Combat use of the Kyrgyz Republic 3M14 Caliber against terrorists in Syria from the frigate Admiral Essen
Russia is the only country in the world deploying long-range cruise missiles on small ships with a displacement of less than 1000 tons. This state of affairs has largely become a coincidence. First, the president had questions about why we ship to India. weaponwhich our fleet does not have, then there was a powerful “impulse” of the Navy, which forced the fleet to acquire a universal launcher 3C-14 included in the UKKS - a universal naval firing complex on a Caspian missile ship flotilla Dagestan.
The first swallow of the Navy - UVP 3S-14 of the Dagestan missile ship of the Caspian flotilla
Then the almighty General Staff entered the game, driven mainly by natives of the ground forces, who on the one hand do not fully imagine how to maximize the potential of the fleet, as a type of aircraft, on the other they consider themselves competent enough to determine the direction of development of the Navy - and have enough power for this. After Dagestan there was a General Staff directive to ensure the use of long-range cruise missiles “from specialized missile ships”. After that, budgetary constraints and a random factor with the non-launch of the Zvezda diesel engine came into play during the exercises at one of the project 21630 MAKs in the presence of the Commander-in-Chief Vysotsky and other dignitaries.
The synergistic effect of all these things was generated by a specialized projectile rocket ship of project 21631 “Buyan-M” with a German MTU diesel engine, and its high price, the presence of irreplaceable import units that fell under the sanctions and the desire of another commander in chief - Korolyov, to have “their own” ship, gave birth to “Karakurt ". In general, those interested in the issue may refer to the article “Does the fleet need small missile ships”where the question of the importance of RTOs for the Navy is disclosed.
But, one way or another, these ships were actually involved in military operations. In an interview, President Putin said bluntly that we need not violate the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate and Shorter-Range Missiles, since such missiles are based on ships. We add that they are based under the coast, almost in the same place as land launchers could have been. “Buyan-M” is, relatively speaking, army ships - substitutes for ground launchers, which I would very much like to have army officers from the General Staff, but it was impossible. This continued until the Americans destroyed the INF Treaty.
On August 2, 2019, the United States finally left it and almost immediately conducted a test launch of the Tomahawk KR from an improvised ground launcher. The external effect of this launch left "in the shadow" the fact of the existence of a huge US Army missile program, begun long before the American propaganda machine began to make claims to Russia in violation of the Treaty. Here is just one example from the line of missile weapons being created for the American ground forces — the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), in Russian - “long-range hypersonic weapons.” This is a hypersonic glider mounted on a rocket launched from a mobile chassis. The weapon promises to be very dangerous and difficult to break.
The US withdrawal from the Treaty creates a somewhat new situation in the development of missile weapons. On the one hand, now our hands are also untied. On the other hand, the question arises of the number of missiles, or rather, even to get the maximum salvo for minimal money. And thirdly, questions arise about whether those capable of deploying cruise missiles used by the Navy are meaningful. And does the fleet miss any opportunities? In order to understand the full depth of the problem, let us turn to what possibilities the liquidation of the INF Treaty offers to the RF Armed Forces.
As you know, the Caliber family of missiles appeared on the basis of the Soviet Granat family cruise missiles - very similar to the Caliber 3M14 long-range missiles, which were supposed to be launched through torpedo tubes of submarines. A characteristic difference between the Grenade and the Caliber was the presence of only a nuclear warhead. The anti-ship version of the rocket, which today, after many years of evolution, is known as 3M54, also first flew to the USSR. And along with the complex for the Navy was created and its land, army version - RK-55 "Relief", which included a mobile launcher on a car chassis, providing the launch of six cruise missiles.
PU KR RK-55 "Relief". Six cruise missiles on a car chassis, almost RTOs
It is impossible not to note that such installations a priori have greater combat stability than RTOs. RTOs are attached to reservoirs. A land launcher can be located anywhere on the territory of Russia, in forests, in buildings and structures in the city, as it is, well camouflaged. RTOs are indivisible and always represent a single target. The ground battery can be dispersed on the ground. The defeat of even one missile RTOs at least incapacitates it and makes it ineffective or destroys. The defeat of one of the launch leads to a reduction in volley, and the defeat of some of the control machines requires only the replacement of the control machine. A ground-based missile defense system may be located inside a well-defended air defense area in the depths of defense, and RTOs have other vulnerabilities besides an air strike - for example, it is threatened by submarines, surface ships, and sea mines during transitions. The only exception is the RTO of the Caspian flotilla, but in the case of economic factors begin to work with them.
Ground installations are disproportionately more cost-effective. Let us compare the slightly modernized RK Iskander and RTOs in terms of economic efficiency.
RTO provides a salvo of eight cruise missiles. The modernized launcher of the Iskander complex provides the launch of two cruise missiles. The dual-battery division (two launchers in each battery) thus provides the equivalent of multiple rocket launchers for multiple launch rockets, but at the cost of an incommensurably greater combat stability. How much does a division cost?
PU RK "Iskander" with two cruise missiles. In their place may be slightly different missiles with a completely different range.
In those years in which the data on the cost of RTOs and Iskander complexes fell into open sources, it turned out that the Iskander RK division costs about a third less than the Buyan-M or Karakurt RTOs with Armor , or almost as much as Karakurt without the Shell, which is generally defenseless from air strikes, and which they will no longer build.
Thus, we have the right to compare MRCs for 9-10 billion and the land launch division for 6-7 billion, which provide the same salvo of the same missiles. Corrected for inflation, the proportions between prices will be the same today.
But here the details begin. Volley, it is not just like that - it is per unit of time. RTOs are reloaded with missiles during the day, plus it takes time to exit the base and return to it. If we neglect the fact that naval bases will be attacked by a strong enemy in the first hours of the conflict, and that while the ship is in the base, it is at maximum risk, then we can assume that the ship is capable of firing up to eight missiles per day (in fact, the ship will be tasked with eliminating such frequent reloadingbut we make an assumption).
And the ground division? And the ground division, having shot its eight missiles, will be ready to shoot again in two hours. And two hours later - again. And so on. The division includes a transport-loading machine, and in the connection, which includes the division, delivery works, at least in the rear areas. It is possible to deploy a missile brigade in the rear areas without problems - the range of the missiles allows. Thus, the approximate maximum daily salvo of a division can be estimated at the same eight missiles, but every two hours (if there are missiles themselves and targets for them). Which results in TWELVE TIME a larger volley per day than an RTO can provide. For less (not counting the cost of expendable missiles) money.
However, we can go a little further. Until this moment, we considered the almost standard Iskander launcher, with a pair of cruise missiles, as the basic launcher.
But Russia still has something else in store. We look at the launcher of the export version of Caliber - the Club complex. Instead of a pair of missiles, four were used. On a similar four-axle chassis from the same manufacturer - MZKT.
PU RK "Club" - four missiles by car, half RTOs
How much more will such an installation be compared to the standard Iskander PU? Yes, almost no matter how much, against the background of billions of the cost of one division, a somewhat redesigned PU will simply be lost. Perhaps it will be about the fact that the entire division with such installations will cost half a billion more, and this is the ceiling. But this money is not just spent, they are spent in exchange for DOUBLE salvo. There were eight missiles every two hours, it became sixteen. With missiles, transport, and targets, one division will be able to hit up to 192 targets at the maximum pace. And it will still be cheaper than MRK. Which can hit eight targets per day (in the absolute limit and ideal conditions, up to firing from the base). Not a bad difference, is it?
And if you spend money on OCD on a new launcher and play the “Relief” launcher? Then we did not double the volley for almost the same money, but triple it, because, we repeat, the "relief" launcher carries 6 missiles. And transport-loading machines will install as many transport-launch containers, if necessary.
Here, of course, you can start arguing. So, for example, the usual two-missile launcher RK Iskander allows you to use not only cruise missiles, but also missiles with a quasi-ballistic flight path. At a shorter (so far) range, they achieve their goal much faster due to speed. When hitting a failed to get out of attack aviation enemy or for some mobile purpose (a stopped air defense missile system on the march, for example), these missiles may not be alternative - the winged versions of the Caliber will take quite a while to fly. The goal may go away - this is not a fact, but it is possible.
An example of universality - two different missiles on one launcher
And the multi-missile launchers optimized for cruise missiles, apparently, cannot use other types of missiles.
The discussion about the benefits of different types of missiles will lead us too far. Another thing is important - when choosing the type of launchers in Russia, hands are completely untied. On its technological base, it can form any combination of launchers - just make the Iskander, equipping it with more and more advanced missiles, or build up a salvo to the detriment of some other advantages.
Remembering the failed container launchers for surface ships, let’s say that such installations could prove to be effective on the road, and then the four “ground Caliber” could be carried on its semi-trailer by an ordinary KAMAZ tractor - in addition to the Iskander or instead them.
Two. Drop the sides of the semitrailer, take the tractor with the same model, but of a military standard, and paint everything in camouflage. It will be much cheaper than the Iskander and difficult to distinguish from a simple road train
In the end, the French had the HADES missile system in the dimensions of a conventional tractor with a semi-trailer.
HADES. An ordinary tractor with a non-driving front axle, not even an all-terrain vehicle, just off-road tires. From afar, the complex is indistinguishable from a simple road train
This is also possible with us.
Now we formulate the first most important consequence of the collapse of the INF Treaty - at Euro-strategic ranges, ground launchers are disproportionately more effective than small missile ships. Their missile salvo per unit time is more than ship’s volley at times or tens of times at lower cost and greater combat stability.
Does this mean that the construction of RTOs is a waste of money? Yes, it does. Does it mean that ships are pointless to arm with cruise missiles? No, but we must do it right, using the strengths of this type of armed forces, such as the navy.
When using missile weapons against ground targets, the fleet, being an expensive weapon compared to army missile brigades, has a tremendous advantage over the ground forces - an unattainable level of mobility for the latter. A ship is able to travel more than 600 kilometers in a day on an economic course. For bulky all-terrain rocket launcher chassis, this is an unattainable value in itself. But the point is that, in order to compare with the ship, they must be able to cross the front line with the enemy, or, if there is no war at the borders, then the state border, and sometimes more than one. And this is not even negotiable.
In addition, the ship can increase speed and go more than 1000 kilometers per day. Thus, we formulate the fundamental difference between warships and missile units of the ground forces.
Warships and naval formations are capable of quickly pushing the line of launch of cruise missiles by many hundreds or thousands of kilometers, which is absolutely inaccessible to ground-based missile units.
In this parameter, ships even surpass aviation - the latter will not always be able to provide the presence of cruise missiles somewhere in the South Atlantic, and ships will. In some cases, aviation will need coordination with foreign governments regarding the passage through the airspace of third countries - and not the fact that this will succeed. In any case, aviation will need refueling in the air, and it will seriously limit its capabilities.
Also, ships that are already deployed in the designated area are trite faster than aviation. It sounds unusual, but it does. A missile ship, after receiving an order to strike, will send its missiles to the target at the most within an hour, even if everything happens in the Caribbean. The bomber will need to fly for many hours to the launch line from Russian territory.
In addition, there is another factor.
We formulate one more specific quality of ships as a combat weapon.
Ships armed with cruise missiles can be located in an area remote from the territory of the Russian Federation, from which missiles can be launched on target for an extremely long time - months. With the rotation of the ships, it is possible to have cruise missiles in the right area of the world almost forever.
Suppose we are dealing with some kind of military-political crisis around Venezuela. It is easy to imagine the deployment of a naval strike group in the Western Atlantic, with a hundred cruise missiles - if we were smarter, we would already have such capabilities on old ships and submarines, but we will never be smarter, so we will have them in the second half of 2020- x years on new ships and submarines. But there will be anyway. We can already deploy dozens of missiles on frigates of projects 22350 and 11356 and the Severodvinsk submarine, which was recently shot by the Caliber. And such a group, while ensuring the interchangeability of ships in it, will always be there, if necessary.
Let us give an example from reality - during the recent aggravation of the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, and possible clashes between the RF Armed Forces and the Turkish Armed Forces on Syrian territory, three frigates of Project 11356 with the Caliber KR were deployed in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. I must say that they were extremely vulnerable there - Russia insanely thoughtlessly allowed the fleet to lose anti-submarine forces, and Turkey has good submarines with good torpedoes, and Turkey's surface forces still had an overwhelming numerical superiority at that time. Even if all Turkish aviation was busy fighting the Russian Air Force and the Syrian Air Force on two fronts - in Syria itself and over the Black Sea, the Turks would still have enough ships and submarines to destroy our weak grouping without their airplanes.
But before that, a volley of 24 cruise missiles would come to them, which, due to being close to Turkish territory, would very quickly hit the assigned targets without giving Turkey many hours of odds, as it would launch missiles from the Caspian RTOs. This deployment of forces, which is generally flawed, nevertheless demonstrates well to us how to properly use naval missiles, and what "at a minimum" should be their carriers. The Turks would have to pay dearly for the destruction of frigates, each of which has 24 missiles (72 in the group), not a modern, but fully operational RLC, an excellent cannon with a caliber of 100 millimeters. It’s not even a fact that a sudden Turkish strike on them, then, after the battle, would not have allowed at least part of the ships to shoot back with “Caliber”. And this is one of their cardinal advantages over RTOs even in such a task as launching a missile launcher on coastal targets.
What other features and advantages do ships have over other carriers of the Kyrgyz Republic - ground launchers and aircraft? An important advantage of the fleet is the ability to provide a massive salvo.
Each individual ship may not have very many missiles. For example, for a frigate of project 22350 with a pair of 3C-14 installations, it seems logical to occupy no more than eight cells in launchers for such missiles, because you still need to have PLUR for self-defense against submarines and anti-ship missiles to protect against surface ships or attack them. But three such frigates with such loading are already 24 cruise missiles, while maintaining all the other capabilities of the ship, and the two banal Varshavyanka operating in the same area will add eight more missiles without affecting the presence of torpedo weapons on board. Another 22350 of a new type, with 24 missiles, will already add at least 10 missiles to the unit, bringing its total salvo to 44 missiles. The modernized Nakhimov’s approach to joining this group and the replacement of Varshavyanyok Yasenem will already raise the number of simultaneous salvos far beyond a hundred missiles. Moreover, where missiles from the territory of Russia either do not reach at all, or will fly for many hours.
These are the advantages of deploying missile launchers on ships - the ability to extend the launch line anywhere far, the possibility of forming a very powerful (especially in conjunction with cash bombers) volley with a small scope (time-compressed, massive) and the possibility of long duty in the designated area in constant readiness for application immediate hit.
Separately, it is worth mentioning submarines as carriers. At present, the secrecy of submarines is already incomparable with what it was forty or fifty years ago. The full use of the US and NATO of its anti-submarine potential will dramatically reduce the ability of submarines to covertly deploy anywhere. But even in such conditions, with proper security measures, it will nevertheless sometimes be possible. And then, in addition to the advantages available to the surface forces, one more will be added - the ability to concentrate a large number of missiles is HIDDEN for the enemy. This will not always turn out, but sometimes it will. And it can be of great value.
Alas, the path that the Navy has chosen to deploy cruise missiles on ships makes it very weak to take advantage of the ships as carriers. RTOs due to low seaworthiness and near-zero capabilities in terms of self-defense, as well as due to low autonomy, simply can not perform such tasks in an environment where the enemy can attack them. RTOs are an instrument of purely peacetime, if the enemy puts up resistance, they become almost useless, since they can only duplicate ground launchers, the advantages of which are described above over RTOs. Being part of the ship’s group, they cannot in all cases maneuver together with large ships, either because of the principle of low speed (project 21631) or because of its rapid loss in waves (project 22800). Yes, and in principle they lack seaworthiness.
It is not superfluous to recall. RTO "Great Ustyug" project 21631 in the storm. The annotation indicates that seven points, but even visually shows that no more than four. In such conditions, there can be no talk of any combat use or separation from the enemy - in a real war the ship is doomed
Recently, the situation, however, if it did not start to improve, then it ceased to distort. The Varshavyanki descend from the slipways, with the possibility of using cruise missiles, frigates of project 22350 are regularly laid - saving our forces for the far sea zone and, in a sense, the last hope not to lose the fleet as an effective instrument of international politics and a hypothetical “big” war. Submarines of the “Ash” type are being built - with all the flaws of these submarines carefully concealed by the Ministry of Defense and the Navy command (see, for example, M. Klimov’s article "AIC" Severodvinsk delivered with critical deficiencies for the Navy " or his article "What to ask" Ashen ") they still carry a substantial missile arsenal, and in universal launchers. And the shortcomings can partly be eliminated on already built ships, if, firstly, you recognize them, and secondly, you can really deal with the elimination. And about the increase in the series of RTOs over previously announced ships, nothing is heard, which is also good.
For these pluses, you should not lose sight of the minuses - instead of quickly re-equipping old ships with Caliber in inclined launchers, the development of which would take a maximum of six years, from the time the OCD was opened until the product received the serial letter, the expensive and time-consuming option was chosen replacing 100 mm artillery mounts with a pair of 3C-14 launchers for BOD, and other large surface ships with inclined missile launch - the destroyers of project 956 and cruiser 1164 remain with their old weapons. For more details, see the article. “At an angle to the horizon. "Caliber" needs installation for inclined launch ".
For some unbelievable reason, the Caliber’s mass equipment of nuclear submarines of projects 971, 945, 945A and DEPLs of project 877, which are in operation, at least those whose decommissioning is not planned in the foreseeable future, did not start. This is all the more incomprehensible because the 971th project and project 945A were intended for the use of the KR "Granat", and their torpedo tubes are adapted for launching a rocket. The volume of modernization of these boats for the use of the Caliber Caliber would not be large. But for now, it’s only clear that at least a part of these boats will not receive any “Caliber”, and perhaps not even one. This is strange, bad and incomprehensible.
It seemed that the boats of projects 971 and 945A were doomed to be the first to get the "Caliber". but something went wrong ... In the photo - Project 971 PLA Bars
Well, the termination of the 20385 series of corvettes capable of using these weapons is also worth mentioning. From the point of view of restoring anti-submarine forces vital to the Navy, a simplified and cheapened version of such a corvette, considered in the article, would be rational “The light forces of the Navy. Their significance, tasks and ship structure ”. And he would provide the same opportunities for the use of missiles that their placement on large ships gives, adjusted for the worst (but not as bad as that of RTOs) seaworthiness.
An example of what a simplified version of 20385 could be. A radar complex could be taken similar to that installed at Karakurt RTOs - and it would be even better
One way or another, and the choice of which carriers exactly the naval cruise missiles should be placed on should take into account the strengths of the fleet as a type of aircraft - mobility, the ability to long combat duty in remote areas, the possibility of the formation of powerful and dense missile volleys, the ability to immediately launch strike immediately after receiving an order, in the case of submarines - the possibility of a hidden deployment, and striking not just massive, but also extremely sudden for the enemy.
But the tasks of the "missile gunboats" are better to transfer to the ground forces, especially since now there are no political factors holding back this. The idea that if we do not deploy medium- and short-range missiles previously prohibited by the Treaty with the USA in the European part of Russia, then the Americans will not do this, it’s just ridiculous. The Americans will do it anyway, just now they don’t have the right rockets for this yet. As soon as they are in service in more or less massive numbers, some kind of foreign policy provocation will follow, such as the downed Boeing, which will become the reason for the deployment of these weapons in Europe.
Once again, this is absolutely inevitable, it’s just a foregone conclusion, the United States did not arrange dances with a tambourine around the withdrawal from this treaty and did not create new missile weapons now so that it would stand on the North American continent and it would not stand there. So, we can not restrain ourselves especially now.
The missile units of the ground forces are the cheapest and easiest way to strike at a range of one and a half to two thousand kilometers from our borders, and less. And the fleet should use cruise missiles not just to “replace” the ground forces, but using its strengths or in those conditions when army units are not applicable. To do this, he needs the “right” media and there must be a lot of them.
This approach is important for one more reason.
Cruise missiles in the tasks of the Navy
In the event of a war with an enemy with a navy, our fleet will have to support favorable operational mode (link of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation) in designated areas within the time specified by the command. One of the necessary conditions for maintaining a favorable operational regime is the establishment of supremacy at sea in specified areas, at least temporarily. These issues are discussed in more detail in the article. “We are building a fleet. Theory and Purpose ".
One of the conditions necessary to ensure supremacy at sea may be the destruction of the enemy’s naval forces, or the prevention of the use of the naval forces by the enemy.
In the modern world, the naval forces of almost all more or less significant militarily significant countries include aviation, both specialized maritime (anti-submarine, patrol) and others.
In addition, the air forces of many countries, especially island ones, specialize precisely in naval warfare, in strikes on surface targets.
Under such conditions, the Navy needs its own “long arm”, which can be used to strike at the coast from a great distance, without wasting time coordinating such an attack through non-naval headquarters. Under the current command system, this, however, is a priori impossible, since the fleets, except for the North, essentially merged with the military districts, and the commanders of various formations and operational groups of the Navy (for example, a permanent formation of the Navy in the Mediterranean) have almost no KR carriers. Read more about command in the article. “Destroyed management. There is no single command of the fleet for a long time. ”.
If we assume that this problem has been solved, then purely naval tasks for the ships of the armed Kyrgyz Republic become clear, in conditions where the ground forces also have missiles of this range. The fleet should and can use its missiles in the interests of establishing dominance at sea - for striking at the enemy’s naval bases, at its airfields, it’s especially important - according to the identified clusters of anti-submarine aircraft, the destruction of which will be of critical importance to our fleet, because our main attack ships are submarines, and for them aviation is a terrible threat.
Such operations will require a large supply of missiles, and powerful and numerous volleys, and early deployment of carriers outside the combat radius of the base attack aircraft, that is, all that the fleet should do.
We summarize. The tasks of hitting ground targets within the range of cruise missile flights from the territory of the Russian Federation are best given to the ground forces - this is the cheapest way and it also provides maximum fire performance and maximum combat stability of missile units.
The fleet needs cruise missiles in large quantities, but they must be used so that the strengths of the fleet as a type of aircraft are used to the maximum extent, and not for the "replacement" of army missile units. The strengths of the fleet are mobility, namely, the ability to make the launch line anywhere far from the territory of the Russian Federation, the ability to provide long-term combat alert forces with missiles at a great distance from the territory of the Russian Federation, the ability to immediately deliver a maximum force rocket attack, the ability to form powerful missile salvos.
During the hypothetical “big” war, minus situations where there is no choice but to use naval missiles instead of or together with army missiles, cruise missiles should be used by the fleet to solve their operational and tactical tasks, as part of the struggle for supremacy at sea. This is much more useful than using up the entire naval supply of missiles for separately insignificant targets, such as a caponier with a fighter plane or a detected stationary radio station of the enemy ground forces.
Such an approach is economically most beneficial for the country, and for the Navy - in terms of its own combat effectiveness. But it requires a sharp increase in the number of CD carriers in the fleet, and it cannot be RTOs due to their extremely limited applicability. In conditions when the country's shipbuilding capabilities are limited, mass equipping of ships and submarines of old projects with Caliber cruise missiles is necessary. Also, when the Navy finally comes to its senses and takes up anti-submarine forces, corvettes or other anti-submarine ships under construction will also have to be able to use cruise missiles, all the more so since it is easily technically feasible. After all, as was said earlier, light forces are not necessarily defensive and not necessarily coastal.
We have to finally start making rational, healthy decisions.