The hypersound, which is now fashionable, haunts many people today. Russia brandishes "Zircons", "Vanguards", "Daggers", China shows something suspended from the H-6 bomber with a mysterious hint that "we also have something", and here, as in the French saying, "the situation obliges" , you have to dodge somehow.
And the United States has to dodge, because for once, but the palm flew away from the States. On hypersound. And therefore, as is customary in our world, it is necessary to "catch up and overtake."
In general, a lot is still unclear about the value of hypersonic units. Much is classified. 90% of the information is based on reports from "sources close to the defense departments" and so on. Well, or on the statements of our Deputy Prime Minister Borisov, which is almost the same thing.
Nevertheless, the US military took up the challenge and also entered the hypersonic race.
US Naval Operations Commander Michael Gilday made a statement that aroused many "experts", including in our country. Passions boiled, and meanwhile, what did Gilday say so terrible?
In principle, nothing special. He said that plans for the near future are to equip American warships with hypersonic missiles. Specifically, the Zamvolt destroyers.
Naturally, for this, the destroyers will have to be re-equipped, killing some more billions of dollars. In principle, it’s no longer scary how much has been poured into “Zamvolty”, you won’t surprise anyone. Moreover, the revision is not very big - to remove one artillery tower and instead install a launcher for two missiles. And add the necessary components to the guidance systems.
Overall - probably not particularly ruinous for the US military budget. In light of the change in power and priorities in the United States, it will be normal in general. Biden is not Trump, he will save money.
Some of our "experts" immediately made a noise about the fact that the Americans are doing stupid things, nothing will work out, hypersonic missiles should be placed on submarines and stuff like that.
But just someone was too lazy to get acquainted with our plans for the installation of "Zircons". And the list includes quite surface ships "Peter the Great", "Admiral Nakhimov" and "Admiral Kuznetsov". That is, everyone who has a launcher 3S14 can operate these missiles. Including "Buyans" and "Karakurt".
Yes, submarines Antey and Yasen-M are also on the list, why not? Because yes, weapon, which can stand on a surface ship and on a submarine with minimal modifications, it simply has to be there.
As for why the Americans chose the Zamvolty as the carriers of the new weapon, in general it is understandable. Far from being the most successful ships, and even with a murky prospect of use and further development. And therefore, processing them into experimental platforms for new weapons is quite logical.
With the same success it was possible to remake littoral ships, but they are worse in terms of cruising range. In fact, it is also not the most successful solution, but what to do if other free carriers in the American military navy simply no?
Do not build new ships for new missiles, really?
When there is a question of "catching up and overtaking", then there is no time for designing and building new ships, here it is necessary to react promptly. And the Americans are clearly running out of time, we urgently need to show the whole world that the United States is still the best.
That is why "Zamvolty". And they already have it, and they seem to be swimming on their own, and it's not a pity to redo it, since the pancake came out lumpy.
What will be posted is, in principle, clear. Rocket STARS IV with C-HGB (Common Hypersonic Glide Body), that is, with a hypersonic controlled unit. There is no exact data, but in fact - the same "Zircon", with approximately the same characteristics in terms of speed and range.
Model of the American Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) universal controlled maneuverable gliding hypersonic warhead
That is, the gizmo is no less in terms of size and weight (we just keep silent about the price) "Zircon". Accordingly, it is quite understandable why one or two launchers will be installed on Zamvolt. "Zircon", based on the dimensions of the 3S14, the rocket is about 10 meters long. STARS IV, apparently, is not less, and maybe more. A flight range of 3700 km on tests requires a sufficient amount of fuel.
It is clear that the US military will not calm down only on surface ships.
Naturally, there will be both underwater and ground-based missiles. In principle, there is a solution for submarines. This is still the same STARS IV, which is two stages of a rather old ballistic missile "Polaris-A3", and a solid-propellant booster "Orbus-1" as an upper stage.
"Orbus-1" is a new element in the "harness", developed especially for the C-HGB.
For ground-based, a ground-based LRHW (Long Range Hypersonic Weapon) complex is being prepared.
Everything is new here. The missile is a solid-propellant medium-range ground-based AUR (All-Up-Round), on which the C-HGB is "planted". Both LRHW and AUR have been transferred to Lockheed-Martin, which is responsible for finalizing the media.
However, this is a matter for the future. In the meantime, we have the present, which contains the Zamvolty and the old ballistic missile with a new upper stage. And the hypersonic unit C-HGB.
So, one 155-mm artillery mount is removed from the Zamvolts and launchers (or launchers) for the C-HGB are installed. It turns out one or two launchers with one missile each inside. Ammunition is not impressive, is it?
But everything is logical here. The missiles are very large, the destroyer is not the most suitable ship for them, in addition, it is very difficult to actually integrate new weapons into an existing ship. Harder, at least, than building a new ship.
It will require reworking the entire system of Zamvolta launch cells, which in itself is not very clever, although possible.
Therefore, two missiles - it looks absolutely not threatening. And the project of equipping "Zamvolts" with these missiles looks like a perfect experiment for working out the use of hypersonic units with missiles.
Will work. It is clear that three ships are quite enough for this. Further? Then you will have to think about how to place hypersonic missiles on ships that are completely not intended for this.
There are three ways.
In Russia, they took the path of universalization, creating a rocket based on the universal PU 3S14, which they began to develop in 1991. And in the end, the launcher does not matter what is loaded there, "Caliber", "Yakhont" or "Zircon". Everything will fly.
The second way is to shrink the rocket in every possible way so that it fits under the existing cells. A very difficult path, it immediately becomes clear that you will have to sacrifice cells and reshape the space for placing larger missiles. Moreover, it has already been calculated that one missile with a C-HGB will take the place of 5-7 missiles of a smaller caliber. But in the case of submarines, this is more or less realizable, there, on missile carriers in the mines, rather large gizmos are placed. But surface ships, however strange it may look, will have more problems.
Therefore, there will be a third way for surface ships: the installation of separate launchers for new missiles. Where possible.
Another question - where is it possible? Especially when you look at the main attack ship of the US Navy. And this, of course, is not an aircraft carrier in mind, but an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
The Arlie Burke is a very versatile ship. Its standard cell PU Mark.41 can accommodate an anti-aircraft missile, an anti-submarine torpedo missile, and a cruise missile for work along the coast. And if a new anti-ship missile appears under this launcher, then the destroyer's power will only increase. Versatility and flexibility of use means a lot.
Whether it is worth violating the built launcher system to accommodate several missiles with a hypersonic unit is difficult to judge.
"Tomahawk", which can be launched from cell Mk.41 (by the way, like its counterpart "Caliber" from 3S14) has a chance to slip through the enemy's air defense system. Has, whatever they say. As for hypersonic missiles, it is more complicated. The question is to what extent the enemy's air defense can withstand hypersonic units.
Modern S-400s and, in the future, S-500s seem to be able to cope with this. It is not known what the Chinese colleagues have, but it is also possible that they have something in this regard.
Is it worth it to strain and remodel ships? Definitely not worth it. Experiments with the Zamvolts are preferable to cutting openly unsuccessful destroyers for metal. They are gold and so.
Therefore, all this is no more than one episode of the arms race at sea. Americans just need to show that they are in the subject. That their hypersonic missiles were flying far, fast and accurate. And that is all.
We do not yet know how much it costs to shoot a hypersonic missile at the enemy. It is quite possible that with this money it will be possible to build several good old ICBMs with MIRVs, which at one time could very well cope with the role of the weapon of the Apocalypse and destroy the whole world.
But 2025, in which Gilday promised a successful launch of a hypersonic unit from a submarine, is not far off. And in 2025 everything will fall into place and will be clear and understandable.
In general, the Americans had very serious and outstanding developments in hypersound. At the beginning of this century, but here's the trouble - many programs were curtailed due to lack of funding as unnecessary. And now we have to catch up.
However, the prospect still remains. What has been created today in the United States is still a weapon that can become a real danger, but ...
But all of the above suggests that the massive use of missiles with hypersonic units by the American fleet is unlikely. It is precisely because of the lack of the proper number of carriers and the high cost.
So it's not worth talking about the fact that surface ships with missiles carrying C-HGB will swarm near our shores.
The submarine fleet will be able to rectify the situation. There are about the same conditions, you will have to change one missile with a hypersonic unit for seven cruise missiles, but the US submarine fleet may not afford such an exchange.
The question is, why should we not be so worried about all these innovations? It's simple. First (and most important), Russia has something to oppose to American missiles. Not the fact that the S-400 will be 100% effective, but also not the fact that the RIM-161 SM3 will be better.
And the second thing. In any case, the number of carriers of hypersonic missiles in Russia is definitely not the same as the delivery of the required number of missiles at the launch distance can allow. That is, the same "Zircons" are definitely tactical and defensive weapons. All these corvettes, MRK, RK - these are all short-range ships in the coastal zone. And the United States will not be able to inflict any harm with its "Zircons" on the fleet if the fleet does not operate in our water space. It's simple.
We wish the Americans good luck in assimilating the next billions of dollars in the next round of the arms race.
Suddenly what happens ...