As you know, plans for the construction of the Navy fleet The Russian Federation, approved by the state weapons program for 2011-2020, were miserably failed in literally all classes of ships. Except perhaps the "mosquito" fleet. But the thing is that the latter is within the framework of the GPV 2011-2020. they didn’t intend to build at all: it was supposed to put into operation only a few artillery “Buyanov” and missile “Buyanov-M” - very small missile ships “river-sea”. The emphasis was on completely different classes: corvettes and frigates, multipurpose nuclear and diesel submarines of the latest projects.
Alas, it soon became clear that the program was overly optimistic, literally everything was overestimated. Design bureaus could not or extremely delayed bringing to mind the latest and most sophisticated equipment: recall the diesel-electric submarine of the Lada project and the memorable Polyment-Redoubt. The slogan “Abroad will help us” turned out to be completely erroneous: the French simply did not want to give the Mistrals they ordered, and the bet on Ukrainian and German engines almost became fatal for the fleet. Domestic shipbuilders constantly moved the deadlines for the delivery of ships “to the right”, and even in the budget itself, alas, there was no money to implement such a large-scale program.
And then when it became clear that the planned GPV 2011-2020. a mighty stream of more than a hundred ships of the main classes "dries out" almost five times and that the repair programs for the combat units of the Russian Navy break down almost in the same proportion, a reasonable question arose: what should the fleet do? The fact that the sailors are desperate for at least some ships was quite obvious, while our mosquito fleet seemed to be able to overpower our industry. Accordingly, the shipbuilding programs turned out to be corrected in the direction of the Karakurt and project 22160 patrol ships. But it should be understood that this was a forced decision, dictated not by tactical considerations, but by the need to replenish the fleet with at least something. Of course, the decision to go "to mosquitoes" was the right one, since the corvettes and frigates had not worked out. But even here, according to the author, the emphasis on the classes of the ships was not set correctly, and there are a lot of questions to the TTX of projects 22800 and 22160 that the author will raise later. The same material is devoted to the current construction of the SSBN.
Leader in the shipbuilding program
Indeed, if we consider the implementation of our grandiose shipbuilding plans for 2011-2020, it will become clear: the backlog on the SSBN can be said to be minimal. Of the 10 ships of this class planned for delivery to the fleet, three SSBNs of project 955 (Yuri Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh), as well as the lead ship of the advanced Borey-A project Prince Vladimir ".
But the next “Prince Oleg”, most likely, will not be able to get into operation by the end of 2020. A total of 4 ships out of 10 planned, that is, the implementation of the plan - as many as 40%. And the phrase "even whole" here, alas, is quite appropriate without any irony. The same ASLs “Ash” and “Ash-M” were initially going to build 10, then - 8, then - 7, but in reality the fleet today has one “Severodvinsk”, and God forbid that the sailors be handed over to the sailors by the end of 2020 also Kazan. Less than 30%. According to frigates, from the 6th project 11356 of the Admiral series for the Black Sea and 8th project 22350 for other fleets, we have three “admirals”, the main “Gorshkov”, and there is still hope for the “Admiral of the Fleet of Kasatonov”. Total - about 36%. Corvettes? Of the 35 planned for construction, five got up, and. perhaps by the end of 5 they will finish the “Zealous” with the “Thundering” - a total of 2020 or 7%. It should be noted that today we have project 20 corvettes in the ranks of not 20380, but 5, but the lead “Steregushchiy” was handed over to the fleet in 6 and, naturally, was not part of the GPV 2008-2011.
Landing ships? Well, the four French musketeers, the UDC of the Mistral project, didn’t get to the Russian Navy (though the author is not sure that it is worth being upset about this). Of the 6 Ivanov Grenov planned to be handed over to the fleet, only 2 will enter service, provided that Peter Morgunov still manages in 2020.
In fact, the rate of construction of the SSBNs (as a percentage of the initial plan) is overtaken only by mosquitoes and diesel-electric submarines. But to rejoice at the success of the "mosquito" fleet, for the reasons stated above, is to give out need for virtue, and with DEPL ...
With DEPL, the situation is frankly difficult. In total, it was planned to build 20 such ships, 6 of them for the Black Sea, according to project 636.3, that is, an improved Varshavyanka, and the remaining 14 were the latest 677 Lada. Maybe even with VNEU if possible.
Did not work out. Neither with VNEU, nor with Lada, at least in the framework of GPV 2011-2020. As a result, it was decided to increase the Varshavyanka 636.3 series from 6 to 12 units, sending six of these ships to the Pacific Fleet. And here - yes, there are successes. To date, all 6 diesel-electric submarines planned for the Black Sea, and another seventh for the Pacific Ocean, have been commissioned. The eighth Varshavyanka undergoes mooring trials and with the highest probability will replenish the Pacific Fleet in 2020. As for Lad, then besides the main Saint Petersburg, with its many years of pilot operation, the fleet may receive Kronshtadt in 2020 ". Total - 9 or 10 ships out of 20, that is 45-50% of the state program. But it is hardly correct to compare these figures with the Boreas, since the percentage of completion is “stretched" even by the modernized, but the ships of the previous generation.
Another thing is the SSBN. Three ships of project 955 are already in operation, and although these SSBNs are, in fact, an intermediate link between ships of the 3rd and 4th generation, they are much more perfect than the previous types of ships of this class. Five advanced Boreev A, which are today in varying degrees of construction and completion (and Prince Vladimir - and surrender to the fleet) are likely to become the most inconspicuous submarines of the whole history USSR / RF, although whether they will correspond to American MAPL is a big question. And a contract was signed for two more Borea-As, preparations are underway for laying them, which is due to take place in September 2020. And, judging by the construction time, the probability that all 10 SSBNs of project 955 and 955A will be operational before the end of 2027 is very large. That's just ... the author is concerned about one question.
Is it good?
The service life of a modern nuclear submarine tends to 40 years - provided that the ship receives all the necessary types of repairs on time. But 40 years is a whole era for modern scientific and technological progress in the military field and by the time its submarine service ends, it will become completely obsolete. At the same time, it’s obvious that the enemy will use the most advanced multi-purpose nuclear submarines to track our SSBNs, if only because there is probably no more strategic task for this class of US and NATO naval ships. And it’s quite obvious that it will be much easier for a newly-launched SSBN of the newest project to evade unnecessary and annoying attention than a 30-35-year-old ship.
What to do? The “ideal” solution is to build 12 SSBNs, say, every 10 years and remove the old ones from the fleet as the next series is built. Then we will always have a super-modern fleet of 12 strategic submarine missile carriers. But, of course, no budget can withstand such costs.
According to the author, a long-term construction program is suitable for the SSBN. Suppose that in the fleet it is necessary and sufficient for us to have 12 ships of this class (conditional figure), while the connection of such ships consists of 3 units. Then it would be optimal to commission a compound of 3 SSBNs every 10 years. That is, for example, 3 SSBNs came into operation in 2020, then the next three should be transferred to the fleet in 2030, another three in 2040, then in 2050, and the three built in 2060 as time will replace the first three SSBNs introduced in 2020. The next three handed over to sailors in 2070 will replace the ships of the year 2030. - And so on until peace comes on the whole planet (wars finally move to outer space) and the SSBNs cease to be necessary.
Adhering to this logic, at each moment of time, we will have 12 SSBNs in the Russian Navy, of which 3 will be the latest, 3 will be quite modern, three will become obsolete, and three more will be prepared for decommissioning. What are we doing?
We are building at a pace for our country 10 “Boreev” and “Boreev-A”, which should be commissioned in 15 years, from 2013 to 2027 inclusive. Thus, in a relatively short period of time, we get 10 modern warships, but then what? After a quarter of a century, all of them will be considered obsolete and we will either have to put up with this or withdraw part of the Boreev from the Russian Navy, replacing them with the latest-built SSBNs. That is, we either agree that the backbone of the naval component of the strategic nuclear forces will consist of obviously outdated ships, or we will lose money by removing ships from the fleet that have not yet served their due date.
Here, of course, there is an important objection. The proposed system will not work if there is a failure at the start. As part of the Russian Navy by the beginning of the GPV 2011-2020. there were only “old men” of project 667BDRM born in 1984-1990 and even earlier Squids. And all of them, in a good way, it’s time to be scrapped in the 2030th or a little later. Thus, the undertaking of the construction of the SSBN on the principle of “three ships every 10 years” within the framework of the GPV 2011-2020. we would have received a significant reduction in the number of submarine strategic forces - from about 12 (in 2010, maybe more) to just 6 SSBNs.
It seems to be horror-horror-horror, but if you think about it ...
Is it so bad?
As has been repeatedly said in previous articles of the cycle, naval strategic nuclear forces need to ensure the secrecy of their combat services. But it is impossible to ensure this very secrecy by the tactical and technical characteristics of the SSBN alone: general-purpose fleet forces, including, of course, the naval forces, must be involved Aviation.
So, the Russian Navy today does not have the forces that would allow us to carry out the effective deployment of an SSBN. Literally everything is missing - minesweepers, multipurpose nuclear submarines and diesel-electric submarines, surface "submarine hunters", effective anti-submarine aircraft, modern analogues of American SOSUS, etc. etc. And it is not clear why we need to increase the number of SSBNs, if we are not yet able to ensure their use? Well, we are transferring the Boreas to the Pacific Fleet, but does it make much sense if the fleet is not able to detect a Japanese submarine patrolling the entrance to Avacha Bay?
Of course, in no case should one abandon submarine strategic missile carriers at all. The SSBN is much more complex than a spaceship, and its operation is a real art that is easy to lose, but extremely difficult to recover. In addition, the presence of an SSBN is a strong deterrent against the strategy of "lightning strike", designed to neutralize the Russian nuclear arsenals. Even in the Pacific, even in very difficult conditions (lack of submarine forces, outdated types of SSBNs), there was still no absolute control over our ships. Yes, there are reasonable estimates that in the Pacific, eight out of ten SSBNs in the combat services were found and accompanied by US nuclear submarines, but even the remaining two cases still created an uncertainty factor. And in the north, monitoring our “strategists” was even more difficult; there, most likely, the percentage of SSBN detection was lower. Finally, as mentioned earlier, there is the White Sea, where tracking the SSBN is almost impossible.
And so, in the opinion of the author of this article, the Russian Federation really needed to go for a temporary reduction of the SSBN in the fleet to 6-7 units, while continuing to work on the development of new types of ships of this class. Among other things, this would allow to release quite significant funds to channel them ...
First of all, to strengthen the most stable component of domestic strategic nuclear forces, that is, strategic missile forces. The Bulava, most likely, costs more than the Yars, because launching from under water is clearly more difficult than starting from a ground launcher. And 16 mobile autonomous launchers (or 16 mines) will cost clearly and much cheaper than the project 955A SSBN. Thus, the shortage of SSBNs in the fleet could well be "compensated" by the deployment of additional ground installations - and at the same time remain in financial plus. In any case, a decrease in the total number of intercontinental ballistic missiles due to a reduction in the SSBN is unacceptable. So strengthening the Strategic Rocket Forces in this case will have the highest priority.
The next thing that comes to mind is the investment of savings in the forces of the general fleet. However, according to the author, there are much more interesting tasks.
About Horse Sea
The second is measures aimed at increasing the coefficient of operational voltage, or KOH. What it is? If a country’s SSBN spends six months a year in military services, its KOH is 0,5. If another country is able to ensure the release of its SSBNs only for three months each year, its KOH is 0,25. When KOH = 0,5, to ensure the constant duty of two SSBNs at sea, it is necessary to have 4 SSBNs in the fleet. With KOH = 0,25, the number of SSBNs required to solve the same problem increases to 8.
So, the KOH of domestic submarine forces was usually lower than that of the Americans. And it would not be bad at all to analyze the reasons for this lag, and take measures to reduce it. Thus, to a certain extent, we would compensate for the reduction of the SSBN in the fleet with more frequent military service exits. What is important - when the submarine has a high KOH, it can hardly manage with one crew. Thus, by increasing the KOH of the SSBN we provide training for a larger number of sailors, which will be in great demand in the future, when the number of SSBNs can again be increased.
And again about low noise
It should be expected that, despite a number of simplifications regarding the initial project, the SSBN of project 955 Borey is still less noticeable than the domestic strategic submarine nuclear ships of previous projects. And we can safely assume that “Borei A”, due to its improved design, will be even quieter.
But the problem is that design excellence is not everything. The most important role is played by the resource of mechanisms. In simple terms, after the delivery of the fleet, the submarine can be uniquely secretive, but one combat service has passed, the second ... Then the pump rattled, the shock absorber rattled, the bearing rattled here, and the latest nuclear-powered ship turned into a “roaring cow” that can be heard after half the ocean. The problem is completely solvable - repair the bearing, adjust the shock absorber, replace the pump, and the SSBN will again turn into a "black hole", but all this must be done in a timely manner. Alas, repair is the eternal Achilles heel of the Russian Navy. And foreign sailors have repeatedly written that after several years of operation, Soviet submarines become much more noisy, and therefore noticeable.
In other words, it is not enough to create a low-noise SSBN. It is also necessary to make sure that the ship does not lose this quality throughout its service. And, of course, all of the above applies to other physical fields - because the secrecy of the submarine depends not only on its noise.
What does all this give?
Suppose we at some point limited the number of SSBNs in the fleet to 7 units, transferring them to the Northern Fleet. But at the same time they brought their KOH to 0,3, and the number of escorts in military services was reduced to 50% due to basing in the north, high performance characteristics, timely repairs of all kinds, a certain number of military services in the White Sea, etc. What will it mean?
Only the fact that we will constantly be in combat service 2 SSBNs, and on average the enemy will accompany only one of them. The second missile cruiser will be the hidden threat that guarantees retaliation to anyone who decides to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the Russian Federation. What else do we need?
Here, of course, the reader may have the following question: if such indicators can really be achieved, then why then, sometime in the future, to increase the number of SSBNs? Let's get around 6-7 ships of this class! According to the author, nevertheless, we should have a larger number of such ships, and here for what. We should not be limited to basing the SSBNs only in the north, we also need a connection for the Pacific Ocean as well.
The very fact of the presence of an SSBN in the Far East will force our “sworn friends” to make significant efforts to find and accompany them. Americans will need to constantly monitor our bases the way they do today. In general, by deploying our “strategists” in the Far East, we are forcing Americans to spend significantly more resources to counter this potential threat to them.
But in our reality
Unfortunately, we did not take advantage of the benefits that could be drawn from the time-consuming and relatively small-scale construction of the SSBN. This in itself is not too good, but the Navy leadership also managed to aggravate the situation by adopting a new type of strategic nuclear weapons. This, of course, is about “Status-6”, or, as it is usually called now, about “Poseidon”.
The author of this article is deeply convinced that the "Poseidon" is a completely unnecessary Russian system of weapons, which did not add anything to our nuclear deterrence capabilities, but diverted significant resources to its creation. In addition, the deployment of Poseidon now seems to be using the worst practices of the USSR in the field of naval weapons. Where Americans manage with one type of SSBNs (Ohio, which is replaced by a new project of ships of this class) and one type of ballistic missiles (Trident), the Russian Federation uses as many as 3 types of submarines (SSBN project 667BDRM "Dolphin" , Project 955 and 955A Borey, as well as Poseidon carriers of Project 09851) with three fundamentally different weapon systems: liquid ICBMs Leiner, solid-fuel ICBMs Bulava and nuclear torpedoes.
As for the Dolphins, of course, there is nothing to criticize: these SSBNs, honestly guarding the borders of the Fatherland since the 90s of the last century, are serving their terms, they will soon be at peace. Actually, Boreas are being built to replace them. Suppose also that the author is completely mistaken about the Poseidons, and in fact they are exactly what the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation need. But why was it necessary to simultaneously deploy both the Boreas with missiles and the carriers of the Poseidons? Even if we assume that the “Poseidon” is archival and archival for us (and this is far from the case), what prevented us from waiting for some time and deploying it on the technologies that are planned to be used to create Husky-type nuclear-powered ships? Indeed, with the commissioning of three ships of the project 955 and seven 955A, we get a completely acceptable quantitatively and qualitatively naval component of the Russian strategic nuclear forces. And instead of thinking about how to ensure its deployment and combat use, we spend money on Belgorod, which is a remake of the already obsolete project 949A, and quite modern Khabarovsk. Thus, even after the departure of the 667BDRM Project Dolphins from the Russian Navy, we will remain with three types of strategic nuclear submarines built almost simultaneously, and if we recall that the Husky was also planned in the SSBN variant, then there will be four of them ... What for?
According to the author of this article, the massive and almost simultaneous construction of various types of nuclear submarines, carriers of strategic weapons, is one of the largest mistakes in the development of the Russian Navy. The creation of three SSBNs of project 955 and another three or four of the improved project 955A with the complete abandonment of Poseidon and its carriers would have been much more optimal. The saved money could be distributed in favor of the multi-purpose forces of the fleet (the same Asheni) or for events that increase the KOH of the latest SSBNs. And it was worth resuming the construction of new submarines of this class as the Husky project was ready.