter will be several times higher than that of submarines. High travel speeds have known advantages, but can be associated with certain problems. First of all, at maximum speed, the device will be excessively noisy, which will facilitate its detection. However, it will be extremely difficult to catch up and destroy it with the use of existing anti-submarine weapons.
A separate topic of discussion at one time was the combat load of the apparatus. The 2015 poster of the year indicated that the Status-6 product could affect coastal infrastructure as well as create radioactively contaminated zones. According to various estimates, a thermonuclear charge with a power of up to 5-10 Mt could be inscribed into an existing case. However, there were more bold estimates, up to 80-100 Mt. In the discussions it was mentioned that in addition to the usual destructive factors of a nuclear explosion, a super-powerful charge should create an artificial tsunami up to several hundred meters high. According to the most courageous estimates, the wave from 100-megaton ammunition, even at distances more than 900 km from the coastline, will have a height of at least 2-3 m.
Warhead capacity in some megatons really makes the new UAV universal means of solving operational and strategic objectives. With it, with one blow, you can, at a minimum, disable an entire shipboard group or cause the most serious damage to coastal installations. Some of the objectives of the Status 6 project, which became known in the recent past, also allow the enemy to inflict long-term damage.
The tactical and technical characteristics and the power of the warhead allow you to roughly represent the scope of the unnamed system. In comparison with other equipment of the submarine fleet, the new unmanned vehicle is quite fast, but still cannot compare in speed with other means of delivery of nuclear weapons. Thus, it should be considered rather a means of retaliation. Not the fastest, but powerful and inevitable. However, it can also be used for the first strike, but in this case there are certain difficulties with the organization of the attack by all available means.
According to the latest data, the project of the ocean complex with a unmanned small-sized nuclear submarine has already passed the most important stage - the industry has tested a promising nuclear power plant. Now, design offices have the opportunity to prepare a complete system design and carry out all the necessary tests. According to the results of these works, over the next few years, Russia's strategic nuclear forces will be able to get a fundamentally new deterrent.