Submersible patrol ship at work
The Russian CDB MT "Rubin" has developed an original design of a submerging patrol ship. Such a ship should combine the main features and advantages of submarines and surface patrols. The project is proposed for export - it should be of interest to poor countries wishing to update their fleets.
On April 12, CDB MT "Rubin" published the first official announcement about the new project. It provided basic information about the unusual concept, how it was implemented and the expected results. In addition, they showed a three-dimensional image of a patrol submarine during an operation.
The new export-oriented project was named Sentinel. The English designation "Border and Offshore Submersible Sentry" or BOSS is also offered. Probably, the Russian "Guard" will be promoted on the international market under the name BOSS.
The developers of the project note that modern patrol ships are relatively cheap - and due to the limited cost they attract the attention of poor countries. During operation, such ships are able to pay for themselves by preventing poaching and economic crime.
The Sentinel project proposes the construction of a ship that can operate on the surface or dive. It is argued that such a ship on the surface will be able to carry out full-fledged patrol work, find and detain intruders. The underwater position is intended for covert observation of the intruder, for reconnaissance and even for protection from adverse weather conditions. Research and training use of the ship is not excluded.
A message from the Rubin Central Design Bureau for MT mentions that this is the first version of a submerged patrol ship. From this it follows that in the future, on the basis of the basic model and its ideas, new ships with one or another difference can be created.
The development organization showed the design appearance of the "Guard" in its current configuration. The official image shows a ship with the appearance of a submarine and some features uncharacteristic for an underwater fleet.
The "Guard" has an elongated hull with a flat deck, on which a superstructure-deckhouse of limited dimensions is placed. In the bow of the hull, the radome of the antenna of the hydroacoustic complex is visible. On the sides, in front of the superstructure-wheelhouse, there are extendable horizontal rudders. In the stern, there is a storage compartment for motor boats that are displayed on the deck.
The Sentinel / BOSS is said to be similar in architecture and main dimensions to the diesel-electric submarines of the old Project 613. This project was the most massive in stories domestic fleet and was very popular among foreign customers. Depending on the configuration, the "Guard" can have a length of 60-70 m and a displacement of approx. 1000 t - approximately at the level of project 613.
The full composition of ship systems and special equipment is not specified. At the same time, the fundamental possibility of using a wide range of systems for different purposes is mentioned. In particular, the patrol ship is capable of carrying various types of weapons. It can be equipped with a small-caliber artillery unit, missile system or torpedoes. For reconnaissance and inspection of ships, the ship will be able to carry UAVs with an autonomy of several hours and motor boats.
The Sentinel crew can include up to 42 people. This number includes both the crew itself, operating the ship, and the inspection team responsible for working with intruders.
Ship for the market
The development of the Guardian project was a response to the current requirements of the international market. Various countries are showing interest in the topic of patrol / escort ships. In this regard, they regularly receive news on the signing of contracts, bookmarking or delivery of new ships. Thanks to the Sentinel / BOSS project, the Russian industry can gain new positions in the international market.
The newest patrol ship "Pavel Derzhavin" of project 22160. Despite a number of original ideas, it retains the familiar appearance of a battleship
To win a foreign tender, a sample must have certain advantages over competitors. In the Sentinel project, it is proposed to provide them already at the level of the basic concept. It is planned to obtain several important advantages at once by abandoning the traditional appearance of a surface ship in favor of a combined scheme.
While retaining the basic features of a surface ship, BOSS will be able to conduct patrols, detain intruders, etc. - like other patrolmen. By installing one or another weapon, you can provide the required combat capabilities that meet the requirements for surface ships. At the same time, the ability to immerse will provide stealth and the ability to perform the task at depth, as well as other benefits.
It is important that the Sentinel is not a specialized ship, but a multipurpose offshore platform. The composition of its equipment and weapons should be determined by the customer, taking into account his needs. Accordingly, within the BOSS family, both simple patrol ships with minimal equipment and well-armed "hunters" capable of destroying surface and underwater targets may appear. This flexibility in the use of the platform can be a serious competitive advantage.
However, the proposed project and its basic concept are not devoid of ambiguous features and disadvantages. First of all, it is necessary to take into account the risks inherent in combined systems. Along with the advantages of surface and submarine ships, the Guardian can get their disadvantages, which, moreover, are capable of complementing and reinforcing each other.
The original concept to some extent complicates the path of ships to service. The potential customer "Guard" will have to carry out research work and determine the very need for such combat units. With a positive decision, it will be necessary to formulate requirements for the appearance and composition of the ship's equipment. You will also have to develop tactics of use that use all the capabilities of the ship and fully realize its potential. Then all this will need to be implemented and mastered in the fleet.
Thus, the acquisition and commissioning of ships of the BOSS type - although it will provide important advantages - is associated with certain difficulties. The potential customer may consider them excessive and inappropriate. The purchase of a "traditional" patrol in this respect will be much easier and cheaper.
It should be recalled that in the past, in our country and abroad, projects were repeatedly created that combined certain features of ships and submarines. Some of them have found limited application in certain narrow niches, while others have not progressed further. All this shows that the original combination scheme has limited commercial and practical potential. However, new projects of this kind retain some chances of full implementation.
Working out ideas
The proposed project of the submerging patrol ship "Guard" from the Central Design Bureau MT "Rubin" is of certain technical interest, but its real prospects remain in question. The basic concept and a well-developed project have both pros and cons that can influence the opinion of a potential customer. Probably, in the near future, the developer organization will promote "Guard" at various events and look for potential buyers.
If any foreign country is interested in a submarine patrol ship, then Russian shipbuilders can count on a lucrative contract. Otherwise, it will not be possible to make money on the "Guard", but this project will still be useful. Thanks to him, the Rubin bureau gets the opportunity to maintain its competencies and work out new ideas, creating a reserve for the future. Thus, hypothetical contracts are not the main goal of the project - in contrast to the accumulation of experience and the development of new solutions.