Shipbuilding riddle of 2019, or When four equals five

Shipbuilding riddle of 2019, or When four equals five

The head corvette of project 20386 at the beginning of the docking of the building blocks. April 23, 2019

2019 ended, this time even according to the old style, and a new, 2020th began. It makes sense to knock out some results in military shipbuilding.

In the construction of surface ships of the near sea zone everything is as before. Instead of multipurpose ships, at least light ones, RTOs continue to be laid, the purpose of which as specialized missile ships after the termination of the INF Treaty has lost all clarity. There is no end to the problems with the new minesweepers, and the old ones are not being modernized and their modernization is not planned.

Construction continues on "suitcases without handles" - Project 22160 patrol ships. Various small things continued to be built, but this is unlikely newsfrom which I wanted to clap.

Against this dull background, however, there were other events related to the construction of submarines and ships of the Far Sea Zone. There are quite joyful episodes, but there are those that would become such if some conditions came. Which, alas, did not come. But they still can. And there is a very scandalous mystery, the nature of which is still unclear, and which is worth telling in more detail.

When 4 = 5, or Where is the fifth warship?

February 20, 2019, speaking with the annual message to the Federal Assembly, Russian President V. Putin said:

“... in the near future, five surface ships of the far sea zone will be laid down, another sixteen ships of this class will be commissioned by the Navy until 2027.”

Later, on April 9, 2019, Minister of Defense S.K. Shoigu announcedthat on the same day at the Severnaya Verf shipyard there will be a docking of the blocks of the corvette 20386, which suddenly and without mentioning the previous stories of this ship (and it was formally laid back in October 2016 as the “Daring”) they began to call the name “Mercury”. The Mercury looked so ship out of nowhere that even people immersed in the topic began to figure out what it was and where it came from. Only closer to the point, it became clear that this is the same “Daring”.

Soon followed by the events that we all remember: the laying of ... four warships, two amphibious ships of the very strongly modified project 23 and two frigates of the project 11711 with a reinforced missile structure took place on April 22350 weaponsnamely, with three 3C-14 launchers instead of two, and accordingly with 24 units of percussion missile weapons (KR and RCC of the Caliber family, RCC Onyx, PLUR 91R, in the future - RCC Zircon) instead of 16 .

The fifth ship was not laid, but then the year was just beginning, there was a lot of time, and no one attached any importance to this.

And then the riddles began.

Around the same time as the laying of two frigates and two BDKs among people close to the Glavkomat and some "near-naval" structures of the Ministry of Defense, it was rumored that perhaps the fifth ship will be another 20386, which, as you know, can occasionally perform combat missions in the far sea zone. True, no one gave details, on the other hand, it was not surprising, the Glavkomat repeatedly voiced plans to have three such ships by 2025 (for example, through the lips of the former deputy commander-in-chief of Vice Admiral V.I. Bursuk), and in the "Program shipbuilding until 2050 ”there were (then) ten of them, as far as one can judge this, taking into account the secrecy of the document. And the plans for the laying of the second such ship were announced back in the fall of 2018, and in fact by that time, two years and one month after the laying, only steel cutting began for the lead “Daring-Mercury”. In general, it was impossible to exclude the bookmark of another 20386.

And in May, in the near-naval environment at the “profile” forum was one, judging by the reports, well-informed and “immersed” in this area, the anonymous was thrown the following.

Allegedly, on April 23, five ships were to be laid, one of which really should have become another 20386. However, the Navy was afraid of such a decision - after all, it is still unknown how, how and when the lead ship will turn out. What if it doesn’t work out at all?

But the VGKs have already reported that five ships will be laid, and he even announced it out loud. And then somewhere in the bowels of the Navy an “ingenious” plan arose - to rename the “Daring” into “Mercury”, urgently start building it, and on April 23, after docking the hull blocks, present the case so that this is the fifth ship promised to the president . However, someone got ahead of the creators and reported to the president in advance about the forgery, which ultimately ended with a question on his part “And the fifth ship promised when we lay it down?” But it’s somehow inconvenient, they promised five people, laid four. ” After that, the naval commanders had no choice but to save the skin, to answer that we would lay, they say, at the end of the year, in December. To which Putin asked to be sure to invite him to the bookmark.

This version looked simply hellishly naive and was completely ignored by everyone, without exception, as it was obviously unrealistic.

Vladimir Putin at the very ceremony at the Severnaya Verf shipyard. I wonder how he really relates to all this?

However, a little later something happened.

May 27, 2019 on the website of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate appeared here is a message:

On May 26, in the framework of the "Mercury Day", with the support of the Department of Public Communications, the Department of Education, the Department of the Governor’s Office and the Government of Sevastopol, a ceremonial construction of cadets, cadets, young people and juniors took place.
During the event, the embedded board of the latest project 20386 Mercury rocket corvette was consecrated.
The consecration was performed by the assistant dean of the Sevastopol District Archpriest Stefan Slomchinsky.

With photos of the described event, for example, these:

And among them was this.

Mortgage Board. Ship name and bookmark date - new, project and order number old

The new name, the new bookmark date is the same, April 23rd.

And the order number (serial number of the ship under construction), the design and purpose are old, from Derzky. And this cannot be, but it is. Compare.

The same order number is the same ship under construction. But the rest of the data is different. How so?

What is the problem with this all?

The fact that there is no other reasonable explanation than replacing the ship. It cannot be that the order number has changed the bookmark date. And she is different on this board. And the board is "not just like that."

Firstly, the embedded board is made in accordance with GOST. It can be done in several copies, but only once, when bookmarking. And when laying the "Daring" she was made, by all the rules, and installed on the ship. A mortgage board is not a souvenir, it is in some sense an integral part of the ship (even copies that are not attached to it). The new embedded board is made in accordance with GOST and does not differ from the real one in anything.

Secondly, the question is the date on the “mortgage” board. As some comrades later explained, it is, they say, a symbol of the continuity of the traditions of the old Mercury with the new. But why is it bookmarked on April 23rd? Due to the docking of the housing units? But this is not the beginning of construction, the beginning is laying in 2016, and the beginning of the building is cutting steel, and it began in November 2018. Renaming? But S.K. Shoigu voiced the fact of renaming long before that.

What did the souvenir authors want to show on the bookmark date of April 23, 2019 and the correct order number?

Maybe still give the old ship a new one?

So it turns out that the only consistent explanation for this big top is the very conspiracy theological version of the re-laying of the “Impudent Mercury”. And the event with the "artists" in the old form looks like due to someone’s oversight the part of the "PR company" that has not been canceled in time.

Did the fifth surface ship of the far sea zone lay in 2019?

It depends on what it means. On November 27, 2019 at the Admiralty Shipyards, the patrol icebreaker Nikolay Zubov, project 23350, was laid down. This ship, which is quite necessary for the country, has a long range, about 10 kilometers, by economic means. And the bookmark of this ship was invited VV Putin Adjusted for three days until December, everything turned out as the anonymous claimed.

Model 23350 patrol icebreaker

It seems like now the fleet there is something to hide behind, and here, at the expanded board of the Ministry of Defense S.K. Shoigu reports:

For the first time in the modern history of Russia, the Navy is simultaneously building 22 ships in the far sea zone. Five ships were laid down this year, and there will be eight more next year.

But where is the fifth? It was laid four, two frigates and two BDK! There was no fifth!

With all due respect to the icebreakers and the long range of this ship, it cannot be attributed to the DMZ ships, if only because the entire NSR is the near sea zone, and it is intended to work in it. In the DMZ during the ongoing military operations, such a ship will not be able to perform tasks - there will not be enough weapons on board or speed. He is not combat, he is patrol.

Obviously, the conspiracy theological version materialized.

Other facts also work in her favor, for example, the former commander-in-chief Korolev was fired precisely after April 23, and at the ceremony he was put demonstratively far from the president. True, by that time it was already known that it was decided to get rid of him, but what was the “last straw”? Isn't the information about such a daring scam?

In addition, the anonymous author who disseminated the version of the false “re-laying” of the “Daring Mercury” said that his sistership, which they wanted to mortgage at Severnaya Verf as order No. 1010, had not been mortgaged due to technical risks. And from past articles about this project (see “Worse than a crime. Construction of the corvettes project 20386 - error ", “Corvette 20386. Continuation of the scam » и “Is alteration of the project 20386 planned?”) the list of technical risks is clear (and it is far from complete).

So, for example, there is still no prototype of the 6RP gearbox, which should link the operation of electric motors of economic progress and gas afterburner turbines. Moreover, it is not known exactly when he will be, and this despite the fact that the director of the Severnaya Verf Shipyard Ponomaryov promised that in 2021 the ship would be launched. And this cannot be done until the body is formed, and when the body of the power plant is formed, it is fully assembled in it. And it can not be assembled without gears.

So there are risks, because of which it is not worth laying another 20386, they have not disappeared.

It is not surprising that after this, among those who were interested, rumors actively circulated that the “Daring” was not just renamed, but rather reloaded on some kind of amended project, and that it had been “counted” as the laying of a new ship.

It is difficult to say what the real background of all these events is, but one way or another, this story looks extremely strange. And it’s not good. After all, whatever it was, and whatever the Ministry of Defense would say now, the president promised five ships. And in fact they laid four. I would like to believe that the Navy and the military-industrial complex will no longer throw such puzzles to society. Although, knowing the desperate courage generated by dozens of years of impunity, the courage of comrades who have an influence on Russian naval shipbuilding, nothing can be guaranteed.

And if the attempt forgery really took place, then it is quite possible that this is far from the last such somersault. And not even the last “throw” of President Putin by the Navy and the defense industry, because Putin is finalizing his last term, and after that the whole situation with shipbuilding can be simply “reset” by cutting the unfinished ships into metal and forgetting about them - as it was already not once. Money spent, thank you all, everyone is free, to new bookmarks.

They will explain to the people that it’s necessary, as they previously explained the necessity and correctness of the transition from warships (20385 for example) to non-combat ships (22160 for example), and the people will again believe, and in three years they will forget about everything and will rejoice at new victories. Who, for example, remembers today such a project as 12441? Unfinished and dumped minesweepers? No one.

And the “Cheeky Mercury", if necessary, will be forgotten, and everyone will be fine.

But here’s what was under the fifth ship, it would be better for the Ministry of Defense to clarify, so that at least in the future such inconsistencies would not hurt anyone’s eyes. So that at least the ends can then be hidden. Four cannot be equal to five, without regard to what all this was.
Photos used:
Alexander Polunin /, "Sevastopol Deanery" /,,
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