Import "stuffing" of the Russian ships: again on the same rake


The equipment of Russian ships under construction with imported equipment has its many years of history. Proof of this are ships built according to the programs of military shipbuilding of the Russian Empire of the late XIX - early XX centuries, pre-war shipbuilding programs of the USSR (1935 — 1938), as well as the development program of the Russian Navy on 2011 — 2020.

The only exceptions were ships and ships created under the post-war shipbuilding programs of the USSR 1945 — 1991, in which equipment was given priority in equipment, technical equipment and components mainly of domestic production.

According to the authors, the high proportion of imported equipment in equipping Russian ships and vessels in tsarist times and in the present period is the result of technical and technological backwardness of the domestic industry, including misunderstanding of the role and place of the technical component in our state’s economy, and, therefore, underestimation of the importance of scientific, technical, engineering and working personnel in Russian society.

Is it possible to avoid equipping ships and ships of the Navy with imported equipment? According to the authors, this is possible when replacing diesel, diesel-gas turbine and gas-gas turbine power plants with other types of power plants, for example, air-jet.

About import "stuffing"

Virtually all ships and vessels with imported equipment, as is known, have a number of features that affect not only their use in Russian conditions, but also significantly increase operating costs compared to ships and vessels equipped with domestic equipment. These features include the following.

First, the objective need to address many additional issues related to the presence in the Russian Navy of ships and vessels with imported equipment. For example, training and retraining of all categories of personnel for maintenance of imported equipment; carrying out factory repairs; ship supply with components, spare parts, fuel and fuel, recommended by the manufacturer, etc.

If these issues are resolved by the manufacturer, Russia will need to allocate large amounts of foreign currency to pay for services provided by the foreign party, while at the same time repairing, upgrading or replacing imported equipment will cause ships to be decommissioned for a longer time or repaired. in the producing country abroad, thereby reducing the combat readiness of the Russian Navy. In this case, large financial expenses in foreign currency will also be required, including for the maintenance of the crew and the payment of travel expenses abroad.

In addressing these issues, our country will also have to incur significant costs of foreign currency, for example, to pay for the services of foreign specialists and to purchase the required components, parts, tools, etc. from the manufacturing plant.

Secondly, the use of foreign equipment on ships and ships that are part of the Navy of other countries forces these countries to sacrifice their national interests in one way or another, because it forces them to follow the policy of the producing country, otherwise ships and ships can lose the opportunity to go to sea.

Thirdly, in case of deterioration or rupture of relations between former partners, as a rule, deliveries of necessary components, spare parts, etc., as a rule, cease, and ships and vessels with imported "stuffing" practically become useless. History knows many such examples. So, after the deterioration of relations between Indonesia and the USSR, the cruiser "Irian" (former Soviet cruiser "Ordzhonikidze"), being part of the Indonesian naval forces, due to the cessation of supplies from the Soviet Union of naval fuel oil, fuel and lubricants, components, parts, spare parts and equipment etc. around the years, 10 did not have the opportunity to go to sea, rusted at the wall of the naval base of Surabaya, performing the function of a floating prison, and was subsequently scrapped. A similar situation occurred in the middle of the 1970-ies with the ships of the Ethiopian Navy, produced in the United States, Britain and Italy.

Fourth, it is well known that the technical characteristics of export products, including ships, ships and elements of their power installations, are somewhat different (sometimes not for the better) from similar indicators of products intended for internal use in a manufacturing country.

Fifth, the priority use of imported products, including shipbuilding machinery, is one of the significant factors hindering the development of not only national industry, but also domestic science and technology.

Finally, no country in the world will provide for export (even to its closest allies) the latest (latest) weapons and military equipment. This also applies to the elements of the power plant. Abroad, as a rule, physically new, but morally obsolete samples, products and technologies are sold.

Facts from the story

In the history of the national navy there were enough examples of equipping warships with mechanisms, devices and weapons of foreign manufacture.

Since at that time steam power plants (CSPs) were the most developed, during the execution of the 1895 shipbuilding program of the year, the ships of the Imperial Fleet of Russia were equipped with CSPs of foreign production, including British triple expansion steam engines with Yarrow steam boilers (shipbuilding company Yarrou Limited), also English Yarrow triple-expansion steam engines with Russian-made licensed French steam boilers Belleville.

Most of the ships (the battleship Oslyabya, the Almaz cruiser, the Zhemchug cruiser, the Aurora cruiser, the Prince Suvorov battleship, the Oryol battleship, the Sisoy the Great battleship, etc.) built using the 1895 shipbuilding program , participated in the Tsushima battle in May 1905.

Battleship "Prince Suvorov". Russian empire

Cruiser Aurora". Russian empire

The main disadvantages of the main power plants (GEM) of domestic ships of the early twentieth century, equipped with imported equipment, were operational problems of boilers (low parameters of produced steam, low productivity, overrun of coal, accumulation of soot in boilers, overheating of boilers, the formation of difficult-to-remove tar deposits in the furnace, flue gas emissions from the furnace to the boiler room and others) and triple-expansion steam engines (low efficiency, large mass-dimensional characteristics, low speed, high crankshaft speed, etc.), and the lack of domestic automatic control systems for boilers and steam engines. In addition, low steam parameters and low steam output of boilers required the presence of a large number of them on the ship - from 18 to 25 units. The shortcomings of the foreign-made power plant significantly reduced the tactical and technical indicators of domestic ships (travel speed, cruising range, maneuverability, reliability, survivability), against the background of which other objective and subjective reasons aggravated, leading the Russian Imperial fleet to the Tsushima tragedy. After Tsushima, the Russian fleet lost its ocean status for almost half a century, and Russia - the status of a great naval power.

Battleship Dreadnought. Great Britain

Delivering outdated shipboard equipment abroad, their ships from the beginning of the twentieth century, for example, the UK has already equipped with boiler-turbine installations (KTU) with more efficient technical means. Thus, the power plant of the ship "Dreadnought", which became part of the English fleet in 1906, consisted of 4's Parson steam turbines and 18 of Babcock and Wilcox boilers.

Lessons from the Tsushima Battle

These lessons were taken into account, albeit partially, in the 1911 — 1914 shipbuilding program. Thus, battleships of the Sevastopol type (4 units) and the Empress Maria type (2 units) introduced into the Russian Imperial fleet during this period, instead of inefficient and bulky triple-expansion steam engines, were equipped with more efficient Parson steam turbines. However, even in this shipbuilding program, the development and equipping of Russian ships with domestic equipment and technical means did not provide for, which made the fleet's combat capability dependent on supplies from the manufacturing countries.

In 30-s of the twentieth century, domestic shipbuilders also sharply faced the issue of equipping ships built in accordance with shipbuilding programs (1935 and 1939) with power plants, which was caused by the technical and technological backwardness of our country. At that time, shipyards could quickly and well build ship hulls of various classes, including cruisers, destroyer leaders and destroyers, but the production of elements of the main power plant (ship steam boilers, ship steam turbines, their servicing mechanisms, etc.) it was developed insufficiently and significantly lagged behind the advanced shipbuilding states.

Battleship Sevastopol. Russian empire

To speed up the process of building new ships for the Navy of the USSR, the country's leadership decided to equip part of the hulls of ships under construction with power plants manufactured abroad, in particular in the UK1. Thus, the first light cruiser of the 26 project (Kirov), the first of the three destroyers of the 1 project (Moscow) and several destroyers of the Leningrad 7 project (the Watchdog series) were equipped. All of these ships were introduced into the combat composition of the Soviet Navy before the war.

The cruiser "Kirov". the USSR

The destroyer of the Watchdog series. the USSR

The Great Patriotic War of 1941 — 1945, as is known, was the hardest test not only for all of our people, but also for military equipment, including ships of the Russian Navy. Unfortunately, not all ships built in 1930 have withstood severe martial examinations. Turn to historical facts.

The fact of the first. 26 June 1941, the leader of the destroyers "Moscow", having completed the combat mission of firing on the Romanian naval base and the port of Constanta, headed for Sevastopol. When returning to their base, the existing operational-tactical situation (the raid of enemy aircraft) required the development of the ship as much as possible for a long time. Long-term operation of the power plant in the supernominal mode led to the destruction of the supporting devices (foundations) of the main steam turbines, which did not withstand the conditions of severe operation. First, the foundations cracked, and then began to collapse. The reason for the destruction of the foundations was the material of their manufacture - cast iron - a brittle metal, unable to withstand long-term ultimate dynamic stresses. The result of the accident, caused by the use of cast-iron foundations, was the loss of the destroyers lead and the death of the ship from the effects of the enemy weapons.

It should be added that in the peacetime period before the war, the power plants of combat ships operated on nominal and supernominal regimes for a very short time only during the trial running tests, and after the ships were accepted into the fleet, the long-term operation of the ship's power plant on the marginal modes was completely prohibited by a special circular.

The fact of the second. From help-report2 National Commissar of the USSR Navy Admiral N. G. Kuznetsov, the leaders of the country indicated that, as of 21 June 1941, the Navy included 37 destroyers of the “Watchdog” series (7 and 7У project), of which the 10 were combat-capable, the rest were could not go to sea, mainly due to the failure of the superheaters of the main steam boilers and the inability to replace them.

The fact is that shipboard steam boilers manufactured in Great Britain, installed on ships, were designed to use heavy fuel produced in England, while burning in the boilers of domestic naval fuel oil, especially at maximum fuel load, led to the burning of steam superheaters, resulting in a violation of performance of boilers and power plant in general. In addition, the dimensions of the boiler compartment of the destroyers of this series did not allow repairing the tail elements of the boiler system of the boilers under conditions of the ship that were constantly failing, and also excluded their dismantling by the crew for repair in the factory. In the first blockade Leningrad winter 1941 — 1942, the scientists carried out many heat engineering calculations, which showed that the imported steam turbines of the destroyers of the 7 and 7У projects are capable of operating on wet steam, that is, without overheating, and the lack of steam superheaters in steam boilers, although there are few but still does not lead to a significant deterioration in the tactical and technical characteristics of the power plant and the ship as a whole. The results of the work performed allowed the Navy leadership in wartime conditions to make an informed decision on the further operation of the ships of these projects without steam superheaters. Steam superheaters of the ship’s boilers were simply dismantled and, until the end of the war, the destroyer turbines operated on wet steam. However, precious time was missed and many ships in the most difficult for our country first period of the Great Patriotic War performed combat missions, standing at berths and factory walls, without going to sea.

Unfortunately, the considered examples show that the experience of using domestic warships with an imported electromechanical installation obtained during World War II can hardly be considered successful, since some shipboard power plants of foreign production for one reason or another have lost their performance under extreme operating conditions. It is obvious that the failures of the elements of the main power plant significantly reduced the combat capability of both the individual ship and the navy as a whole. It becomes obvious that many ships built according to pre-war shipbuilding programs and equipped with imported equipment were more suitable for parades than for war, as evidenced by the historical facts outlined above.

The lessons of combat use of Soviet ships in the Great Patriotic War were not in vain and were taken into account in the post-war shipbuilding programs of the USSR, ships and auxiliary ships of the Navy of domestic construction were equipped with mechanisms and devices exclusively domestic production, which allowed not only to eliminate the causes of many emergencies, but at the end of the 50 of the last century to bring the Soviet fleet into the world's oceans, and to return to our country the status of a great maritime power.

The ship power industry of Soviet production was at the level of foreign, and for high-speed diesel engines and gas turbines for a long time occupied the leading position in the world. In general, the level of domestic shipbuilding corresponded to the world level with the exception of the production of radio electronics and individual components for ships and ships, which was due to the lag in the production of element base. In general, the level reached by the shipbuilding industry of the USSR provided an opportunity to have a Navy meeting the objectives of the country, and in a certain sense equal to the US Navy.

What about today?

At present, as is known, Russia is implementing a large-scale shipbuilding program for the SPN 2011 — 2020, the purpose of which is to qualitatively and quantitatively update the Russian Navy, including through the introduction of surface ships — frigates, corvettes and small ships — into its combat personnel. as well as auxiliary vessels of the new generation.

Initially, according to the technical task, new warships and auxiliary vessels were to be equipped with main power plants (GEM) of foreign (mainly German and Ukrainian) production, but after the introduction of sanctions, the European Union imposed an embargo on these products as dual-use products, and German MTU Friedrichshafen (Baden-Baden, Germany), a manufacturer of marine diesel engines, despite the presence and partial payment of contracts, stopped the delivery of its products to Russia. At the same time, the GP ZNPA “Zorya-Mashproekt” (Nikolaev, Ukraine) unilaterally severed military-technical cooperation with Russian shipyards.

The absence of ship engines and the impossibility of acquiring them abroad once again raised the question for domestic shipbuilders: “What can replace imported ship main engines?”

The problem of the lack of engines led to the freezing of the construction of ships and auxiliary vessels of the Russian Navy and in fact disrupted the planned implementation time of the national shipbuilding program as a whole. Constructed, but not equipped with engines, the hulls of some new ships and vessels were lowered into the water, where they are in storage until the issue is resolved with the power plants. For example, three frigates of the 11356 Ave. (Yantar plant, Kaliningrad).

To date, a way out of this situation has been found, but in part.

Ship diesel installations of the German company MTU were replaced by domestic ship diesel engines: 10Д49 (16ЧНХ26 / 26) of Kolomna Plant - on frigates and М507Д-1 of the Zvezda plant (St. Petersburg) - on missile boats.

The M90FR gas turbine engines for frigates have already been manufactured in Rybinsk at the ODK-Saturn and are ready to be sent to the Severnaya Verf plant (St. Petersburg), but the fleet needs not just gas turbine engines (GTE), but the main gas turbine-gear units (GGTZA), in addition to GTE, they include gearboxes, the production of which is entrusted to the Zvezda plant (St. Petersburg). However, there is no information about the time of manufacture and supply of gearboxes for gas-turbine engines M90FR.

Thus, to organize a full-fledged import substitution in the equipment of ships and vessels by domestic power plants has not yet succeeded.

Authors' proposal

The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the loss of ship engineering in Russia (ship gas turbine engines, diesel engines, boilers and steam turbines) and today, in the new Russia, it is necessary to re-create this production, which will require considerable time. To speed up the process of equipping ships and ships under construction, you can first develop and implement the simplest and cheapest ship power plants, for example, installations with jet propulsion.

According to the authors, an air-water jet-cavitation apparatus, in which the outlet diffuser is replaced by a nozzle, can be used as a water jet jet or propulsion jet in the proposed power plant. High-pressure air is used as the active (working) medium of such a jet-cavitation propeller, and seawater is used for passive (intake) air.

The backbone element of this power plant is a source of compressed air, for example, an air compressor, designed to compress the required amount of air to the parameters required for the normal operation of the jet-cavitation propulsion unit of parameters. In addition, the power plant incorporates a high-pressure air pipeline, shut-off organs, instrumentation and other elements combined into a single system in their functional purpose. The pressure pipe of the air compressor is connected via an air pipe of high pressure to the working nozzle of the jet apparatus. The jet propulsion unit is mounted inside the ship hull in the lower part of the transom (Eng. Transon - a flat cut of the stern) of the vessel at an angle, with the propulsion output and suction nozzles taken out of the hull and buried beneath the water level. The power plant can have one or several echelons, the number of which is determined by the displacement of the ship.

Echelon power plant works as follows. High-pressure air (VVD) from an air compressor through an VVD pipeline enters the nozzle of an air-water jet-cavitation apparatus, in the working chamber of which, when air flows out of the nozzle, a sufficient vacuum is created for self-absorption of water from the side. At the exit from the jet propulsion, an air-water jet is emitted directly into the water under pressure, creating an emphasis necessary for the movement of the vessel. The change in the ship’s speed at the same time occurs due to an increase or decrease in the parameters (flow and pressure) of air after the compressor, which is fed into the nozzle of the jet-cavitation propulsion unit.

Use as a jet propulsion air-water jet-cavitation apparatus will eliminate many of the disadvantages of the propeller and the traditional jet propulsion.

It is obvious that a power plant with air-water jet-cavitation propellers is more economical and has much smaller weight and size characteristics compared to the installations used today. In addition, by implementing certain constructive measures, it is possible to significantly increase the survivability of the proposed power plant and the vessel as a whole.

The authors believe that the creation of the ship's air-jet power installation (SVVEU), the echelon of which includes, for example, one diesel-compressor (domestic production), consisting of high-pressure air compressor K30А-23 (power 235 kW / 320 hp, air capacity 600 m³ / h and final air pressure 200 ÷ 400 kg / cm²) driven by a JMZ 7514.10-01 diesel engine (277 kW / 375 hp, specific fuel consumption - 208 gr. / kW * h); high pressure air pipelines; high pressure air cylinders; instrumentation and one / two air-water (s) jet-cavitation (s) water-jet (s) propulsion (s) is currently quite realistic, for example, for ships of small displacement, in particular for rocket and artillery boats. Obviously, with the increase in the ship’s or vessel’s displacement, the number of echelons of the AHEC will increase.

For the introduction and use of the proposed power plant, it is necessary to carry out the necessary calculations and field tests. At the same time, the final decision on equipping newly built ships and vessels with the considered power plant, including the mechanisms, devices and systems of domestic production, remains with the leaders who have the authority to do so.


HISTORY is an important SCIENCE, because it is a guideline of movement in the right direction, not only for the individual, but also for society as a whole. Those who ignore and do not know the story or do not learn its lessons, subsequently pay dearly for it.

Fulfilling the instructions of Admiral S.O. Makarov, the descendants of "REMEMBER THE WAR", Russian ships and auxiliary vessels of the Navy must be equipped with technical means and systems exclusively domestic production, otherwise you can again step on the same rake.

1 The team leader for acceptance of ship boilers and turbines for ships of the 7 and 7 projects in the UK was Kurzon Ananii Grigorievich, a graduate of the 1934 of the Leningrad Shipbuilding Institute, later a doctor of technical sciences, professor, honored scientist and engineer of the RSFSR, chairman of the Shipbuilding section and deputy Chairman of the Leningrad branch of the All-Union Scientific and Technical Society "Knowledge".
2 One copy of Kuznetsov’s reference report with a resolution of I. V. Stalin was sent to the LCI to eliminate technical deficiencies by the scientists of the institute, a copy of this document was kept in the archive of Kurzon A. G.
3 The high-pressure air compressor K30А-2 is the compressor part of the electric compressor ЕK30А-2.
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