Military Review

Minesweepers for the 12700 Alexandrite project and their capabilities

25 on April 2018, the ceremony of launching the next basic minesweeper of the 12700 project, Alexandrite, took place. The minesweeper was designed by the Almaz Central Maritime Design Bureau for the Russian Navy and belongs to a new generation of mine defense ships. The ship is designed to search and destroy sea mines in the waters of naval bases on a safe distance for the ship.

The head minesweeper "Alexander Obukhov", which was launched on 27 on June 2014 of the year and was commissioned on 9 of December on 2016, fully confirmed all the tactical and technical characteristics of the project. The deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy for armaments, Vice Admiral Viktor Bursuk, who was present at the launching ceremony of the third minesweeper of this type (second serial) “Ivan Antonov”, told journalists about this. The first serial ship "George Kurbatov" was laid 24 April 2015, but in June 2016, suffered from a fire, the ship is still under construction, approximately it will be launched in 2019 year.

In total, 10 ships of Project 12700 were contracted for the needs of the Russian Navy, instead of the originally planned 8 ships, while the commissioning date for the last minesweeper of the series was shifted to 2027. According to Viktor Bursuk, minesweepers of the Alexandrite type will be present at all fleets... The lead ship "Alexander Obukhov" is currently serving in the Baltic Fleet, and the second ship, "Ivan Antonov", built and launched, will become part of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Tests of "Ivan Antonov" are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2018.

Base minesweeper project 12700, render TsMKB "Almaz"

The fiberglass hull of the new ship, invisible to magnetic fuses of sea mines, a modern mine control system and high maneuverability make the 12700 project minesweepers strategically important ships for the Russian fleet. The basic minesweepers of this project can be used both to clear safe corridors in minefields and to search for single drifting sea mines that impede navigation.

Minesweeper is designed to detect and destroy mines of all types; mine protection bases, coastal marine areas; ensuring mine protection of ships of the fleet at the sea crossing, its own exclusive economic zone and mineral deposits at sea; setting minefields; mine reconnaissance. During periods of low probability of mine threat, the 12700 project minesweepers can be used both for the protection of a given water area and for training purposes.

In the base minesweepers of the 12700 project, the designers of the St. Petersburg enterprise TsMKB "Almaz" managed to combine a fairly large number of non-standard engineering solutions, much of this class was used for the first time. For example, in addition to the two adjustable-pitch propellers, the minesweeper received two bow thrusters, the PU-100F and two fodder retractable rotary columns VPK-90F / 70. Due to this, the ship received maneuverability comparable to the maneuverability of the tug. For the minesweeper of the coastal zone, this is a fairly valuable quality that allows the ship to be used effectively even in narrow straits, between shoals, on the fairways. Two diesel engines with power 2500 hp each provide the warship with a maximum speed of 16 knots. The sailing range in an economical course is 1500 nautical miles, the autonomy of navigation is 10 days.

Launching minesweeper "Alexander Obukhov"

But the main feature of the ship is its unique design, namely the manufacturing technology of the hull. The ship's hull is made of monolithic fiberglass by vacuum infusion (for the first time in Russia). At the same time, when creating the minesweeper, the world technological record was set - for the first time in the world, a monolithic body of fiberglass with a length of almost 62 meter was manufactured. The technology for manufacturing the hull was developed with the participation of the Central Research Institute of Structural Materials Prometheus and the Central Research Institute named after Academician Krylov.

The main advantages of the monolithic case are:
- the increased durability in comparison with the traditional steel case;
- the increased term of operation;
- increased survivability characteristics;
- low weight.

Moreover, unlike low-magnetic steel, a lighter and more durable fiberglass body has a minimum level of physical fields. Contactless mine fuses on it simply do not work, which is very important for ships of this type. True, the technology of creating such a hull is very expensive, so the first ships of this project flew into the Russian Defense Ministry a lot of money, the agency RIA News.

The on-board armament of the 12700 Alexandrite minesweepers is represented by one 6-barreled AK-306 artillery unit of the 30-mm caliber and one Marine thug machinegun system (MPTU) of the 14,5-mm caliber (KPVT machine gun). Instead of the 14,5-mm machine gun, two 12,7-mm Kord machine guns on the pivot installation (6P59) are also possible. There are also 8 man-portable air defense systems aboard the minesweeper.

Launching minesweeper "Ivan Antonov"

Minesweeper "Ivan Antonov" is equipped with modern complexes for the search and detection of mines, which are controlled by the automated system "Diez". In addition, the minesweeper has a sono-search station Livandia-M. The control system "Diez" in real time receives, processes and displays on electronic maps real-time information that comes from navigation systems, which significantly facilitates the work of the navigator. From the minesweeper, various surface and underwater autonomous anti-mine devices can also be used.

In particular, specifically for the minesweepers of the 12700 Alexandrite project in France, the ECA Group acquired three crewless Inspetor Mk 2 boats, which are a mine action system controlled from the carrier ship. Each such 9-meter boat is equipped with an active GAS mine survey on a retractable match in the bow (to search for mines at depths to 10 meters, including anchor ones) and a towed GAS side view TOWSCA (to search for mines at depths from 10 to 100 meters, including objects on bottom), as well as various remotely operated underwater vehicles for searching and destroying mines, in particular, two Seascan Mk.2 underwater mine-warning vehicles. An unmanned boat can operate efficiently at a distance of up to 10 kilometers from the carrier ship. At the end of June 2017 of the International Maritime Defense Salon, which was held in St. Petersburg, Dominic Mallet, Commercial Director of the ECA Group, said that the concern expects to establish in Russia licensed production of Inspector Mk.2 boats and autonomous underwater vehicles Seascan Mk2 in Russia .

Naval expert captain of the first rank Mikhail Slavin told RIA Novosti that the lion's share of mine equipment for the first minesweepers of the 12700 project was purchased in France before the introduction of sanctions. At the same time, minesweepers were originally designed for the fourth-generation Russian Alexandre-ISPUM mine system, which, unfortunately, has not yet been brought to mind.

Minesweeper "Alexander Obukhov" and the unmanned boat Inspector Mk 2

Pavel Zvonarev at the beginning of 1980, who served as a navigator at the base minesweeper of the Baltic Fleet, in an interview with RIA Novosti noted that minesweeping was always considered a difficult task in terms of providing navigation. “For clearing a safe corridor, 6-7 ships are usually used, which move in a tight ledge with unrolled trawls. The speed of the minesweepers is constant - from 6 to 12 nodes. The structure of the ships is maintained in such a way that no unprotracted zones remain behind them. Over time, this tactic has not changed. " According to Zvonarev, the navigators of the minesweepers provide the so-called “shut off” - the clearing of mines of water must necessarily go one on top of another for approximately 30% of their width, the effect of overlapping is realized. In order to achieve meter accuracy during trawling, an independent radio navigation system with special lighthouses is promptly deployed, all maneuvers and turns are calculated, a coastline and various landmarks are tracked along the locator. The presence of modern navigation equipment on the ships of the project 12700 allows you to do it much more accurately and faster.

In addition to modern robotic systems and complexes, the new minesweepers were equipped with traditional means: the contact trawl GKT-2 and acoustic ShAT-U. The first of them consists of two long flexible steel leash with rigidly mounted on them passive cutters, as well as distributing devices in the form of floats at the ends. If you observe this trawl from a height, then with its outlines it will resemble a dovetail. The scheme of action of such a trawl is quite simple. Hooking on the trawl, the minrep (the cable with an anchor that holds the sea mine under water) begins to slide on it, and then falls on one of the cutters and breaks off. After that, the mine that has emerged to the surface can be quickly eliminated with the help of artillery and machine-gun armament mounted on the minesweeper. And with the emergence and spread of bottom mines, so-called non-contact trawls were created, which, imitating physical fields, initiated the detonation of mines of this type.

Despite the absence of strike weapons on board, modern anti-mine defense ships are of strategic importance to the fleet. Modern mining technologies, both from water and from the air (the discharge of mines from airplanes and helicopters) make it possible in a short time and sufficiently to sow the sea area with various mines. No matter how powerful the fleet is, if it is locked up in the places where it is based by enemy mines, its combat capabilities will be significantly limited. Only minesweepers are able to break the mine blockade. Without minesweepers, it will not be possible to withdraw nuclear submarines and cruisers to patrol, land naval landings, and organize effective defense of the coast. In recent years, the command of the Russian Navy seriously worried about the state of the mine fleet and the issues of its replenishment with new ships. Until 2050, the Russian fleet’s need for new minesweepers is estimated at least in 30-40 ships.

Tactical and technical characteristics of the minesweeper project 12700 "Alexandrite":
Displacement - 890 tons.
Length - 61,6 m, width - 10,3 m.
The power plant - 2 diesel engine with horsepower 2х2500.
Speed ​​- 16 nodes.
Sailing Range - 1500 miles.
Autonomy - 10 days.
Armament: 1 x AU AK-306 (30-mm), 1 x MTPU 14,5-mm, 8 MANPADS.
Mine weapons: acoustic trawl ShAT-U, contact trawl GKT-2 or GOKT-1.
Crew - 44 person.

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  1. Tomato
    Tomato 17 May 2018 15: 40
    It's a good news. Even before KRYMNASH, Russia participated in exercises with NATO. After the exercises, all the participants came to our city. The Russian minesweeper looked like complete antediluvian squalor, even against the background of the Latvian minesweepers. In recent years, the Navy has had a sad situation with mine protection. They dreamed of aircraft carriers without modern minesweepers. And the fleet is being built just from minesweepers, and on an increasing basis.
  2. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 17 May 2018 16: 57
    In addition to modern robotic systems and complexes, new minesweepers were equipped with traditional means

    Traditional - yes, but about the "modern robotic" in more detail, please
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 17 May 2018 17: 55
      French drones Inspector and Seascan. But here is the trouble. Due to difficulties with Alexandrite himself (the article won out that another system that had died was planned) and the active marketing of ECA - which, as a result, could not keep the dimension of the drone from the originally planned.

      Published inconsistency - minesweepers can only pull the inspector in tow. In size, he does not climb onto the ship. Due to the peculiarities of casting, it is impossible to fix this joint without remaking the matrix, and it is very expensive.
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 17 May 2018 18: 01
        Quote: donavi49
        There was a discrepancy - minesweepers can only pull the Inspector in tow

        That's it:)))
  3. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 17 May 2018 17: 44
    fiberglass housing has a minimum level of physical fields. Contactless mine fuses just don't work on him
    the case is fiberglass, but inside the case all the same many tons of metal, hardly contactless mine fuses do not work on it
    1. Brylevsky
      Brylevsky 18 May 2018 12: 27
      This is a good point! Indeed, in a minesweeper only a plastic case does not have its own magnetic field. The main engine and auxiliary mechanisms, the propeller shaft (or shafts?), Wherever iron is present as a component of steel, all these products will have their own magnetic field. But compared with the magnitude of the magnetic field of the steel body, this field is small and its magnitude may not be enough to fire a magnetic fuse of a sea mine. Maybe it’s not enough ... The probability of this event will depend mainly on: 1) Sensitivity of the fuse; 2) Depth of installation of the mine and, as a result, the distance between the mine and the minesweeper. By increasing the first and reducing the second, a high probability of the initiation process can be achieved ... The first factor is eliminated by demagnetization: they act in the same field, but in a different direction. For this purpose, special laboratories with a staff of officers exist on special vessels of the TFP ("ship of physical fields", military auxiliary fleet). There is a problem with the second factor: to take it into account, you need to know at least the depth of the mine. But even compliance with all of the above measures cannot be a guarantee of safe navigation: a fuse in a sea mine is usually not one ... in addition to magnetic + contact, it can be acoustic and / or hydrostatic or their various combinations. Modern mines have microprocessor control with a developed network of sensors and software processing information from them, and are capable of exploding under a specific ship ... or shooting their warhead at it. Well, old as this world means aimed at increasing the combat effectiveness of mines: a "multiplicity device" and an "urgency device". So a non-magnetic case is just one of the possible measures. Unfortunately, far from complete ...
  4. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 17 May 2018 20: 03
    It's nice to hear this, but the construction of such boats goes as they say "not shaky, not swath." The fleet needs trawlers now, as during the Cold War, if only because the fleet is very old and crushed. Coastal missile systems are certainly good, they won't let the "big adversaries" get close to the shore, but the mine threat will not get any smaller. At the time of my youth (I trained on yachts, at that time pretty good boats), mine attention was paid much more, which is probably why, after 40 years, the yachts, of course the later years of release, are still in service recently I saw it myself. There’s a basic minesweepers (I don’t think about boaters), every Fleet should have at least 2-3 divisions. The safety of navigation in territorial waters should always be at its best!
  5. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 18 May 2018 12: 31
    judging by the photo “Alexander Obukhov” and “Ivan Antonov” have obvious differences, especially in the bow
  6. Evgeniy667b
    Evgeniy667b 19 May 2018 19: 23
    One of the main characteristics of any warship (and the minesweeper is not a pleasure yacht) is its survivability and maintainability. The fire at Kurbatov showed how monolithic fiberglass behaves when exposed to fire. The consequences are very serious, similarly with recovery. The abandonment of the traditional wooden structure (and why should wood not be associated with epoxy or polyester resins?) Was most likely proposed and pushed by designers for the sole purpose of economic efficiency. They apparently did not care that much more ships would be needed for the war, cheaper and restored practically in the “Field conditions.” The ship’s unique load does not depend on the hull material. I personally checked that epoxies and materials based on them burn very well. Not from a lighter, of course .... but say high-explosive ammunition
    1. 23rus
      23rus 20 May 2018 10: 39
      This fact was taken into account and compared with others - fiberglass outweighed. And to the question of the magnetic fields of the filling of the ship - most mines are volume-oriented.
      1. Vladimir1155
        Vladimir1155 20 May 2018 21: 27
        a very important area of ​​shipbuilding, and unfortunately there are few of them, and the fleet needs them now, the minesweeper is an order of magnitude more important than aircraft carriers and they need more, it is also necessary to improve the filling and create a domestic one. Of surface ships, the minesweeper is most important because it is completely indispensable in anything, neither by coastal means, nor by aviation and submarines.
  7. Brylevsky
    Brylevsky 21 May 2018 22: 13
    Quote: 23rus
    Most mines are volume oriented.

    What volume?