Speaking seriously about Poseidon, now we will not raise the question of whether he exists or not. In general, "Poseidon" is such a hefty stone that was thrown into a swamp and went circles on the water in half with ooze, duckweed and frogs that fell under the distribution.
To me personally, the situation is somewhat reminiscent of the SDI program from my youth. It's hard to say what lasers or cannons with railguns are spinning there in low-earth orbit, but you have to react.
So with "Poseidon" about the same happens. Either these Russians have it, or they don't. Questions of delivery, communication, service, management ... And there are even preconditions for what is worth believing. Yes, Belgorod. What he will actually wear - whoever says, everything is classified, as in the best Soviet times.
But you want to feel calm, right?
Here you need to understand the psychology of an ordinary American. Yes, and unusual, in uniform, is also possible.
From time immemorial, America has been far overseas. And during the two World Wars, several bombs fell on the United States from a Japanese plane launched from a submarine. And that's all. You see, the confidence that these floating sheds with planes, pushed far into the ocean, will become a kind of defense outposts.
Yes, they will. And they will be quite effective in this role. And they will be even more effective if they are moved to the enemy's coastline and the planes there will begin to sow reasonable, kind and eternal. Like in Yugoslavia or Iraq.
But what's the point of these aircraft carriers, which consume tens of billions of dollars for their upkeep, if a stupid and almost brainless reptile with a couple of hundred kilotons lurks under the very shore? And just waiting for the command to be demolished by a radioactive wave, say, Texas. Or Florida.
This is the projection of force into the enemy's territory. As an American aircraft carrier, only cheaper. And more practical.
I am sure that those who think about this topic do not feel very comfortable in the USA. I would feel that way. It's uncomfortable.
Therefore, it is quite logical for the American military to continue to be the best and strongest in the world. And it is also desirable to move the front line of the US defense to enemy territory.
This is all in the Cooperative Strategy for the 21st Century Seapower. And this document confirms that the Poseidons still frighten the American military today.
By the way, there is something. Just everything: who said that this "Poseidon" will not close somewhere at the bottom in the Miami Beach area? And he won't ruin the beach season? Yes, apologizing later is good. In the event that there will be someone and in front of whom.
Technique - you know, not a very perfect thing ... You can't get off "Who threw the felt boot on the remote control?"
So, the document very seriously considers the use of APA - autonomous underwater vehicles for various purposes.
Mike Mullen's team behind the Concept did a very good job. And, most importantly, work on the document began in 2006, when the Poseidons were still silent. But even then, American maritime analysts foresaw that such devices would appear. It's just that no one expected Russia to say such a thing.
But American experts believed that the use of multipurpose autonomous underwater vehicles operating completely autonomously or under minimal control would be very promising.
After reviewing the document, other countries of the NATO bloc began to take part in the development. And this is quite logical.
And as a result of the labors, the concept of a certain new marine weapons... And these devices, in the opinion of the participants in the development, could be assigned the following operations:
- conducting anti-submarine defense;
- carrying out mine laying and anti-mine operations;
- support for special operations forces;
- delivery of useful cargo;
- deployment of navigation and hydroacoustic devices, mobile underwater communication nodes;
- conducting oceanographic research in the interests of the Navy.
You see, an automatic minelayer looks very beautiful, quietly and without haste mining the entrance to the South Bay of Sevastopol. Accurate opposite the seaport. Or, somewhere in the Golden Horn Bay, throw something like that ...
Handsomely. But here the picture is slightly spoiled by us. Why there, let's just make a hefty atomic bomb and put it on the shore. Until further notice, just in case. Because the case happens to everyone, here.
In civilized countries, no one has thought of such a nightmare, now they have to invent a hunter for "Poseidons", because the depth is somehow not particularly terrible for this reptile. Maybe shorter.
And everyone began urgently to work on something similar. USA is in the forefront. Well, just out of habit. The US should be the first in and under the waves.
Constructors from the very famous aviation Boeing Corporation is working hard on projects for various underwater vehicles.
Here's Echo Voyager.
Yes, not "Poseidon", but also a rather big device. Its peculiarity is the "snorkel", a hollow mast with a length of 4,8 meters. On the mast there are sensors for the satellite communication system and the ship identification system. But besides this, the mast serves to supply air to diesel generators, which charge the batteries of the apparatus.
In the submerged position, the mast is hidden. In general - "snorkel" - it is still the same in the United States. That is, the device floats up, the mast automatically unfolds and the charging process begins. Then "Echo Voyager" sinks and continues to do business. The battery in the device is lithium-ion, the charge lasts for 2-3 days.
All in all - a diesel-electric underwater drone in all its glory. Competent and functional.
But Boeing also has the Orc program. This project, which is being developed on the basis of the already tested Voyager Echo, is an autonomous underwater vehicle with a larger displacement than Echo.
The Orca project is being developed under the XLUUV (Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) program, that is, an "extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle." Zaposeidonilo, huh?
It is planned to equip the Orca apparatus with a completely normal diesel-electric installation. The estimated cruising range is estimated to be about 6500 miles. Every three days, the device will have to float to the surface to recharge the batteries.
The cruising range seems to hint that the "Orca" can sail far away with a variety of purposes. But the need to surface every three days to recharge casts doubt on the military use of the device. Although the developers claim that along with a long cruising range, the device will be able to perform a wide variety of tasks even in the absence of constant communication with the center.
This "Orca" can become a very interesting device. It can, for example, be used as a delivery vehicle for smaller vehicles to research or US operations. fleet... The Orca does not require carrier platforms to operate, it can simply be pushed away from the pier and it will go wherever the program tells it.
The design of the "Orca" is modular, that is, the equipment can be changed in accordance with the tasks. As the developers say, the range of applications is very wide. Let's believe.
Simultaneously with the "Orca", the designers of the US Navy directly within the framework of the LDUUV (Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) project, that is, "Large displacement unmanned underwater vehicle" (in my opinion, the same thing), the "Snakehead" apparatus is being created.
"Snake head" is a new word in the underwater world, the device is planned to be equipped with a power plant based on hydrogen fuel cells. The "Snake Head" will have more than 45 days of autonomy, which is quite an excellent result. And you don't have to float up every three days.
Since "Snakehead" is developed initially by the military, then the "orientation" of the apparatus is appropriate. They plan to launch the apparatus and take it back from submarines of the Virginia and Ohio types or from the shore using special platforms.
It is mentioned that the device can work as a reconnaissance or even an electronic warfare agent. Integration with existing warships is a serious utility-to-use claim. It remains only to make sure that the idea with fuel cells is reliable enough and will allow the apparatus to function for the stated time.
The French are also in the subject. They don't want to be left behind.
Naval Group (yes, that one) is developing a very original D.19 apparatus, which should be launched from submarines from a 533 mm torpedo tube or from the deck of a surface ship using either a crane or the same torpedo tube.
Moreover, the French are going to supply their underwater drone to other countries. For this, in parallel, work is underway on a smaller model, which can be placed on diesel-electric submarines of the "Scorpen" type, which France is building for India and Brazil.
The D.19 has many innovations in its design. New generation rechargeable batteries can provide the vehicle with a speed of up to 15 knots and an autonomy of up to 15 days. It's fast, it's beautiful. The means of navigation and communication, like those of Echo Voyager, are located on a folding mast, only there will be no diesel generators.
Battery charging, equipment change and maintenance of the apparatus are supposed to be carried out on board the carrier submarine.
In order to increase the efficiency of the Suffren nuclear submarine, French engineers are working on the creation of the ASM-X multipurpose underwater vehicle. A six-meter device weighing more than a ton and with a diameter of, of course, 533 mm, is supposed to be fired through a torpedo tube.
The ASM-X provides an extensive compartment for accommodating a wide variety of equipment: a sonar station, distraction jammers, equipment for working with various sensors, communications equipment and even weapons.
Again, lithium-ion batteries will drive the apparatus and power the equipment. The batteries should be enough to provide a range of 110 miles.
China is also not going to lag behind. Our neighbors also have a lot of tasks that autonomous underwater vehicles, which we are working on, can help to accomplish.
In China, there is a "Project 912", within the framework of which underwater vehicles of large displacement are being developed. The PLA fleet plans to use such devices in the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. That is, in areas strategically important for China.
The devices created within the framework of the project are planned to be used for reconnaissance, mining of water areas, mine action and even solving anti-submarine defense tasks.
It is planned to control the apparatus from the onshore control center, and only in the long term the creation of a fully autonomous underwater vehicle, which will work independently, clarifying tasks with the onshore control center periodically communicating.
So what are we seeing? We observe that the leading countries of the world are working on the creation of multipurpose autonomous underwater vehicles. But the main work lies in the field of increasing the speed of navigation and autonomy through the use of special storage batteries and fuel cells. Another expansion of application possibilities.
Of course, it's easier for us. They did everything for us earlier, inventing a terrible nuclear-powered torpedo. What to do, the rest is somewhat more difficult. Small nuclear reactor - yes, it is difficult. But excuse me, is this a novelty? We also had compact nuclear reactors (Romashka, Buk, Topaz, Yenisei) and the Americans (SNAP). They were used in space, it is true, but who forbids using them under water?
Many in the world are not very trusting about the presence of "Poseidons" in Russia, but now this is not the most important thing. The main thing, perhaps, is that today some countries seem to be in the position of catching up with Russia.
Russia seems to have a Poseidon. Not proven, as they say, but there is no evidence to the contrary either. Russia has a carrier boat "Poseidon", "Belgorod". And there will be one more. It would be strange to have two huge boats in order to ... not to do anything with them, wouldn't it?
The United States, France, China will still have to go a long, but interesting way of creating and carriers of autonomous vehicles, launching devices and especially receiving back. We also have something to do in this regard. Nobody says that you can give up and relax.
Two options for the development of events.
First: countries that want to deliver a 200 kiloton nuclear warhead to the shores of a potential enemy will eventually blow up budgets and stop this rather stupid competition.
And then a second option arises: to direct efforts to the study of the world's oceans, where such devices will be very useful.
Overall, история with "Poseidon" can be useful in terms of what will give such a good impetus to the development of underwater technology. Well, he will well pat the budgets of our partners. Which is also not bad.