According to official data, ships of the "Karakurt" type belong to the third rank and are intended for conducting combat operations in the near sea zone. With the help of existing missile and artillery weapons, such IRAs should attack surface, air or coastal targets. Previously, it was repeatedly noted that the 22800 project has a significant similarity with the older 21631 “Buyan-M” project, however, it is notable for improved seaworthy characteristics. Unlike the “Buyans”, the new “Karakurts” will be able to work not only on the rivers and shallow seas.
The 22800 project was created by the Almaz Central Maritime Design Bureau (St. Petersburg) by order of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Design work was carried out in the first half of this decade. The first official demonstration of the future Karakurts was held at the Army-2015 international military-technical forum. It is curious that only a few months passed from the first demonstration of the project materials to the start of ship construction.
Bookmark the first two "Karakurtov" took place at the end of December 2015. The order for their construction was received by the Pella shipyard in Leningrad. In total, 7 ships of a new type are planned to be built at this enterprise, with 3 units descending from the stocks of the “More” plant in Feodosia, transferred under the control of the “Pella”. Another five ships must pass Zelenodolsk Shipyard them. Gorky; He began work on his orders in 2016. The possibility of ordering six ships to the Amur shipyard was also mentioned.
In the summer and autumn of last year, the Pella plant launched the first two ships of the 22800 project, the Hurricane and Typhoon. In early May, the third descent took place. According to known data, the first two ships have already passed the necessary tests. The transfer of two units to the Navy is scheduled for this year. The next two "Karakurt" will begin service next year. In 2020, the flag will be raised on several ships at once. The last of the planned ISCs will be laid out in the 2019-2020 years, and their construction will be completed within the next years 3-4.
The ships of the Karakurt project are not distinguished by large dimensions and displacement. Their length is only 67 m with a width of 11 m and a draft of 4 m. Displacement - 800 t. With the help of a diesel-electric power plant, they can reach speeds up to 30 nodes and show the cruising range at 2500 miles.
Despite their small size, the 22800 IRAs should carry a serious set of equipment and weapons. Thus, the main means of monitoring the situation and detecting targets is the Mineral-M radar complex, which includes active and passive surveillance tools. With the help of such a complex, Karakurt will be able to find large surface targets at distances of about 250 km. The maximum range of the passive location, depending on various factors, is up to 400-450 km. Stations can accompany dozens of targets and exchange data with other ships.
The project provides for the availability of weapons for air defense. The first two ships of the series for such purposes carry a pair of AK-630M installations and man-portable air defense systems. All subsequent ships are invited to complete the modules "Pantsir-M" with 30-mm guns and missiles. Constructing "Karakurt" receive a universal artillery installation AK-176MA with a caliber 76 mm.
The main strike vehicle of the 22800 project ships are several types of missiles. In the aft part of the superstructure, across the diametral plane, there is a universal vertical launcher 3-14 with eight cells for transport and launch containers with missiles. Declared the possibility of using cruise missiles complex "Caliber-NK" and anti-ship "Onyx". The composition of the ammunition and the type of missiles used are determined in accordance with the assigned combat missions.
It is rocket armament that gives new domestic ships high combat characteristics and remarkable potential. With its help, the IRC of the 22800 project will be able to fight off surface, land or underwater targets, for which different types of missiles with different characteristics and combat equipment can be used. In this case, as follows from the well-known data, it is possible to hit targets at distances of hundreds of kilometers.
When an enemy surface ship is detected, the Karakurt can use the Onyx rocket or products of the 3М-54 family. Onyx anti-ship missiles are equipped with a combined guidance system based on inertial navigation and active-passive radar homing head. It enters a given area according to navigation data, after which it must independently search for a target. You can choose the flight path. With a high altitude trajectory, the maximum launch range reaches 450-500 km. On other modes, the radius of action is noticeably reduced. A warhead with a mass of 300 kg is delivered to the target, sufficient to inflict the most serious damage even to large ships.
In the family of missiles "Caliber" is also present anti-ship weapon. A cruise missile of this line is able to fly more than 300 km, independently find a surface target and hit it with a warhead of at least 200 kg. According to various sources, anti-ship "Calibers" can have a range up to 450-500 km. The main difference between the “Caliber” and “Onyx” is other flight speeds. These RCCs maintain subsonic speeds on most of the trajectories, while Onyx immediately goes to supersonic.
The most important advantage of the Caliber-NK complex is the presence of 3-14 cruise missiles, designed to attack ground targets with previously known coordinates. This weapon has already been used in real operations and clearly demonstrated the possibility of destroying objects at distances more than 1500 km. Moreover, some sources mention the firing range of the order of 2-2,5 thousand km. Thus, if the target designation is available, the Karakurt-type ship or other Kalibrov carrier is able to control a very large land area.
According to the previously announced data, the serial XR of the 22800 project will be transmitted to all major fleet associations. They will serve in the Northern, Pacific, Baltic, and Black Sea fleets. It is not at all difficult to imagine what effect the new ships with missiles of outstanding range can have on the military-political situation in the regions. They will be able to cover significant areas of the coast from a possible attack, and in addition, they will "take aim" at large land areas with a multitude of military and administrative facilities.
Without leaving their bases on the Kola Peninsula, the small rocket ships of the Northern Fleet, in theory, are able to protect from the surface facilities all the nearest coast, as well as a significant part of the Barents Sea and the entire White Sea. In the area of responsibility of 3М-14 missiles in this case are Scandinavia, Eastern and Central Europe, as well as part of the British Isles.
With the help of “Calibrov” and “Onyxes” Baltic seamen will be able to protect the Gulf of Finland and cover a significant part of the Baltic Sea. It is also possible to control territories up to Western Europe, the Balkans and Asia Minor. The responsibility of the Baltic Fleet overlaps with the area of possible operation of the Northern Fleet.
While in Sevastopol, the "Karakurt" of the Black Sea Fleet can use anti-ship missiles on targets in all the nearby waters. At the same time, their “Calibers” are capable of acquiring objects in Western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It should be noted that the Caspian flotilla missiles, where the Buyan-M type ships serve, overlap a similar region.
ISCs of the Pacific Fleet, based in Vladivostok, can use anti-ship weapons against targets in the Sea of Japan and the East Korean Gulf. The range of water-to-ground rockets at the same time allows you to control the area from central Mongolia to Kamchatka, including all the Japanese islands and a large part of China.
It should be noted that the areas of responsibility obtained relate only to ships located on or near the main fleet bases. The new ships of the 22800 project are capable of operating in the near-sea zone, and therefore the actual launch point of the missiles can be located anywhere and at a considerable distance from the base. Thus, the actual areas of responsibility of new ships are able to be anywhere and cover almost any part of the oceans or land, even with certain restrictions.
It must be admitted that the new Russian "Karakurts" are not perfect. First of all, the small size of the ammunition of the missile complex can be considered a disadvantage. One IRA of this type carries a total of eight Caliber or Onyx missiles. Thus, to perform a massive missile strike, joint work of several ships may be necessary, which may make it difficult to prepare for the operation and conduct it. However, small ammunition directly related to the dimensions of the ships and the lesser complexity of their construction.
According to current plans, no later than the mid-twenties, the Russian Navy will have 18 ships of the 22800 "Karakurt" project, which will be distributed among the four main structures. Thus, the fleet will receive a fairly large group of strike ships with very powerful weapons. At the same time, the country receives a convenient and flexible force projection tool in different regions. It is important that such a tool can be created in minimum time and with reasonable spending - the entire program of building 18 ships should take no more than 8-9 years.
Currently, a gradual modernization of the fleet and military shipbuilding. The production capacities of various enterprises are being updated, which makes it possible to build new ships of various classes and types. So far, the military department only makes plans for future projects of surface ships of the first rank, but smaller and powerful combat units are already being built, transferred to the customer and included in the Navy. All this naturally leads to an increase in the combat potential of surface forces and the general defense capability of the country.
Obviously, new ships of the second and third rank, such as the 22800 project's MRC, are inferior in their capabilities to larger combat units, for example, the promising destroyer Leader. However, they differ in comparative cheapness, simplicity and speed of construction. The first "Karakurt" was laid at the end of 2015 of the year, and will soon enter service. By the time the head "Leader" can start his service, almost all the ordered ships of the 22800 project will be present in the Navy.
With all the achievements and successes, the Russian Ministry of Defense, the navy and the shipbuilding industry still face all sorts of difficulties. In current conditions it is not always possible to do everything desired, and therefore you have to look for alternative ways. One of the ways out of the current situation, which makes it possible to update the fleet and increase its potential under the conditions of known restrictions, is the construction of a large number of small rocket ships with advanced weapons. These ideas, first of all, are realized with the help of the 21631 “Buyan-M” and 22800 “Karakurt” projects.
To date, the Russian shipbuilding industry has managed to launch three Karakurt type ships from 18 planned for construction. The first two this year will pass all the tests and go to serve the Baltic Sea. Another 15 ships will be transferred to the customer starting next year. By the mid-twenties, the four fleets of the Russian Navy will be able to form full-fledged groups of small rocket ships with modern weapons.
The construction of large and powerful ships with rocket and artillery weapons still belongs to the distant future, but the navy cannot wait. For this reason, other combat units are being built, which also have quite remarkable opportunities. Despite their modest size and small displacement, they can be a serious shock tool and an effective tool of international politics. And a large number of such ships will surely turn into quality.
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