A detachment of Soviet warships goes to sea. For us, a serious detachment. For any of our potential adversaries, there are only four ships, not the most powerful
We are weaker, it is better to proceed from this. And even the timely transfer of reserves from other fleets to the troubled theater of operations, even a powerful shock aviation ashore should not plunge us into illusions. We should start from the very beginning from the bad - we must win in the conditions of numerical and economic superiority of the enemy, and win with a crushing score, quickly and scary for our rivals.
Is it possible? There are a number, so to speak, of “second-order principles”, or of those rules that help achieve the main goal voiced earlier in war - domination of the sea, or by blocking or otherwise ousting the enemy from the sea, or destroying it.
It makes sense to list them, because the operations of the weakest side in a war at sea have a chance of success only when it adheres to them. They do not guarantee her victory, of course, because the enemy will not play giveaways. But they give the weaker side a chance at it, and in some cases are considerable. Not guaranteeing victory, they make it achievable.
Speed versus Strength
In the summer of 1914, a detachment of two German warships, the battle cruiser Göben and the light cruiser Breslau, marched through the Dardanelles in order to conduct military operations against the Entente, based on Turkish territory. In the specific circumstances prevailing at that time, it is against Russia.
Battle cruiser Goeben
In theory, Russia had a serious advantage in the Black Sea over two German ships. But there was a nuance. Both the Goben and Breslau were significantly faster than any Russian battleship. And stronger than any Russian ship that could catch them.
As a result, all battles between German ships and Russians ended in the same way - falling under the powerful fire of Russian ships, the Germans simply came off, left the battle, and that’s all. This went on throughout the war, which "Goeben" safely survived. The superiority in speed of a more modern German ship made it possible to survive several battles with the Russian fleet, and no firepower of the Russian armadillos helped - the speed helped the Germans simply to avoid the battle when they did not consider it necessary to join it, or when they wanted to leave it. No numerical and fire superiority helped the Russians, nor did the tactical skill of the commanders, contrary to popular estimates today, really took place.
You can find many similar examples in stories. A party with a superiority in speed is either not vulnerable at all, or requires completely disproportionate forces for its defeat. This is especially evident when actions take place in the open ocean.
But this is on the tactical link. A "level up"? Does speed have operational significance?
Consider the situation when an aircraft carrier strike group in the open ocean needs to destroy a ship strike group, or drive it into a neutral port, where it will be interned. For this, it is necessary to attack it with airplanes, ensuring the defeat of at least one target in each sortie. At first glance, everything is obvious, but in fact, the commander of the aircraft carrier group must solve a number of issues.
We will not talk about reconnaissance, maintaining contact and issuing target designation - this is not as simple as it seems, but also not impossible, we just omit this question. We consider it resolved.
Let's think about something else.
In order for a strike on the KUG to be just a strike, and not a suicidal throw of a handful of aircraft under the fire of several powerful air defense systems, it must be a massive strike. The maximum number of aircraft must be raised into the air, and they must strike at the enemy together, overloading their air defense systems and making it impossible to repulse the attack. At first glance, this is what aircraft carriers exist for, but for such an attack, the KMG must be inside the combat radius of the deck aircraft.
Let us ask a question: what if the speed of the COG at the transition is always and in all cases higher than the speed of the ACG? For example, on 5 nodes? These five nodes mean an increase in the gap between KUG and AUG by 220 kilometers every day - almost half of the combat radius F / A-18 loaded in the shock version and without hanging tanks. And in a day - almost a full radius. At the same time, the AUG needs to go at a speed that excludes the use of its own submarines for its defense, and if the pursued KUG passes over the curtain from its submarines, the AUG chasing it risks running into this curtain, and all of a sudden.
So how to hit the target in just these conditions? It is not worth saying that this is impossible at all, the reality is more complicated than a straight race. However, the above example shows well how sometimes speed can be used. Let us suppose that “integrally” AUG is twice as strong. But she cannot get the target, at least at this moment in time!
In the end, you need to carry out a whole naval operation, remove ships and ship groups from performing other tasks ... making it easier for the enemy to operate on other parts of the theater of operations.
No less important is the speed with which the naval group or squadron moves to the desired theater of operations. Any ship has a maximum speed, and there is the speed of an economic vehicle, at which crossings over long distances are carried out. The higher the latter, the higher the speed of deployment of naval groups.
As a result, a stronger, but slower opponent faces an unpleasant prospect - he is always late. A quick opponent attacks the forces that he considers necessary, and leaves with impunity. Of course, each battle for him carries the same risk as for the “slow” one - after all, missiles and planes are in any case faster than ships. But between fights, it is speed that determines who will drive someone into a hopeless situation.
The weak should be faster. It must be faster during any operation, it must be faster during deployment. And this means the need for shipbuilding to build on the enemy’s data - to wait until it becomes clear at what maximum speed his ships can go, and what is the speed of the economic course, and then surrender ships that are superior to the enemy in this.
We illustrate this statement with another example - it is necessary to take control of a certain narrowness, for example, a strait. One side sends an atomic submarine or two there, the second a pair of anti-submarine corvettes and non-nuclear submarines, with the task of destroying all military surface and all submarine targets without exception after a certain point. Is it important who comes to narrowness faster? The answer is obvious.
If we ignore speed as a tactical property of the ship, then we can say that the enemy must be outstripped in everything - in the speed of analysis of the situation, in the speed of decision-making, in the speed of mobilization, in the speed of transmitting orders and other information. A fast opponent will be able to impose his pace, set it, and a strong, but slow one will have to follow him, he will be led, and at some point will be led to some kind of sad ending for himself. Type of submarine ambush.
So, the rule of the weak number one is to be faster than the enemy in every sense - from the speed with which the ship can move in one mode or another, to the speed of decision-making.
This implies, among other things, delegating several more powers to the commanders of ships and formations than they currently have.
And also the fact that all warships under construction of the first rank should have high speed performance. Like some integrated supply ships.
Raid actions as the basis of offensive operations
Having achieved speed advantages, it is worth implementing it primarily by raid actions. In the article "Raiders vs Cruisers" the possibilities unused by the navy of Nazi Germany in a war at sea were examined in the form of raids against the warships of the British, and not against their convoys. In the case of the weakest side, such actions are necessary - you need to "balance the balance", force the enemy to bear losses greater than you bear and distract his navy from important tasks, for example, from protecting communications.
We proceed from the fact that the purpose of the fleet is to dominate the sea, and therefore, the raid should be aimed at destroying enemy warships, its naval aviation, or the infrastructure necessary for their combat use.
In this case, the raid should not be confused with the raid, which is his special case - the raid is limited in time, and its end is the withdrawal and separation from the pursuit of the enemy, but in its course it is quite possible to fight with a weak part of the enemy’s forces until it is completely destroyed.
Faced with equal or superior enemy forces, raiders leave at the expense of speed. Finding weak enemy forces, they destroy them in battle. This is not negotiable, and it is the basis of their methods. It is this feature that distinguishes the raid from other offensive operations and will allow us, the weak side, to save strength in the war with the strong side. At the same time, this approach does not negate the significance of the battle - having discovered the enemy and decided to destroy it (not just an attack!), The connection of the Raiders may well, and basically should fight with him until he is destroyed.
You can’t write detailed instructions for such military operations, each case is unique, and greatly depends on specific circumstances. We outline only some of the possibilities that can be used, but to which it does not boil down.
Raiders strike on their own. The task of the raid squad of ships to find and destroy the enemy. Taking advantage of the speed, relying on aerial reconnaissance from the “shore”, satellite observation data, neutral traffic in which you can hide, fishermen at fishing sites, among which you can also hide, reconnaissance using passive (non-radiating) means, raiders should be at a distance missile salvo from the enemy forces to be destroyed, and further destroy them with a series of consecutive attacks. At a predetermined point in time, the raiders leave for the area where sea dominance is already ensured, even if it is a coastal area off its coast. From there comes a new raid.
Raiders induce basic strike aircraft. The task of the raiders in such a scenario is only to find the enemy forces to be destroyed, and then give out target designation to strike at them. After applying a series of blows, raiders should, whenever possible, evaluate their result.
Raiders use themselves as bait. In this case, the goal of the raiders is to "drag" behind them the enemy forces, which must be ambushed. To do this, the raiders conduct their search, a demonstrative attack or several attacks, interspersed with waste at a safe range, with the task of provoking the pursuit of enemy forces and “dragging them on the tail” to the place of destruction, for example, to where it would be possible to use them combined blow from under water and from air.
Under normal conditions, organizing a joint strike of aircraft and submarines is very difficult. In Soviet times, such actions were considered the basis of the struggle at sea, but for justice's sake one cannot but admit that the complexity of organizing such actions was prohibitively high even during exercises. In a real war, this would be almost impossible. Except for the situation when our forces "lead" the enemy behind them "for slaughter" and know for sure the time and place in which he should be in the course of this pursuit.
Raiders create a threat that forces the enemy to crush forces. In this case, the goal of the raiders is to attack something that will force the enemy to withdraw part of the forces from the direction of concentration of the main efforts, and to throw part of the forces against the raiders. This can be an intensive operation against supply ships and ships of the rear of the sea, demonstrative actions on enemy communications, demonstrative actions far from the places of the main battles, poorly guarded bases, striking along the coast, or other actions that leave the enemy no choice but to start the transfer their forces in a secondary direction, facilitating the actions of our forces on the main. Or, as an option, put up with the destruction of coastal infrastructure, the loss of rear vessels, and so on.
Any combination of such actions can be used, and they can be carried out on any scale, including the use of all forces in the theater of operations in one large raid operation. There are only two fundamental conditions - to break away from superior or equal forces without engaging in battle with them, and to have warships, naval aviation, and infrastructure important for waging war at sea, the main target of the attack. The rest is optional and depending on the course of hostilities (in some cases, military transports and landing squads at the transition will be a more important target, but outside such circumstances, the number one goal is the enemy Navy).
What is the object of the raider attack? Separate enemy warships, weak and small surface combat groups, security warships consisting of large and strong formations, which occupy extreme positions in combat formation, ships of the floating rear, coastal infrastructure - docks, fuel depots, ships at bases located at sea airfields aviation, especially anti-submarine, which is the number one target in all cases and is subject to complete and unconditional destruction. To do this, cruise missiles are hit at such ground targets.
Surprisingly, ideologically, the raider ship resembles the destroyer of the 956 project - a high-speed and very well-armed ship. Range, however, is needed higher. Now, 956 is, of course, out of date. In the photo, the Chinese destroyers of this project
Theoretically, the commander of a raider group can get involved in an operation against superior enemy forces, but only on conditions under which he does not have to take an open battle with her, in which the enemy can use all his capabilities.
So, during a storm, if one lasts long enough, raiders can, without hiding, try to get close to a carrier strike group at a distance of a volley of missiles.
Of fundamental importance for their success is well-established reconnaissance and well-established interaction with both base aviation and submarines.
There may, of course, be other options, up to provoking a powerful raider formation to attack carrier-based aircraft against themselves, in order to destroy as many enemy naval pilots as possible in the subsequent battle and then break away from its URO ships, thus reducing the importance of the aircraft carrier available to the enemy to zero. It must be admitted that this is a very dangerous type of action, with unpredictable consequences, but it can give a lot.
Let us designate the rule of weak number two - to conduct intensive raids aimed at destroying enemy ships, ships of the rear, its naval aviation, and coastal infrastructure important for the combat effectiveness of the fleet. At the same time, during raids it is impossible to get involved in battles with equal or superior enemy forces, and you must immediately “break away” from his forces after they have suffered the losses planned by the Raider Commander.
The massive use of the raid as a type of hostilities will reduce the enemy’s numerical superiority, impede the concentration of his forces in the main direction, disrupt the conduct of large-scale offensive operations, ease the situation of Russian forces in military operations, receive additional intelligence and undermine the morale of the enemy.
Their fleet alone is against our armed forces as a whole
It may sound like a banality, but it is not a banality. According to Russian military science (or the principles of military art - the dispute between science and art in military affairs is eternal, we’ll get around this issue) success in military operations is achieved by forces of interspecific groups of armed forces, which are part of the branches of the armed forces and are fighting in close cooperation with each other .
Moreover, in such military conflicts as, for example, Syrian, this principle finds a certain embodiment.
We ask ourselves, however, a few questions.
When was the last time a joint landing operation of the fleet, marines, airborne forces, and ground forces was practiced, in which each branch of the army and forces would be used for its intended purpose? When was the last time after the Marine Corps tankers landed from the ground forces with their weapons and equipment? When did tank reinforced marines break through to join the airborne parachute regiment? When the motorized rifle battalion of the ground forces was actually given the ship’s post for adjusting artillery fire and then acted in his interests, with real live shooting on request? I recall the recent teachings of the Caspian flotilla, but the scale there was, to put it mildly, not the same, and the Caspians worked with their own marines, which greatly facilitates the interaction. Someone may argue that such things are probably being worked out somewhere by someone at KSHU, but KSHUs are never enough to work out all the nuances of combat use, and, having played a couple of divisions on the landings on maps, then you really have to land them on the ground at least a couple of battalions.
Or is it worth recalling the combat use of U.S. Army army helicopters from U.S. Navy ships during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 (see article “Air fighters over the ocean waves. On the role of helicopters in the war at sea ") For us, this is impossible even technically, our VKS helicopters, unlike marine ones, are not equipped with mechanisms for folding the rotor blades. This complicates their transportation by air, or by land transport, and hangar storage, but that's how we got it.
We venture to suggest the following.
The level of interspecific interaction that we consider optimal is really insufficient. At least, if you look through the "prism" of war at sea - for sure. A theory that is absolutely true does not find its full embodiment in practice. The reason for this is the absolute dominance in the command structures of the Armed Forces of immigrants from the Ground Forces and the subordinate position of the fleet and VKS in relation to them. The result - tank commanders and foot soldiers do what they can. They plan land operations with air support, and where necessary, they plan support from the sea too - guarded transportation, tactical landing, cruise missile attacks from ships, as long as they are there, shelling the enemy. The full potential of other types of aircraft, rather than ground forces, is not used.
I would like to look at an air offensive operation in which the ground forces carry out auxiliary tasks, but none of our great exercises had this.
From the point of view of a war at sea, we are interested in the following - it is necessary that an adversary superior to the Russian Navy at sea should be forced to confront his naval forces not only with our fleet, but also with our naval forces and ground forces.
At the same time, it is critically important not to allow the opposite, so that our fleet comes under attack not only from the enemy's Navy, but also from its army units.
Let's look at historical examples of how this looks. Let's start with the most recent example. Watch the video.
This is the detonation of Georgian boats in Poti, committed by forces of the Russian Airborne Forces in August 2008, operating in isolation from the main forces. That is, the task that in theory the fleet should fulfill is to establish dominance at sea by blocking or destroying the enemy fleet, in this case the army performed. It should be understood that the army did not carry out a large-scale occupation of this territory.
Question: what if the base were well guarded, for example by the forces of an infantry regiment? How then could the Airborne Forces destroy the boats? In our case, the Airborne Forces are armed with self-propelled guns 2С9 "Nona", with a gun caliber 120-mm, capable of using both mines and special shells. Ships could be fired from a long distance.
Then question number two arises: what if the base is far from the front line? But the Airborne Forces is a mobile branch of the armed forces, a small detachment can simply be thrown out with a parachute method with equipment, the only truly critical point here is that the airborne forces of the Russian Federation must maintain air supremacy over the zone of landing, landing and landing operations. This, of course, is not easy, but it is not worth considering the achievement of such an impossible.
Of course, the enemy will move reserves to destroy the airborne assault, transfer additional aviation forces, and make every effort to block and destroy it. That is, the airborne squad after the task must be evacuated. How? By sea, of course, removing it from the coast to at least the same BDK, and leading to a safe area under the protection of fighter aircraft in the air.
What gives this mode of action? It does not require either large fleet forces (which will have to fight against other naval groups of the enemy) for destruction of ships, or numerous attack aircraft, which will have to break through the air defense of the naval base, and in waging war with a serious enemy, it’s also naval air defense , characterized, as a rule, by serious power. It does not require consumption in a large number of scarce cruise missiles.
Naturally, such operations do not always make sense, but in the conditions of the “trishkin caftan” that our armed forces will turn into during the war with a serious adversary, when ships and aircraft will be missed, such operations will sometimes be possible, and sometimes they will be meaning.
Moreover, as can be seen from the description above, they can be carried out in the same raid format, not aimed at retaining territories or capturing fortified objects. The troops that completed the raid are evacuated, and then can be used for other purposes.
There are other examples.
So, during the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Black Sea Fleet consistently lost bases and repair facilities under the blows of the German and Romanian armies from land. In fact, the fleet did not have an adequate adversary at sea, and German aviation, no matter how destructive it was, could not stop the fleet’s ships, ships and watercraft. In fact, for large surface ships, only our own Supreme High Command Headquarters was able to do this, in response to the loss of three ships in battle - an unpleasant, but not critical, episode for the combat effectiveness of the fleet (this was the case with both the British and the Japanese, but they continued to fight). What would happen if the Germans had been successful in the attack on the Caucasus? If they entered the Turkish border? The entire fleet would be lost at the bases. At the same time, they did not have a single significant surface ship on the theater of operations. And I must say, they were very close to this achievement.
Events on the Black Sea are an example of how the weakest side on the sea, having a strong ground army and air force, can eliminate the enemy’s fleet from the sea without having its own fleet. The Germans did not succeed, but they almost succeeded. This, of course, does not mean that you need to “walk with fire and a sword” thousands of kilometers along the coast of the adversary’s country for the sake of supremacy at sea - after all, supremacy at sea is not an end in itself. But this is a great demonstration that not only the fleet can help in the fight against the enemy fleet. And the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation should be ready to conduct such operations, prepare for them, and not be afraid to conduct them, in conditions when it turns out to be justified, and the risks are acceptable. Destroy enemy forces at sea in some cases can both the Airborne Forces with motorized gunners, and the Marines. Even if the enemy is stronger.
And, of course, do not forget that close to the Russian coast or the territory occupied by Russian troops in battles (this does not have to be Russia, we can attack in some cases) and the VKS should work over the sea. At least it would be logical if some tasks completely fall on them. Part of cruise missile attacks on enemy bases, convoy attacks, airborne squads, transports, mining from the air, attacks on weak ship groups and individual ships inside the combat radius of base aviation without refueling should be entrusted precisely to the airborne forces, releasing naval base attack aircraft for real complex tasks - strikes against large groups of surface ships at sea, at a great distance from the coast.
There is another hypothetical scenario for the battle of ground units with the enemy fleet. As you know, Russia has unique capabilities of the airborne troops. Our country is the only one where the Airborne Forces, having landed, can fight as mechanized troops. This makes it possible to solve problems with fewer forces than a fully footed landing without heavy weapons.
It is quite possible, in some cases, to seize enemy territories by airborne assault, for example islands, which, for psychological reasons, the enemy then cannot help but repel. If the airborne forces do not allow the enemy to quickly recapture such island territories back with their airborne assault, then he will have only two options - to repel them by means of a major naval landing operation or “leave it as is”, with an aim to return its territory sometime in the future.
The Aleutian Islands are an example of such a territory during World War II. The Japanese managed to pull back on this deadlock and no significance for the course of the war, the large forces of the US Navy Archipelago. What is most interesting, realizing the impossibility of retaining these territories, they evacuated some of their garrisons.
In modern warfare, the capture of Kyski and Attu is, in principle, possible in the form of an air strike, and subsequent airborne landing. When destroying the Shemya airfield and capturing the Adak airfield, the same Americans will encounter great difficulties in striking these territories, and they can only be released by attacking from the sea, as in the entrance to the WWII. However, today there is such a technique as coastal missile systems that allow attacking ships that have come too close to the islands, in the presence of target designation.
In fact, very small groups of ground troops dispersed among the rocks can force the U.S. Navy to fight against the naval forces and coastal missile systems without distracting the Navy for these operations, with the exception of the sea raids described above, which will be facilitated by the fact that the Americans will not be able to search they will not have to be in the ocean. Raids, in turn, will help, if necessary, to evacuate the troops defending the islands.
This, again, does not mean that the Airborne Forces should capture the Aleutians in the event of a limited clash with the United States. In the end, the fate of the Attu garrison today is well known. This is just a demonstration of the principle of how to make an enemy fleet fight against ground troops and sustain casualties, “freeing” the Navy for active offensive operations.
It is worth noting that during the Cold War, Americans feared such options. In all adjustments to the Reagan Administration’s Maritime Strategy, there was a categorical demand in the very first hours of the conflict, or before it, to transfer two infantry brigades to the Aleutians in order to make such a focus from the Russians impossible. Because the cost of resources and the loss of time to clean up the Aleutian Islands looked disproportionately large compared to the benefits of this, and it was impossible to beat them back in the 80's for domestic political reasons. At the same time, the Americans remembered how the Japanese during the Second World War simply evacuated the Kiski garrison and pulled it out of attack without a fight.
One way or another, but for a party with a weak fleet, the creation of conditions under which the enemy’s fleet will be destroyed by the ground forces and the VKS without a large involvement of the Navy is one way to “balance the balance”. And, as you can easily see, these operations also require speed. They will succeed only if the enemy does not have time to react ahead of schedule.
Thus, we formulate the third rule of the weak - it is necessary to destroy the enemy's naval forces by ground forces and aviation (not sea) in all cases when this is possible from the point of view of the predicted effect and risks. This will release the forces of the Navy for other operations and reduce the superiority of the enemy in forces.
Russia, with all its access to the sea, is still a huge land mass. You can try to come up with such a war strategy for the sea, where ground troops would not be needed. But, apparently, these will be unsuccessful attempts.
It is especially worth mentioning that such operations are a "hobby" of the Americans. We can believe in such opportunities or not, but they will do it in droves, and we should be prepared for this on the one hand, and not be “embarrassed” ourselves to do so on the other.
We are no worse than the Americans. There are simply fewer of us.
Attacks on the "key links" of the military power of the enemy.
One of the possibilities of the weak to weaken the strong is the concentration of efforts on strictly defined components of his military power.
For example, the United States currently has a colossal weak link in the war at sea - the absence of any escort forces. They are not just gone, and they have nowhere to take in a reasonable amount of time. In the case of serious US involvement in the war on earth, another “Achilles' heel” will be added - a huge shortage of transport ships, and crews for them, in particular, now Americans do not even have people to ensure rotation of all the crews of their high-speed transports, about covering losses and no speech. Those interested should read the article "There will be no ground invasion" в "Independent Military Review".
Some time ago, these facts, having become public, were even able to cause a slight panic among the concerned public in the USA. The panic subsided, but the problem still remains, and nobody solves it. Future American frigates planned by the Pentagon will be too expensive for a mass escort, but we are not talking about the construction of new transports.
This is a weak link. An aircraft carrier can be any formidable, but without fuel planes do not fly. Missile destroyers cannot maneuver without it. But there is nothing to protect tankers with.
Many naval forces in the world have such weak links. Some Navy in the world may have several. Targeted actions against these weak links can disorganize the enemy’s Navy and prevent them from fighting. At least for a while. But a lot can be done during this time.
This strategy has a flaw. While there is a hunt for tankers and supply ships (or something else - it doesn’t matter), the enemy acts relatively freely. His hands are corny untied. As a result, the first blow from the side of his Navy simply has to be accepted without “mitigating”. No matter how strong he is. Thus, taking such actions, it is necessary to accurately weigh the risks.
The Americans themselves fear that the tactics of "auxiliary cruisers" - armed civilian ships equipped with missile container launchers - may be used against them. Repeatedly in the specialized press and media, the question was raised that countermeasures are needed against such tactics, but so far there are no countermeasures. Echoes of this state of affairs were mentioned in the article. “The return of surface raiders. Is it possible? ”.
However, on the "auxiliary cruisers" the light did not converge in a wedge. A heavy tanker or unmanned vehicle can be destroyed from a strategic bomber with conventional bombs. He will not be able to withstand such an attack, and in fact the only thing needed for such operations is training the airborne pilots on the use of bombs, and, of course, a force of forces would be allocated for operations in the interests of the fleet. In the case of the Russian Navy, it is of interest for such operations to be able to equip the Tu-142 with bomb weapons and corresponding sights. Such a measure will allow the fleet in some cases to do on its own. According to media reports, work on equipping the Tu-142 with the Hephaestus high-precision aiming system is already underway. It remains to wait for the installation of the underwing nodes of the weapon suspension.
Of interest is how this threat was previously seen in the United States.
When the USSR acquired Tu-95RC reconnaissance and targeting reconnaissance, American strategists saw this as a threat to convoys with military equipment, which were supposed to supply NATO troops fighting in Europe against the Soviet Army and ATS armies. They suggested that the Tu-95RC would track down convoys and direct Soviet atomic submarines in the Atlantic. It was believed that soon the threat would become even more significant, because the Russians would equip their strategic bombers with anti-ship missiles.
To combat this evil, even the concept of the Sea Control Ship was born - an escort aircraft carrier capable of carrying 8-9 anti-submarine helicopters, and the four Harriers. The concept was tested on the LPH-9 Guam landing helicopter carrier. The experiments were successful, but at the end of the seventies, the Americans realized that the target of Soviet submarines would be their surface warships, including aircraft carriers, and, if possible, SSBNs, and not transport in the Atlantic. And the "ships of marine control" they did not appear. Although, in an amusing way, the X-22 anti-ship missiles on the Tu-95 eventually "registered", on a special "marine" modification of this aircraft - Tu-95K-22. Now these machines are withdrawn from service and destroyed.
Tu-95K-22 with a characteristic fairing of the electronic warfare system instead of a stern firing unit with 23-mm guns. There will be no F-15 tanker going across the ocean
With X-22 missiles
Today, many current and former officers of the US Navy and the US Coast Guard see that there is a threat, but apparently they do not imagine it in their entirety
Naval command structures based on intelligence data can easily find such vulnerabilities in any enemy and plan actions against them. If it is possible to deprive a strong adversary of the ability to fight, even for a while, then it must be used.
We formulate the fourth rule of the weak. It is necessary to identify critical vulnerabilities of the enemy’s Navy, to assess whether it is possible to divert sufficient forces to strike against these vulnerabilities, without critically reducing the defensive ability in the directions of the main strike from the enemy, and if possible, to hit them. An example of such vulnerabilities in the US Navy is the lack of escort forces for tankers and integrated supply vessels.
Other opponents have other vulnerabilities. They need to be used.
The history of the war at sea is full of examples of how offensive mining allowed the weak side to inflict losses on the strong, and in some cases even to deprive the strong side of dominance at sea, which she could well establish. The most striking, from the point of view of the insignificance of the attacking forces against the background of the attacked forces, is the operation of the German and Finnish Navy to block the Baltic Fleet of the USSR during the Second World War.
On the 22 of June 1941, the Germans as a whole had a more powerful navy than the USSR in the Baltic. Go to the Baltic states “Tirpitz”, “Scharnhorst”, “Gneisenau”, “Prince Eugen”, “Admiral Hipper”, “Admiral Scheer”, supported by a dozen destroyers, and a squadron of submarines, and the Baltic Fleet would not shine. After such an operation, and taking into account the dominance of the Luftwaffe in the air, one could immediately land near Leningrad.
But the Germans, like the Russians, did not think in terms of "supremacy at sea." They chased chimeras of war on communications. By 1941, the German Navy was fundamentally unprepared for such actions in anything. They, however, did something else.
On 12 on June, a detachment of German ships passing through documents as the Nord Group began relocation to the skerries of Finland. At the same time, another group called “Cobra” started the same thing. By June 18, the Nord group disguised themselves in the skerries of Turku (in the documents of Abo then), and the Cobra in the skerries near Porkkala-Udd. The Nord group included three mine-layers - the Tannenberg Hansenstadt Danzig and the Brummer, a flotilla of torpedo boats, and a half-flotilla of minesweeper boats. The composition of the "Cobra" included mine loaders "Cobra", "Königen Louise", "Kaiser", as well as a flotilla of torpedo boats and a half-flotilla of minesweeper boats. Of the listed mine barriers, only one ship was a special-purpose combat minzag - the Broommer, a renamed captured Norwegian Olaf Tryggvasson. The remaining barriers were civilian steamboats adapted for mine productions. Together with them, two Finnish submarines were preparing for mine-laying.
"Broommer" when he was still "Olaf Tryggvasson"
It is believed that the Great Patriotic War began on 22 on June 1941 of the year, on 3.30 of the night, with Luftwaffe air strikes against the Soviet Union. In fact, the first German attack against the USSR was mine production, which began on 21 on June 1941 of the year at 23.30 in Leningrad time. Actually, the war began precisely then, and it would be nice for mass historians to start mentioning it. The Nord and Cobra groups put up 9 minefields overnight. An hour before the "start of the war" Soviet planes were already firing at these ships, watching them, transmitting information to the shore, but nothing could be done - Finland was nearby and the minzags went into the protected skerries too quickly. On 22 of June, three days before the official entry into the Finnish war, Finnish submarines joined the German minzags and put up two more minefields. Before dawn, a group of German aircraft dropped 25 bottom mines southeast of Kronstadt, forming another. The mine war has begun.
By the end of June 24, Germans and Finns had jointly spent more than 1200 mines of various types. By that time, the Soviet Union had already lost the destroyer “Angry” on these mines, the cruiser “Maxim Gorky” was seriously damaged, and the destroyers “Proud” and “Stereguschiy” were damaged. However, this was, as you know, only the beginning.
The forces that the Kriegsmarine and their Finnish allies used against the Baltic Fleet did not go in size and power to any comparison with him. The Baltic fleet of battleships alone had two units. The Germans had real warships with torpedo boats and one minzag. But, firstly, they owned the initiative, and secondly, and this should be noted especially - they planned the actions of the minzag in such a way as to confuse the Soviet command. So, the front of the productions in the northern part of the Gulf of Finland during the first days of the war shifted east, the Germans began much more west than they could, so that by the time the Soviet sailors discovered the mines, there was already a fairly deep barrier in front of them, which ultimately happened. To conceal the forces actually involved in mining, the Germans withdrew their ships from the operation and stopped laying mines for a long time, and only when, in their opinion, the Soviet command should have come to certain (incorrect) conclusions about the number of enemy minzags, these ships again entered into battle. The Germans simply outplayed the command of the Baltic Fleet. Smart and quick (for making decisions) defeated the strong and the slow - to defeat.
The result of these extremely arrogant operations was the almost complete blockade of the Baltic Fleet and the enormous, monstrous losses suffered by Soviet ships on land mines, with enormous casualties. In fact, the Germans with insignificant forces pulled out a very powerful fleet by any standards from the war for two years. The Baltic Fleet still played a positive role in the war - but many times less than it could and what it should have
This is an example from which to conclude. Our Baltic neighbors made it - until recently, mine-layers were part of almost all the fleets of the Baltic countries. Today in the Finnish Navy, the minsag is still the main class of warships. The planned “big” Pohyanmaa corvettes will also have guides and decks for mines. Those interested can read the article “Mineswaters of modern fleets”.
This is not to say that the Russian Navy completely ignores the possibility of conducting a mine war - this is how diesel submarines regularly practice secretive mine productions. Mines from large landing ships are being tested. However, the scale of the preparation of our fleet for such operations simply fades against the background of how some countries are preparing for them.
So, in the United States, the laying of mines is a regular task for bombers of the Strategic Aviation Command. Quick-strike mines planning in a controlled mode have been adopted for service, similar to JDAM bombs according to the principle of delivery to a target. Quickstrike allows you to “put” a mine obstacle exactly according to the scheme with one throw - mines flying from a satellite signal will fall exactly where you need to, having formed a ready obstacle from one salvo discharge. Bonus - the bomber will be able to drop mines being tens of kilometers from the target, with much less risk than if you had to fly over the place of installation of mines.
You can’t even talk about serial Nampo large-scale mine-keeping mines of the South Korean Navy.
For Russia, a mine war is a familiar thing. It was mines that turned out to be the most effective weapon of the Russian fleet in the Russo-Japanese War. Two Japanese battleships died on land mines fired by the Amur mine layer, making the Amur the most successful Russian warship in the post-sailing era.
Mine transport "Cupid". The first specially built ocean mine layer in the world. The English-speaking world remembers this innovation, we do not.
During World War I, the Baltic Fleet created effective minefields to prevent the German advance into the Gulf of Finland. These, however, were defensive barriers.
Russia created the world's first specialized submarine minzag - "Crab".
It is less known to the general public that mines turned out to be much more useful weapons than torpedoes from submarines of the Great Patriotic War. In any case, the Germans' losses from our mines were greater than from torpedoes. Aviation also used mines with great success. In fact, when Russia and the USSR competently resorted to mines, they turned out to be the most destructive means against any enemy. But even against us, enemy mines turned out to be very destructive and led to consequences of at least operational scale, if not worse.
It is necessary to draw a correct conclusion from the past - a properly conducted mine war is potentially capable of causing more damage to the enemy than tactical nuclear weapons. And this is not an exaggeration. The Americans, with their 1945 year aerial minefields, inflicted harm on Japan comparable to that caused by the destruction of cities, and guaranteed more than nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today, the effect of mines can be even greater
Of course, unlike Russia, which simply does not have any noteworthy mine action forces, developed countries have them and are training in their combat use. But this should not stop us, in the end, a minesweeper with the most advanced anti-mine equipment will be detected by any submarine from a great distance when the first mine is detonated in the barrier, after which, for example, an anti-ship missile can fly over the mine barrier or a powerful airstrike can be launched the last wave of airplanes in which will drop new mines in return for the aligned ones. A properly set up and well-guarded fence will simply require incredible forces to break through, and the price here is simply ridiculous compared to any shipbuilding program.
It works in our favor that we have had large stockpiles of mines since the Soviet era. They are already out of date. But a mine, this is a technically complex product, it can be upgraded so that it continues to meet the requirements of modern warfare. Russia is also quite capable of producing new mines.
It is necessary to create a special unit in the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, which will deal with the development of issues related to offensive mining and various types of provisions (for example, mine protection and re-mining). The interaction of this department with the General Staff should be ensured, and through it, with other types of armed forces, for example, to ensure the placement of mines by VKS aircraft, with higher naval educational institutions, and the military industry. Mine war plans must be developed for all of our theater of war, for various cases of warfare. Mines are not only a defensive tool. In some cases, it’s just a lifesaver that allows you to nullify ANY superiority that the enemy has. There are examples in history. And this tool should be used without fail.
The fifth rule of the weak is to conduct a high-intensity offensive mine war against enemy bases and the narrownesses necessary for maneuvering over the sea. Have a well-thought-out mine war strategy for different warfare options on each theater, have the necessary forces and means, and trained personnel. Both in the Navy and in other branches of the Armed Forces, if necessary.
You can always find an adversary with overwhelming superiority in strength. That is, such that no tricks can overcome it. “There are just so many of them that we aren’t enough for them.” And it's not just about the fleet. Around the middle of the 80's, the PLA mobilization plan called for the recruitment of up to one hundred million people. At the end of World War II, the Americans had thousands of warships in the ocean zone and thousands of distant bombers of different classes. Now a hypothetical alliance from NATO (with the USA), Japan, Australia and New Zealand is a billion people
This is a lot. This is so much that you can’t fight back. Of course, one should not think that in the foreseeable future a war is possible in which Russia will have to confront such forces. More likely no than yes. But the formation of a military bloc of such proportions is five minutes reality. Let not against Russia, and not with all NATO countries, but with some against China. The meaning of the example is that there are prohibitively powerful opponents
What to do when and if it becomes clear that wars with such force cannot be avoided? How to make sure that in the conditions of an inevitably impending catastrophe, such a colossal superiority of the enemy does not crush us like a rink?
Or maybe, how not to let a not so strong, but generally superior opponent inflict heavy losses on us during an attack?
How can we, the weak side, secure the most advantageous positions before the start of a war that is inevitable? If all kinds of intelligence say that it is inevitable?
There is an answer, and it is called very simply, although it scares many: if war is inevitable, you must beat first. Moreover, which is especially important, for the weakest side, a preventive strike by all means is the only way to equalize the balance of forces at least temporarily.
Take, for example, the most powerful adversary in a war at sea of all possible - the United States. Their power is monstrous.
But, truth be told, this monstrous power is not concentrated in such a monstrous amount of goals. What is the US surface fleet? These are 67 destroyers, 11 cruisers and 11 aircraft carriers in service. Total 89 goals. Up to two-thirds of them are usually found in bases. Well, let half. 11 cruisers, a couple of old impossibly old aircraft carriers and about a dozen frigates are in storage, with coordinates known in advance, accurate to a meter. This is much more than any other country has. Having gone to sea, these forces are capable of crushing almost any resistance.
But the coin has a downside. All those ships of the US Navy, which are located in the bases of the continental United States, can be hit by so many cruise missiles that will soon be carried by two modernized submarines of the 949 project, rebuilt for the use of Caliber family missiles. One in the Atlantic, one in the Pacific. A ship at the pier is a stationary target. He will be there tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, too, while loading ammunition, food, fuel and water, he will be there. At a point with previously known coordinates, close to the shore, where it is quite possible to send a low-altitude, and therefore hardly noticeable cruise missile.
And then they will have only those forces that are deployed in different regions of the world. Small combat groups, around an aircraft carrier or a universal landing ship, three to four units. Against which it will already be possible to fight with much less forces than those which in theory are needed for a direct clash with all US Navy. Plus submarines and basic aviation.
This, of course, does not mean that you can defeat America with two submarines. In no case. An example, like all the previous ones, was to understand the scope. But if we discard primitive arithmetic and think sensibly, we can come to the following conclusions.
Modern weapon systems, whether ships or aircraft, require time and scarce resources to create. During the Second World War, all warring parties commissioned new warships. But now this will not work. The ship now and the ship then, these are fundamentally different things, first of all, in the complexity of construction and complexity of use. Having lost the same Arly Burke, the Americans will not be able to put into operation two new ones during the year to replace them, as well as one. And this also applies to aircraft. And not just Americans - everyone.
In such circumstances, the side that delivered the first successful strike receives a tremendous advantage. In practice, one submarine doesn’t knock out all the ships on any of the US coasts, missiles do not have enough range, one missile on a large ship is not enough, there are accidents of cruise missiles breaking in flight, but there is still little. But if, for example, a certain country actually inflicts a massive non-nuclear strike on the bases of the US Navy, then a reduction in the combat strength of the US Navy by at least a third is quite realistic. And the complexity of modern warships will not allow Americans to replace what was lost earlier than within five to six years at best.
We live in a world of extra-long military cycles, opened long ago by V. Tsymbursky. The cycle of dominance of mobilization is when people can recover any losses that their weapons can inflict, such as they can create. So it was during the Second World War, and in the First, too. One could lose a million soldiers or two in battle. But then new reservists were called up, received a set of cheap uniforms, a duffel bag, boots with windings and a rifle, and that's it - the losses were recovered. In the phase when mobilization dominates, it covers losses faster than they are applied.
But the cycle of mobilization is always replaced by a cycle of destruction. And then another dependence works - people's weapons can quickly destroy any forces that they can mobilize. Destruction is faster than covering losses by mobilization. We live in such a period. The balance between the power of weapons and the timing of reimbursement of losses is such that it is impossible to compensate for losses during the ongoing war.
How many aircraft carriers can the US build at the same time? One. One aircraft carrier, because for its assembly, in addition to a huge slipway, you still need a large, high 1000 ton crane. And there is one such crane on a large slipway in the USA. German built, 1975 model year.
How long does it take to get on it with a cruise missile? And how much time does it take to buy, bring, assemble and launch a new one? Now is not the fortieth years, it is impossible to build a fleet lost at the first enemy strike. It will be necessary to end the war with what remains.
And all that is required of the attacker is to destroy the attacked ships for real, so that they cannot be repaired.
And then the balance of power will change dramatically in his favor.
This is not really about the United States. Well, who in their right mind will attack the USA? This is just an example of how a sharply correctly executed attack can change the balance of power. Although, if you get reliable evidence that the United States plans to strike itself, then there may be no choice. True, the first strike will not come down to attacking ships in the bases with cruise missiles ...
The sixth rule is weak. If war is inevitable - you have to beat first. It makes no difference who and how to value it, history is written if not the winners, then at least the survivors. To be in one of these groups, you must not let the enemy strike first and with all his strength. You have to hit yourself first, and with all your strength. Then the balance of power will change, and it will change very much.
Given the current realities in military production - is irreversible.
There was a four-time superior opponent who was preparing to attack and seize the initiative, and now he has a half-time superiority and he missed the initiative - and this is a big difference. This, of course, does not guarantee anything. But the chances are increasing.
The weak side, which has recognized the inevitability of war, actually has no choice.
There are methods of waging war at sea, which allow the weakest side to either defeat the strongest enemy, or at least not to allow themselves to be easily and quickly defeated.
1. Anticipate the enemy in speed. Faster to plan, make decisions, deploy forces at sea, transfer them to the desired theater. To have superior speed in ships. Be faster overall.
2. Intensive raid operations to inflict losses on warships, naval aviation, and coastal infrastructure necessary for warfare. Use all kinds of forces in raids, in accordance with their "strengths."
3. Intensive combat operations against the enemy fleet by forces not only of its fleet, but also of other types of the Armed forces.
4. To identify “systemic weaknesses” in the organization of the enemy’s naval forces, the vulnerabilities that these weaknesses generate, and whenever possible to strike at these vulnerabilities (for example, naval forces without escort forces, have vulnerable tankers and integrated supply ships - there is no one to protect them).
5. To conduct an intensive offensive mine war, to provide mine installations with everything necessary, to ensure the defense of barriers from trawling / clearance.
6. If there is reliable and reliable evidence that the enemy is going to hit first, hit him first himself, do not wait until he begins to deploy his forces, inflict losses and seize the initiative.
The goal of all this was ultimately announced earlier - to establish supremacy at sea. Or at least not let the enemy establish it.
These rules alone do not guarantee victory in the war. Just because almost nothing guarantees victory in the war. Moreover, the whole variety of situations in the war at sea does not come down to them. But they sharply increase the chances of the weakest side to this victory. Since Russia is doomed to have its neighbors at sea stronger than it is, it is worth taking these rules as a basis and using them in a war at sea.