But now I would like to think about how promising this path is in general. More precisely, we will count first in rubles, and then in rockets.
The whole problem is that the real total cost of the modernization of "Nakhimov" is unknown. Well, it has become the custom in our country, just what is being classified is what would not be worth it. But it is clear that the amount is very huge, because the cruiser stood idle for a very long time. All my, so to speak, adult life.
In 2012, Anatoly Shlemov, at that time the head of the department for state defense orders of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, estimated the restoration of the cruiser at 30 billion rubles, and taking into account the installation of new weapons - up to 50 billion rubles.
At the same time, the planned cost of the project 20380 corvette was 10 billion rubles, the project 11356 frigate - 13 billion, and the project 22350 frigate - 18 billion.
Yes, here it is worth explaining the following nuance: these figures for "Nakhimov" are not final. These are rough estimates, for the first, so to speak, plan. They were named BEFORE the contract was signed and BEFORE full fault detection was carried out. That is, without actually knowing the state of the ship's hull, general ship systems and cable routes.
And then, almost 10 years have passed since the rough estimate. During this time, there was a collapse of the ruble and a rise in prices. Approximately 70-80%. So today we can say that the overhaul and re-equipment of "Nakhimov" will cost at least 90 billion rubles. And if we also take into account the blooming corruption in our country, then the figure of 100 billion rubles does not seem so overstated.
Let's just say: a very controversial decision and a rather expensive pleasure. And here it is worth thinking about, since we will talk about very difficult things.
Heavy nuclear cruiser of project 1144 "Orlan". The deadly quintessence of Soviet shipbuilding. Only American nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and Russian strategic submarine cruisers can be more monstrous than this monster.
It seems to be a huge warship, capable of solving tasks of varying complexity in different regions of the World Ocean. Theoretically capable of fighting an aircraft carrier strike group of the US Navy.
In practice, of course, no one checked it. And this is probably a good thing, because most likely the result would be disappointment. However, we will talk about this separately in the very near future.
And now is the time to recall the recently quoted words of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, about the fact that our fleet will carry out some tasks there in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and other strange areas in which we seem to have interests.
Interests are good. And God forbid that we first have a fleet that would be able to solve the problem of protecting these interests. Then there would be sense in the emergence of these interests. And since we do not yet have a fleet capable of protecting the interests of Russia on the other side of the globe, then, probably, there is no need to acquire problems there.
Peter the Great is, of course, a significant ship. But even such a ship is beyond the power of months-long campaigns in the style of underwater missile cruisers. The ship's autonomy is only 60 days. And then he needs water, food, a bunker (sorry for the intimate details) and much more. Including a supply vessel with the same missiles and shells. We are performing a combat mission, judging by the words of the admiral?
Accordingly, even such a unique and versatile ship as Peter the Great will need an escort. A couple (at least) destroyers, an anti-submarine ship, a tanker with fuel for the suite, supply vessels with water and provisions, it would also be nice to have a radio reconnaissance ship. In general, it is comparable to American orders. Only the Americans have them, but we do not. Only plans and ambitions, nothing more.
But I would like to look at the problems that do not lie somewhere on the other side of the globe, but somewhat closer, near our shores.
How useful will a mastodon like Peter the Great in the White Sea or Admiral Nakhimov in the Okhotsk Sea be?
In general, it is very doubtful. The whole world is moving towards stealth and miniaturization, stealth technology, stealth, raised to the rank of the most important task ... And here is such a ship that can be seen from space without strong optics ...
An excellent target for both the radar of enemy ships and missiles. And, if the missile boat has minimal chances to remain unnoticed by the enemy's radars, then the Orlan will shine on all screens like a Christmas tree. Because a ship 20 or 30 years ago was still built without taking into account all these subtle innovations.
And if the enemy near our shores will be met not by huge cruisers, but by ships that are much smaller in size, but not inferior in functionality?
Let's take a look at Orlan.
Can fight off submarines? Theoretically, yes, but the bulk of the ship does not differ in controllability, and inertia is the same in general, 25 tons is not a little. So a torpedo is the worst thing you can think of for a cruiser, and the best thing that the enemy can use.
There is "Waterfall". There are 10 torpedo tubes, from which you can shoot 10 missile-torpedoes "Waterfall". Nice system, yes, but 10 torpedoes are 10 torpedoes. There are 10 more in stock, but reloading takes a long time.
Aircraft. The cruiser also seems to be doing fine. The 48 Hornets of any American aircraft carrier will have to work hard to get into strike position. 48 S-300FM missiles at long range can greatly complicate the life of aircraft. But there are only 12 missiles in the Fort-M drums, the rest will need to be reloaded. Time…
Medium distance - SAM "Dagger". 16 launchers for 8 missiles. 128 missiles are serious.
Short range - ZRAK "Kortik", 6 units of 24 missiles, a total of 144 missiles. Pretty impressive too. In general, from the calculations of the air defense system "Peter the Great" and the air wing of any American aircraft carrier, perhaps, I would put on the calculations of the air defense system of the Russian cruiser.
The only bad thing is that we have only two cruisers, while the United States has ten aircraft carriers ...
And if not huge cruisers, but small rocket ships? How are our security guards?
For example, Project 21631 Buyan-M small missile ships.
Yes, only 950 tons of full displacement. Yes, the crew is only 36 people (maximum 50), and not 750, as on the cruiser. Yes, this ship will not be able to carry out tasks of "protecting interests" somewhere near the coast of South America, but near its own shores - easily.
8 missiles of "Caliber" or "Onyx" type. Yes, they are two times inferior to the "Granites" in terms of the starting mass and the mass of the delivered charge. It is a fact.
But one "Buyan-M" costs 9 billion rubles. Overhaul of "Admiral Nakhimov" may cost 90 billion. That is, 1 to 10. Okay, let's have 8 ships. Just in case, taking into account the rise in prices, embezzlers and our other realities.
8 small rocket ships instead of one cruiser. 8 new small rocket ships instead of one old cruiser.
What are 8 Buyan-M-class ships? It is, as it is easy to calculate, 64 "Onyx" and "Caliber". Let's take a look at the numbers.
Warhead weight "Granite" - 500-600 kg. Onyx has 300 kg. The Caliber has 400 kg. It seems that "Granites" look more impressive, but ... let's use a calculator.
We get that in a salvo of 20 "Granites" of the cruiser - 12 kg of explosives.
In a salvo of 8 MRK "Buyan-M" in the case of "Onyx" there will be 19 kg of explosives, "Caliber" will give 200 kg.
That is, in fact, "Onyxes" and "Calibers" carry twice as many explosives to enemy ships. Let's leave the issue of speed and accuracy aside for now, since this is a separate conversation. As well as the neutralization of missiles by the enemy. Although, it seems to me, "Caliber" will be somewhat more difficult to lead astray than "Granite". Still a more modern product.
In addition, the Buyans are still less noticeable than the Orlans. Stealthy boats, armed as efficiently as a huge cruiser. In addition, if you apply a calculator, then 8 RTOs will carry 288 or 416 crew members. This is slightly less than 750 people on the cruiser. And the chances of losing trained specialists are still less in the case of RTOs.
Hypothetical situation: AUG of the US Navy is approaching, say, the Kuriles. A detachment of 8 RTOs comes out to meet and fires a preemptive salvo, hiding behind the islands. 64 rockets. Or 20 missiles from the Admiral Nakhimov.
Some will be shot down by air defense and electronic warfare systems, some will definitely fall. Naturally, the escort ships will fire back. They just have to give. Perhaps the aircraft on duty will be able to detect the ships and launch the attack.
However, even if planes can do damage, it will not be huge. Here, rather, destroyer missiles. However, who is easier to hit? In RTOs that will try to hide using their stealth, or in a cruiser that you disguise, do not disguise, but still the flagship of the Pacific Fleet will be a more luxurious target than RTOs?
Yes, of course, as mentioned above, the Orlan has more chances to fight off the aircraft of the aircraft carrier. And let's face it, these F / A-18s are not the worst opponents.
Yes, the air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles (which are AGM-84E) with their 225 kg of warhead are, of course, more dangerous for MRKs than for the Orlan-class mastodon.
The bombs GBU-32 JDAM (450 kg) and GBU-31 JDAM (907 kg), although adjustable, but ... getting a free-falling bomb into a small and maneuvering MRK will be more difficult than into a cruiser. Although, considering that the cruiser will actively resist being hit by all its air defense systems ...
But tactical and anti-ship missiles from escort destroyers, I'm afraid, will become a very big nuisance for the Russian cruiser. Yes, there will be a lot of them. But what American destroyers and cruisers have no problem with is the launch cells. There is something to shoot. It's just a matter of accuracy and ability to hit.
Difficult reflections. There is an opportunity to spend money on the restoration of a huge cruiser, which can become the flagship of one of the fleets. It can "display the flag" somewhere out there, on the distant shores.
In general, to be honest, all these "demonstrations" are just useless money transfers. There is no sense in them, and the money is burning in furnaces and reactors by trucks. And what is the real benefit of seeing this cruiser somewhere in a terribly developed country like Venezuela ... Or in Bolivia.
Forgive me, even the cost of food cannot be recouped by driving the old huge ship on not entirely clear missions to "demonstrate" the countries of the third or even the fourth world.
Or build ten small, but modern and very effective ships with the latest missile weapons, which, of course, will not be able to stagger about all kinds of "demonstrations", but will very effectively join the ranks of the real defenders of the country's water lines?
Well, since we decided to keep the second Orlan afloat, let it be. If the flagship is so needed, the sight of which will shake the veins of everyone in Papua New Guinea or the Marquesas Islands - no question. Well, it's just that the American fleet can hardly be frightened, I suppose, by the spectacle of one (and even two "Eagles") in the sea near the American borders. There, in the Pacific, in the Atlantic Ocean, a group of 2-4 aircraft carriers, a dozen "Ticonderogs" and a couple of dozen "Arlie Berks" are quietly gathering. And on this show-off of the cruiser, albeit very heavy, ends.
And, most likely, without even starting.
It is difficult to say what the top ranks of our country were guided by when approving such a project, but since they decided that a second cruiser is simply necessary, there are no questions. Moreover, despite the fact that "Nakhimov" is 10 years older than "Peter the Great", its resources, consider it, have not been worked out. The ship in eternal repair stood and rusted.
But I warmly welcome the fact that they decided not to restore Lazarev. There is no sense. There exactly one hull remained from the ship, built in 1981.
And the money, which we, as we know, never have enough, is really worth spending on something more useful and meaningful. On the real security guards. Buyanov, Karakurt, Cheetah.
These are ships that are less expensive in every sense, and have one huge advantage over the Orlans - they can be built in modern Russia.
It is clear that we will not be able to build anything like the Eagles today. There is no one and nowhere. But they are not needed, they are huge ships. Well, perhaps only for the destruction of budgetary money of expensive and useless operations to "demonstrate the flag and greatness of Russia", which the overly patriotic part of the population of our country needs so much.
Although why the spectacle of the newest ships, albeit not so huge, can not cause a fit of delight and joy for the country?
In general, I hope that instead of the "Admiral Lazarev", with whom we said goodbye, our fleet will receive more useful and, most importantly, new ships. Although the huge sums that will be spent on putting in order "Admiral Nakhimov", too, frankly, it is a pity. It would be better if ten Buyans were built. Delight is delight, but protection is still protection. There is a difference, as it were.