Target ships. Invisible heroes of the teachings


The target ship, according to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, is a target ship, a ship or a ship specially equipped for conducting artillery fire, missile and torpedo fire on them. The control of the target vessel is usually carried out by radio or by simple towing. According to other interpretations, the target vessel is a specially built naval combat training support vessel, which carries out practical launches of cruise (anti-ship or anti-submarine) missiles, artillery and torpedo firing, as well as bombing. It is the latter definition that accurately describes the heroes of this material, because warships that have served their lives honestly often become the target, and specialized target ships were originally created for shameless execution. In addition, you can’t get enough of served ships for all firing.


Large targets from the Soviet legacy


Target ships of the project 1784, which were still being designed in the USSR, were the largest vessels of this specialization. Oddly enough, but these ships proved to be very tenacious. So, SM-178 and SM-294, despite the fact that they were built back in the 70s, are still successfully used in the Black Sea navy. The targets of the project 1784 were repeatedly modified, and in total up to 40 units of similar equipment were produced. Project 1784, as well as 1784B and 1784M, were built in Vladivostok (Dalzavod named after the 50th anniversary of the USSR), Tallinn, the village of Zhovtnevoe, Nikolaev and other shipyards of the USSR. These vessels had the following performance characteristics:

- displacement - from 900 to 932 tons;
- length - 106,3 meters;
- width - 14 meters;
- draft - 1,8 meters;
- engine - non-self-propelled vessel.

Target ships. Invisible heroes of the teachingsOld man of the project 1784

It is interesting that one of the largest target ships of the project 1784, which Ukraine inherited during the division of the fleet, was sawn into metal in the year of the "revolution" the coup of 2014. Somewhat symbolically coincided these events ...

Small targets


The younger brother of the target ships of the project 1784 are the small ship shields (MCS) of the project 455. They are uninhabited steel catamaran ships. This design improves stability. These are vessels of increased unsinkability. The hull is divided into many waterproof compartments, and the height of the freeboard is minimal.

On the deck, a mesh is stretched between the vertical masts. At the top of each mast of the ship’s shield, special angular radar reflectors are installed for the greatest radar visibility of such a small target. This allows you to practice guidance on the target of ship missiles and test artillery firing radars. Special thermal radiators are located on the deck to conduct training firing at the small shield with anti-ship missiles on the infrared channel (IR channel).


Photo: photo A. Brichevsky. MKSC project 455

The effectiveness of firing is recorded by the breaks of the grid stretched between the masts, as well as video and photo equipment. In this case, a small shield is used both in a stationary state and in dynamics, i.e. when the shield tows another vessel at a safe distance.

Small boards have the following performance characteristics:

- displacement - 53 tons;
- length - 22 meters;
- width - 6,6 meters;
- draft - 1,5 meters;
- engine - non-self-propelled vessel.

Modern target ships


One of the largest target vessels produced in modern Russia are the vessels of project 436bis from the family of the 436th project, which includes 436BA and 436BR. They are being built at the Sokol Shipyard, in the village. Sokolskoye at the Gorky reservoir, and at the Shipyard named after October Revolution ”in Blagoveshchensk. These vessels are, in fact, an enlarged copy of the small shields of the Soviet period. Like small shields, Project 436bis ships are catamarans with a steel hull and numerous watertight compartments.


Project 436bis

On the deck, as expected, there are vertical masts with a mesh stretched between them. It is on this grid that targeted shooting is conducted during training firing. Also on the tops of the masts are mounted corner reflectors in the amount of 11 pieces. All other equipment is not much different from the little brothers.

Large target vessels of project 436bis have the following performance characteristics:

- displacement - 142 tons;
- length - 68 meters;
- width - 8 meters;
- draft - 1,3 meters;
- engine - non-self-propelled vessel.

Rubber crafts instead of steel


Separately, it is worth mentioning the target ships of our "sworn friends", that is, the Americans. The list of American targets is very extensive. In the U.S. Navy, the following equipment is used as targets: full-scale targets (i.e. decommissioned ships), directly targeted special purpose ships, simulators of high-speed targets, towed and self-propelled shields, buoy fields for artillery fire and inflatable sea targets.

It is worth paying attention to inflatable targets, which, of course, are much cheaper than our solid steel catamarans. Inflatable targets, similar to buoys, are equipped with corner reflectors and fixing equipment. The range of American “rubber” understudies is very wide.


American Tomato Killer

One of the most interesting targets of the USA is the “killer tomato,” that is, the typical BUSHIPS target. When assembled, this target is placed in a small suitcase, and after assembly it is a kind of target balloon of a somewhat cubic shape with 4,2 m sides. The “Tomato Killer” thus imitates small vessels for conducting artillery and rocket firing.

Of course, inflatable models of targets are also being developed in Russia, but this mainly concerns models of sea mines. So, in 2017, the Ministry of Defense planned to purchase over 60 inflatable mine targets for Kronstadt and Kaspiysk with the aim of training personnel to defeat drifting surface objects from a rifle weapons and precision weapons. It is worth pointing out that in September 2019, the Caspian Flotilla successfully conducted training firing at targets simulating sea mines.
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  1. Vladimir_2U 24 January 2020 18: 08 New
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    A great topic, Sobolev has a funny story "Two Scrambled Eggs", just about the naval target.
    1. Vladimir_2U 24 January 2020 18: 13 New
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      The targets of the project 1784 were repeatedly modified, and in total up to 40 units of similar equipment were produced
      Wow, almost a kiloton of such a series, spared no money either for study or for testing.
    2. New Year day 24 January 2020 18: 36 New
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      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      Great topic, Sobolev has a funny story "Two Scrambled Eggs"

      but about the divers, diving to the uttermost depth!
      1. Vladimir_2U 24 January 2020 18: 41 New
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        I don’t remember, to be honest, but hardly funny. Sobolev had enough funny things, but much more serious, and even tragic.
        1. Narak-zempo 25 January 2020 11: 44 New
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          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          I don’t remember, to be honest, but hardly funny

          Funny. Because the boat did not actually sink anywhere.
      2. Vladimir_2U 24 January 2020 18: 46 New
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        Perhaps it: Leonid Sergeevich Sobolev. The stories of the captain of the 2nd rank V.L. Kirdyagi heard from him during the "Great Seat", but there is more about the beyond expectation. )
  2. san4es 24 January 2020 19: 08 New
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    ... In the U.S. Navy, the following equipment is used as targets: full-scale targets (i.e. decommissioned ships), directly target ships of special construction, ...
    ... high speed target simulators ... hi

  3. svp67 24 January 2020 19: 37 New
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    target ship is a specially built naval combat training support vessel, which carries out practical launches of cruise (anti-ship or anti-submarine) missiles,
    Interesting article. It is a pity that they did not tell about our target submarines.
  4. The leader of the Redskins 24 January 2020 19: 38 New
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    Amazing I never heard that ship targets were built SPECIALLY! I always thought that they were using decommissioned vessels.
    1. Paul Siebert 24 January 2020 20: 13 New
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      Do not save yourself for decommissioned ships!
      In 1990, my missile boat division destroyed three targets in two days.
      And the brigade commander was still not happy - it was necessary four! wink
  5. Petrol cutter 24 January 2020 21: 54 New
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    Thank you. Interesting.
    I have never personally participated in the firing, as the ships are only in service, and then I hear some shootings and explosions in the Chaud area.
    Honestly, I want to. When you set up a gun, with remote control ... Well, that’s it ... Nobody will give me.
  6. cat Rusich 25 January 2020 00: 36 New
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    The target ship is a "small" but inalienable "brick" of the defense capability of our Motherland - Russia.
  7. serg.shishkov2015 25 January 2020 15: 06 New
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    I didn’t know that there was military shipbuilding in Sokolsky! But this town became part of the Nizhny Novgorod region during the * parade of sovereignty * and I simply did not get data on it in my old books. Thank! enlightened a former teacher of geography! Also an addition to my work on the geography of the defense industry complex of Russia! For the article a huge plus !!! The topic is completely unknown!
    1. Rzzz 28 January 2020 13: 40 New
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      They have been building these targets there all their lives. Concrete landing stages, firewalls, small barges, and - these are the targets.
      1. serg.shishkov2015 29 January 2020 09: 03 New
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        Thanks for the info! I haven’t been working at school for a long time, so I don’t know anything new!