In the previous articles, we have already gone through the weakest component of nuclear forces, the strategic aviation, honored the strategic missile forces with their attention, and only now we have before us the real creators of the Apocalypse, who, do not bring, of course, can demolish the whole world.
Strategic missile submarines.
Perhaps this is really the quintessence of destruction and a masterpiece of human technical thought, aimed at destroying himself.
Why did the submarine missile carriers hit the first step of the triad pedestal? It's simple. The main trump card of the nuclear submarine is stealth and the associated invulnerability. A modern nuclear submarine is vulnerable in several positions: at the entrance to the base, at the exit from it, and during anchorage. Everything. The rest of the time, calmly being at a depth of 300 meters, the boat can feel completely calm.
Yes, engineers in countries that provide themselves with military equipment are constantly racking their brains over improving the means of detecting submarines. And other engineers are working to make the boats quieter and more invisible.
And in this competition, submarine designers win. There are plenty of examples of this, from the unpleasant numbers of Soviet submarines that surfaced in the middle of the orders of the American AUG, to the "sinking" of a Swedish diesel-electric submarine during maneuvers of an American aircraft carrier. By the way, the maneuvers showed the essence, since the attack of the boat was expected and the boat was searched for.
Well, the epic journey of the Boreyevs across half the world from the manufacturing plant to the Far East, when they were spotted entering the Golden Horn Bay - this is also a good indicator.
And now an unexpected turn.
In the second article on strategic bombers (link at the end), I complained about the fact that the oceans that separate North America from the world are a big obstacle in the way of aircraft, since floating boxes with aircraft, called aircraft carriers, can be placed in the oceans. And very much complicate, if not disrupt at all, the work of strategists.
But in our case, the oceans are the curse of the United States. The maritime border of the States is simply ugly huge and consists precisely of the ocean coast. Quiet, Atlantic, and the Arctic - and in general horror and sadness.
And where the Russian submarines can come from is not a question for the faint of heart. It is not for nothing that the States react so nervously (almost like the Swedes) to every appearance of our boats near their waters.
Indeed, there is nothing illegal and unnatural in the fact that the submarine is rummaging about its business in international waters. The negative point is when and where she came from to the point where she was found. And what were those who were supposed to detect it doing. So the Americans are freaking out. Moreover, it is quite reasonable.
We look at the map. The country is small, no matter how it looks. 4 x 2 thousand kilometers. Well, from the north it is covered by Canada. Another 2 thousand kilometers. For Bulav - about nothing. The range of more than 9 thousand km allows you to simply put points on the map.
But throwing rockets from great distances is not the best way to wipe out the foe from the face of the Earth. He will try his best to prevent this from happening. Track launches, use your missile defense and air defense, and so on.
This means that the closer the boat gets to the coast, the less chances the American military will have to react correctly.
How should sailors feel at a base, say, in San Diego, that in California, if a thousand kilometers from the base, in the middle of the ocean, the Borei will betray everything it is rich in? In general, Americans today are very negative about such a prospect, and rightly so.
The point is that “a thousand kilometers from the base” is not a specific point. This is a hefty chunk of the ocean's surface. A haystack in which a very poisonous needle lurks. And this needle still has to be found.
Borea ICBMs are, of course, very serious, but who said that there could not be a more unpleasant situation?
And he can. From the same point (and it is possible from another), from a completely the same underwater position, through its torpedo tubes, "Ash-M" can release 10 "Calibers" in one salvo. And there can be up to four volleys. Yes, a cruise missile has one warhead, but it can also be very nuclear. And the flight range is also order.
"Caliber" - very accurate weapon... They can smash all missile defense / air defense systems into dust (radioactive), and then methodically play out the Apocalypse scenario using the R-30 from the Borea.
Absolutely all the same can be arranged by going from the North Pole through the Norwegian Sea from the bases of the North fleet.
In general, there are three options, and all of them are not very pleasant. The most unpleasant one is “hello” from the Arctic Ocean, where our people feel at home. This, of course, without the "Calibers", but on the other hand, with complete impunity, because the United States does not have icebreakers capable of escorting and escorting ships that could complicate the life of a submarine missile carrier. Yes, there are two icebreakers in the US Coast Guard, but you understand that, the situation does not greatly improve. The icebreakers are diesel electric and quite old.
In light of all that has been said, plans to build a sufficient number of Boreyev and Ash trees look very optimistic. Even taking into account the fact that the United States has quite decent missile defense and air defense systems, which, of course, will do everything possible to prevent a strike on their targets.
"Nuclear deterrence" is primarily a demonstration of force, which makes it clear to the enemy that he will be destroyed. The demonstration must be confident and frank. Not showing at parades. Parades are now a very unconvincing thing, as practice shows.
But the nuclear submarine, which surfaced not far from the border of the economic zone of another country and just calmly left at depth in an unknown direction - this is very indicative.
However, back to the Americans and the map.
In fact, it is much more difficult to get close to our country than to the United States. The Baltic is not a place for nuclear submarines at all. We cross out the Baltic at once.
The Black Sea is absolutely the same alignment, plus blocking the Bosphorus by the forces of the Black Sea Fleet can be quite calm and relaxed. And firing rockets from the Mediterranean Sea is already a completely different alignment. This is 2,5-3 thousand kilometers, there is not much time for preparation, but there is. That is, everything is pretty comfortable. And he adds to the arguments about the need for Russia to have its base in the Mediterranean with anti-submarine ships.
We do not consider the water area of the Indian Ocean at all, because from 6 thousand kilometers. But it's safe, we're not there.
North. Everything seems to be fine here, you can approach a comfortable launch distance of 2,5 thousand kilometers from the Norwegian or Barents Sea. But the north is also ice, these are problems associated with the Northern Fleet of Russia, which, as I said, is doing well in this region, and I sincerely hope that it will feel even better.
In general, American sailors did not visit the ice fields of our North very often. This is really not the most convenient area for carrying out combat missions. Initially, the US Navy was divided into two groups, the Pacific and the Atlantic. There is no northern grouping capable of operating in those areas.
Well, we still have the Pacific Ocean, the vast expanses of which allow hundreds of submarines to get lost in them, not like a couple of dozen. To approach the enemy's territory by such a route, on which it will be unrealistic to notice the boat, because no state is able to block such spaces. For now, at least.
The whole problem for American submariners is that they will have absolutely no profit from this. The reason for this is not their preparation, but the length of our country. There is no point in launching missiles in Siberia and the Far East in any scenario of the Third World War, and as for the European part of Russia, there are already distances starting from 7,5 thousand kilometers.
And this is not entirely comfortable. This is at the limit of the action of the Trident-2 ICBM with a full load of warheads. Yes, if the number of warheads is reduced, then the range of the missile increases to 11 km, which is somehow not even serious. It's easier to shoot from a more comfortable area.
About the missiles themselves.
They have been compared so many times that it is unrealistic to add a new one.
For the Americans, the old Trident plays a major role in its second iteration.
Today, while the START-3 treaty is in effect, no more than 4 units can be installed on the Trident. In total, the rocket can accommodate either 8 W88 blocks with a capacity of 475 kt, or 12-14 W76 blocks (100 kt). Throw weight 2 800 kg.
R-29RMU2 Sineva can throw the same weight as Trident, the same 2 kg. 800 blocks of 4 kt or 500 blocks of 10 kt. Slightly, but inferior to the American rocket.
The R-30 Bulava is frankly weaker. The throw weight is only 1 kg, hence the rocket can carry 150 blocks of 6 kt each.
Reliability - Trident is good. Out of 156 launches, 151 were successful. This is more than a significant indicator.
And the most important advantage of Trident-2 is its accuracy. The Americans, when necessary, know how to keep secrets, so the data on the CEP for the Trident is very evasive and has a spread from 90 to 500 m.
KVO near "Sineva" 250 m, near "Bulava" 120-350 m. Not worse than an American.
In general, if Russian SLBMs are inferior to the American one, it is very insignificant. If they are superior in something (it is difficult to judge due to the lack of information), then it is also not very strong. Here is parity, which can only be won by building new boats that are head and shoulders above the American ones.
The Ohio is not a young submarine in terms of development, but a very successful one. It is the great modernization potential that allowed the boats to serve from 1981 to the present.
And the big question is what will replace them. There are opinions that Columbia is a very promising project. True, and very expensive. But what is cheap today when it comes to security?
In the meantime, "Ohio" is the only competitor to "Borey" and "Ash", existing in two guises, and as SSBN, and as SSGN.
I did not specifically focus on the alterations of the Ohio strategist to the SSGN with Tomahawks, since I am of the opinion that the good old Block III Ax is not a competitor to Caliber at all. His reach to the target is very bad. How does his follower, Block IV, behave when trying to overcome the echeloned defense, consisting of serious complexes of the S-400 type with the support of electronic warfare ...
Most likely as sad as its predecessors.
Summing up, I would like to draw the following conclusion: the geographical position of the countries is such that our strategic missile carriers have a clear advantage when working on targets in the United States. The main problem for the Americans is that it will be difficult for them to approach the distance of "point blank" launch.
This gives rise to a second advantage for Russia. Despite the fact that the American Trident-2 missile appears to be stronger than the Bulava and Sineva, there is one thing that negates all the advantages. The "feature" of Russian missiles is the flat flight path, which gives a huge advantage, especially at small (for ballistic missiles) launch distances. Our missiles will be more difficult to shoot down in any case.
Number. Here, of course, the Americans have a double advantage. You can console yourself only by the fact that quantity is not always quality. And take it precisely by quality.
To make the work of American submariners as difficult as possible, we only need to make a few movements.
1. Base of anti-submarine and reconnaissance ships in the Mediterranean. Syria will do, especially since there is a base there.
2. Base of anti-submarine ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean. Cam Ranh is quite, especially since Vietnam does not mind at all.
3. Anti-submarine ships, aircraft and helicopters in sufficient numbers.
4. SSBNs of the "Borey" type with a quantity of at least 20-25 units in both fleets (Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet).
5. SSGN type "Ash" in the same quantities.
Yes, SUMS will be needed for this. But we have where to get them. There is where to save. For example, to stop all work on the so-called PAK DA project. Unpromising. Stop indulging the USC, which dreams of receiving one and a half trillion rubles for the creation of aircraft carriers. Unpromising. And so on, in our country money is thrown into the trash no worse than in the United States. But we will talk about this separately.
In fact, we are definitely not ready for the beginning of the Third World War. We still fly Soviet planes and sail Soviet ships and submarines. And almost 0 years have passed since the collapse of the USSR. It's just that the time has come when we need to start building our own in the quantities that are necessary for real, and not ceremonial, security.
And here a powerful submarine fleet (like the Soviet Union had) can play a crucial role in establishing parity and nuclear balance in the world.