I'll start from afar and with absolutely famous facts. Since we are talking about the fact that in America everyone can sleep peacefully (let's not talk about Poseidons and other fantastic cartoons now), then this calm of citizens should rest on some foundation. Otherwise, it’s not peace, but ...
Such a foundation (well known) is the American carrier strike groups, which are essentially just floating airfields that can be pulled anywhere. Naturally, well protected from all kinds of counteraction. Well, in theory, since no one has yet tried to try the strength of AOG, so in reality there can be many surprises.
Still, we have gone far from World War II, when flat-deck monsters could solve all the problems under certain conditions. And they decided, dropping such cabinets as Yamato and Musashi.
But progress did not stand still, planes became reactive, good radars appeared on them, missiles became smart and accurate.
And in the mid-50s, the conflict that arose after the Second World War between the former allies of the USSR and the USA turned into a kind of dilemma: how, in which case, to destroy the enemy and not to lose his own.
On the one hand, at the beginning of this journey, the Americans did not have a headache at all. They had strategic B-29s, capable of delivering atomic bombs from airfields in Europe to objects on the territory of the USSR, although there were many doubts about Europe. Mainly due to the fact that the Soviet Army could easily leave nothing from Europe again.
In general, the ground forces of the USSR left no chance for the enemy. If not parity was planned in the air, then our aircraft confidently caught up with everything that was produced in the West.
But on the sea, clearly everything was not so beautiful. Build ships the way our former allies knew how, alas, we never learned. And the problem of "what to do at sea" stood up to its full height. And at sea there was no chance at all of showing any resistance to the former allies. Neither in the Pacific Ocean, nor in the North.
And the government of the Soviet Union made a landmark decision: not to try to catch up with the United States and its slaves in the race to launch ships, but to try to neutralize the enemy’s advantage in a different way.
The USSR did not have a trump card - a deck of trump cards in the person of Korolev, Glushko, Chelomei, Chertok, Raushenbakh, Sheremetyevsky ... And this deck was played with maximum efficiency, relying on anti-ship missiles that could be launched from ships, submarines and aircraft.
Yes, with the submarines it didn’t come out right away, surface ships were also far from ideal, but aviation...
And with aviation it turned out. Apparently, the start and further acceleration taken during the war played. What a sin to conceal, during the war we did not build ships larger than a minesweeper, but boats, submarines and planes are quite imaginary.
Yes, in those years, the submarines were far from what they are now, and did not pose such a threat as modern monsters, but the bet on bombers armed with heavy anti-ship missiles played.
And not just played. With all the desire, the Soviet Union simply could not fight the United States at sea, increasing the number of ships on an equal footing. But here is the situation: the squadron of bombers with anti-ship missiles easily and naturally delivered missiles to the launch distance, could destroy enemy ships, but at the same time cost immeasurably less than missile launch vehicles.
It’s clear that we don’t take missile boats into account, it’s weapon short range. But marine aerial missile carriers have become a real headache for the United States for many years at once for several reasons.
The first was the ability to produce aircraft that could carry missiles far, and the missiles themselves.
The second reason was the number of aircraft capable of carrying anti-ship missiles. At the peak of its heyday, naval missile aviation (MRA) had 15 regiments of 35 aircraft each. Fifteen hundred missile carriers, which can also be very easily transferred from one theater to another ...
Plus to them EW aircraft, tankers, reconnaissance aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft, just bombers. In general, MRA was a very tangible force.
And in the air response to a possible trip to the shores of the USSR there was a reason. Finding a ship at sea, and even more so, the connection was much easier than the full MPA regiment coming with an “official visit” to the AUG. Even when the first spy satellites appeared, their use was, let's say, with minimal benefit.
So the time has come for the United States to search for solutions, because any commander of the United States ships fleet I was not sure of the safety of their ships precisely because the Soviet missile carriers that had fired at a distance of a confident salvo could inflict very significant damage.
Yes, of course, aircraft carriers, planes, the effect of air cover ... However, even in case of timely detection, crews need time to take off and leave for a given area. It is doubtful that Soviet pilots would expect them in a gentlemanly way.
So, perhaps, only the fifties Americans lived in relative calm. Then began a systematic search for ways to counteract Soviet aviation.
As a result, everything turned into a confrontation between the American fleet and Soviet missile carriers. Models were changing, from T-16k through T-22 to Tu-22M, the essence was the same: to minimize fleet losses from MPA attacks in case of a hypothetical conflict.
Basically, American surface ships mutated into air defense ships, and not just air defense, but long-range ones. The main goal was to turn the ships into a means of combating the Tupolev missile carriers.
One can only admire how much material resources the United States put into development. Meanwhile, much that has been developed turned out to be, to put it mildly, very highly specialized. Here it is worth recalling an attempt to use not the cheapest (but actually very expensive) F-14 Tomcat interceptors with super-expensive Phoenix missiles, which were also created to combat MRA in the Iran-Iraq conflict.
It turned out that against the MiG-23 and MiG-25 of Iraq it would be possible to use something much cheaper than the F-14.
Okay, plane. Let's see what the two main non-naval combat units of the American fleet look like: the Ticonderoga cruiser and the destroyer Arly Burke. Just look at the list of weapons, and it immediately becomes clear that the main specialization of these ships is air defense and missile defense. Well, they can still shoot missiles along the shore.
It is safe to say that it was the USSR naval missile aviation that had such a significant impact on the development of shipbuilding in the United States. And even today, 30 years after the liquidation of the Soviet Union, the main concept of US warships is air defense.
Of course, to say that in the USSR they found a way to completely neutralize ACG is to sin against the truth. But with so many planes capable of delivering enough missiles to almost anywhere in the world to inflict, if not defeat, then inflict significant damage on the US Navy, this was possible.
And here no one would want to check how real this is. Just because on one side it would be worth a huge loss in airplanes, the other in ships.
And we can’t say that it cost us a penny. Five hundred attack aircraft (Tu-16 and Tu-22 were the best in the world at one time), top-class crews, infrastructure, all of which cost a lot of money.
Some people are of the opinion that a carrier fleet would cost us about the same amount of money. But we never learned how to build full-fledged aircraft carriers, and the bits of the cruiser with the function of launching aircraft in the West did not scare anyone, even when we had three of them. In perspective, three.
But even without aircraft-carrying cruisers, we had a force that really died from the agility of Americans. Marine missile aircraft.
I will also allow myself to remind you that the very arrangement on the map of the USSR and the USA is different. Everything is simple and convenient in the USA, two oceans, in the waters of each one can concentrate an arbitrarily large squadron in a very short time. But here, alas, maneuvering ships of different fleets is possible only theoretically. But in principle, it is impossible, especially if hostilities begin somewhere. And the distances between the fleets are simply terrifying.
And here the possibility of the transfer of three to five regiments of missile carriers can very seriously change the balance of forces on any theater of operations, especially given the fact that the transfer will occur in the airspace of their country. And it will be very difficult for the enemy to impede this transfer in principle.
I don’t know how anyone, but it seems to me that this is really a very important point. If we can’t (and we will never be able) to put our fleet into a fist and give the enemy on the sides, then this could be done with the help of missile carriers.
The key word is "was." Unfortunately.
The Soviet Union ended - and naval aviation ended. And they killed her, having met in less than 20 years. And everything, that force that the US aircraft carriers really kept in suspense, simply did not.
Probably, I will not sin strongly against the truth, if I say that the way our Navy degraded did not go to anyone. And in the end, the Navy simply took and killed his aircraft. Easy and laid back. In the name of the ships to live.
In general, of course, from the very moment of the organization of the USSR in terms of naval commanders, everything was very, very sad for us. And if the fleet was, with sensible leadership, it was not very long, somewhere there, in the seventies.
Well, this manual, saving the ships closer to them, simply destroyed the naval missile-carrying aircraft. Which was finally abolished in 2010.
The remains of the aircraft transferred to the long-range aviation.
Ten years have passed. Let me express my opinion that today in YES there simply are no crews capable of working on naval targets. Long-range aviation, as it were, was not designed to work on ships, respectively, the crews are preparing a slightly different method.
In general, of course, it is strange. The whole world is working on creating aviation units at its disposal that can solve any tasks at sea, and since the times of World War II it has become clear that aviation is the main striking weapon. Missiles yes, missiles are fine, but planes also carry missiles, and planes can work very well with the eyes of ship groups.
And we have? And we have gas in the pipe ...
But in order to understand in which direction it is necessary to think and move, it is worth looking at what the neighbors are doing. Marine powers with dynamically developing naval forces.
It is about China and India.
China today is the main rival for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. The pace with which the PLA of the PRC fleet is developing is worthy of respect and admiration. All is well with aviation.
Speaking about marine missile-carrying aviation, it should be noted that the Chinese have a place to copy what was once created in the USSR.
Today, the PRC is armed with the Xian H-6K - the latest modification of the H-6, which, in turn, is a copy of our Tu-16k. The N-6K is also different from the N-6, as it is different from the Tu-16.
The combat load of the N-6K is 12 kg. The bomber is capable of carrying 000 CJ-6A cruise missiles (also a copy of our X-10), will be able to carry an aircraft version of Dongfeng-55.
The DF-21 is generally an interesting weapon. It seems to be anti-ship missiles, which can deliver a nuclear warhead wherever needed, but at the same time, a missile can be used as a way to deliver UAVs and as an anti-satellite missile.
Together with the missile carrier, which has a decent range of action - it’s quite imagined.
But more interesting in my opinion is what India is doing.
Hindus did not begin to burden themselves with the purchase of expensive licenses or the organization of production through a “copier”.
Moreover, judging that building bombers or missile carriers like Tu-16 or Tu-22 is expensive, the Indians did more interesting: they built a missile for existing aircraft.
There are enough frankly good airplanes in India. We are talking about the Su-30MKI, of which India has more than 200. Both purchased from us and produced under license.
Just under the Su-30MKI, the Bramos anti-ship missile was designed as a carrier, which was based on our P-800 Onyx anti-ship missile, or rather, its simplified export version of Yakhont.
Bramos-A, version for aviation applications. It was planned at the installation of the fifth generation FGFA fighter, but since the aircraft was not destined to fly, the Su-30MKI, which takes not 6 missiles like the Chinese N-6K, but no more than 3, came up quite well. But it does not need escort / protection, Su -30 Anyone himself can be puzzled by the issue of security, even with the Brahmos on the suspension.
But what can I say if I get rid of RCC ...
The radius of the Chinese N-6K, of course, is twice as large. That is yes. 3000 vs 1500 - there is a difference. The Chinese can operate their aircraft at a great distance. But how many China have such aircraft?
In total, about 6 N-200s were manufactured. These are all modifications, starting with the Tu-16. Training, reconnaissance, tankers, bombers ... If we talk about the N-6K, 36 have so far been released.
India has about 200 Su-30MKIs. Although yes, China also has a Su-30. Only there are no "Brahmos" for them.
But in general, everything looks good for both countries. Yes, India is cheaper, but not the fact that worse. But the country can exhibit such a mass of aircraft that the fleet of any country will be very puzzled by questions of reflections of such an amount of anti-ship missiles. Up to overheating of processors.
And I draw your attention to the fact that EVERYTHING hurt on our technology.
And we have?
And we have the Su-30, and the more interesting Su-34, and Onyx missiles, and newer developments. And there is a finally decrepit and uncompetitive fleet, and a rather tense situation with the country on the world stage.
It is clear that war is not expected, but in which case - we just did not have a fleet capable of enlightening the same Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. About the US fleets, China, I do not even stutter. And there is nowhere to wait for reinforcements.
The only thing that could fall heavily on the scales and tip them in our direction are some real regiments of anti-ship missile launchers.
In fact, we do not need so much time to recreate marine missile-carrying aircraft. It can be resuscitated using the base of naval assault regiments that use the same Su-30s. Just teach the Su-30 to work with RCC Onyx.
Our geography has hardly changed. As the fleets were torn, so now they are each floundering in their own puddle. With the new strike ships (if this is not an MRK), everything is still terrible with us. And the only thing that could dramatically strengthen the capabilities of the fleets is the revival of naval missile-carrying aircraft.
Just consider the issue of using not Su-30, but Su-34. A more interesting plane, in my opinion.
And of course, the issue of personnel. Frames, frames and still frames. It’s easy to rivet airplanes. It would be someone to put at the controls.
However, we have a very strange approach to this issue, especially among the naval command. They do not want to get involved in aviation with the fleet. Indeed, why do we need MPA? There are "Caliber", we will solve all issues.
Khrushchev also thought so roughly, but how did it end?
Right, weird. India is working in this direction, China is working, even in the USA something is being moved there from the dead point. And only with us is silence and grace. Only Russia does not need heavy and long-range missiles on airplanes.
Maybe we have ships from somewhere that can really be a threat to the AUG? I do not remember, to be honest, that something came into operation.
Well, in addition to the supersonic Onyx, now there seems to be a hypersonic Zircon. Okay. What about carriers? All the same boats? And our ancient "Orlan" and "Atlanta", which in case of what, even from outer space do not need to be tracked, are they scorching all over the globe?
Not seriously. Unprofessional. Short-sighted.
However, what can I say, we have a Poseidon. He will solve all problems, if that.
It’s a pity that they don’t give normal admirals to Poseidon. It would be more useful at times. And then I wouldn’t have to (God forbid, of course) take my elbows off to bite. Because today, our naval aviation is like a fleet.
Yes, we still have a few due to an oversight of the clearly surviving regiments of naval attack aircraft. On the Su-30SM, with X-35 and X-59MK subsonic missiles and X-31A supersonic.
Missiles are not new (I would say: ancient), with warheads that allow you to confidently work on the corvette. 100 kg in the X-31 - well, a corvette, no more. We are not even talking about aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers. As well as I will not say anything about how successfully today you can use a subsonic missile.
A slightly different approach is needed.
In general, it is very strange that in the past we created the standard naval missile-carrying aviation, with which everyone who wants to achieve something (India and China) is openly copying today, tomorrow we will not even be in the position of catching up. And in the situation of the stragglers forever.
And where? At sea, where in general we were never strong. But we probably do not need it. We have a Poseidon ...