Versatility advantages: potential of patrol ships of project 23550 "Arktika" / "Ermak"
By order of the naval fleet and the Coast Guard of the Border Service are currently under construction of several universal patrol ships pr. 23550 "Arktika" or "Ermak". With their help, the defense in the Arctic direction will be strengthened in the foreseeable future. Due to a number of interesting and original solutions, patrol ships of the new type will be able to solve a wide range of combat and humanitarian missions, which determines their value for the fleet.
A promising project of a patrol ship with the code "Arktika" was developed at the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau by the middle of the last decade. The first construction contract was signed in May 2016. According to its terms, the Admiralteyskie Verfy plant was supposed to build and hand over two ships in a complete set for the Navy by 2020.
In 2019, they announced plans to build two more ships for the SOBR. The corresponding order was given to the Vyborg shipyard. These ships will be made according to a modified project with the previous number and the name "Ermak".
The lead ship, project 23550, was intended for the Navy and was named "Ivan Papanin". It was laid down at the Admiralty Shipyards in April 2017. In October 2019, it was launched and transferred to the outfitting wall. According to reports of recent months, the afloat completion is being completed, and preparations are underway for mooring tests. The ship will be handed over to the customer no later than 2023-24.
The second ship for the fleet, Nikolai Zubov, began to be built in November 2019, and for now it remains on the slipway. Launching is scheduled for 2023-24, and the transfer of the Navy - in 2025. In July 2020, the laying of the first Ermak for the BOKHR, named Purga, took place in Vyborg. It will be launched in 2023, and delivery is scheduled for 2024. The second coast guard ship still exists only in plans, but it will be laid down in the near future.
The ship as a platform
The ship "Arktika" / "Ermak" is intended for work in the northern seas and must perform different tasks, which determined its technical appearance. In fact, we are talking about a platform ship with the ability to install a variety of equipment and weapons, the composition of which is determined by the customer in accordance with his goals.
NS. 23550 provides for the construction of a ship of the greatest length 114,5 m and the greatest width 19,5 m with a draft of up to 6,5 m. The total displacement reaches 8500 tons. The ship's hull has characteristic icebreaker contours and corresponds to the Arc7 ice class. Due to this, the maximum thickness of the ice to be overcome reaches 1,7 m. Continuous movement - up to 1 m.
The design of the hull and superstructure provides for the maximum possible internal volumes and the closed placement of the largest number of devices. This ensures that the crew is protected from cold and wind. A maximum of operations can be carried out without going outside. The superstructure is multi-tiered and has a complex configuration. It has volumes to accommodate various means, and a helipad with a hangar is located at the stern.
NS. 23550 uses the so-called. a unified electric power system (EES) with full electric propulsion. The EEPS is based on four diesel generators with a capacity of 3,5 MW each. Such a system should provide a full-fledged power supply for rowing electric motors and general ship systems in all operating modes. In addition, a stock is created for feeding the additionally installed funds.
Two propeller electric motors with a capacity of 6,3 MW are responsible for the movement. A thruster is placed in the bow of the ship. The maximum speed in clear water is 18 knots. The cruising range, depending on the modification, is not less than 10 thousand miles.
"Arctic" and "Ermak" can carry different payloads and / or weapons. Motor boats and boats of various types are proposed to be placed in side compartments with hatchways, one on the left side and two on the right. The superstructure has a volume for one or two hangars for a helicopter. The aft part of the ship has a platform for placing additional loads in standard shipping containers, as well as a crane for self-loading.
Armament and equipment
According to known data, the patrol ships "Arktika" for the Navy will routinely receive barrel and anti-aircraft missiles. If necessary, they will be able to carry strike missile systems. Similar approaches were used in the Ermak project, but such ships do not need missiles.
Ships of two projects should carry a 76-mm AK-176M artillery system, two AK-630M anti-aircraft guns and four Kord machine guns. To protect against air attacks, the Arctic will receive portable anti-aircraft missile systems of modern models. Such weapons will allow ships to defend themselves against attacks from the water or from the air, or make the first strike against various targets.
It is reported that containers of the Kalibr-K missile complex - two launchers with four missiles on each - can be placed on the stern platform. It is also possible to use similar installations for Uranus missiles. The installation of missiles dramatically expands the capabilities of the patrol ship and almost makes it a universal combat unit. At the same time, the integration of shock complexes will be quick and uncomplicated. Nevertheless, in terms of missile potential, the Arctic will be inferior to specialized missile ships.
The ship of project 23550 is capable of transporting, launching and lifting on board several watercraft with a fairly wide range of characteristics. It is planned to use various boats on "Arktiki" and "Ermak", up to high-speed "Raptors". Boats and boats will provide patrolling and surveillance, as well as allow landing and boarding.
Ships for the Navy and SOBR will carry aviation technique. First of all, these are helicopters of the Ka-27 and Ka-226 families with the necessary equipment. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles is also expected. Ships of the "Arctic" type receive a hangar for one helicopter, and "Ermaki", due to a different composition of onboard equipment, will be able to transport two. Helicopters can monitor water areas, participate in intercepting intruders, and also perform other work.
Thus, due to the special design and modular approach to equipment and armament, promising patrol ships of the project 23550 will be able to participate in a variety of operations and events. The reinforced hull will allow them to work in clear water and in ice - independently or as part of a ship's detachment, incl. as an icebreaker. This dramatically expands the possible areas of work and the performance of the necessary work.
The proposed set of electronic and standard artillery weapons, as well as additional equipment will ensure the full and effective performance of all tasks typical of patrol ships. The availability of volumes and sites for placing additional funds is of great importance. In this case, "Arktika" or "Ermak" can be a carrier of strike missile weapons, a rescue vessel, a floating hospital, etc. Such a potential of ships is limited only by the needs of the customer and the ability to create modules with the necessary functions.
The modular approach allows for the unification of ships for the fleet and the coast guard with obtaining obvious advantages of a production and operational nature. It becomes possible to fully satisfy the needs of two different structures without developing two independent projects. In addition, construction is simplified and accelerated, incl. by several enterprises.
One for all
The observed processes in the international arena force our country to restore and rebuild defense in the Arctic direction. The navy and the coast guard play a special role in this defense - but they need ships of different classes, adapted to work in the harsh polar climate.
For this purpose, the project of the universal patrol ship "Arktika" / "Ermak" has been developed and brought to construction. In the standard configuration, such a ship is capable of patrolling or working as an icebreaker, and replaceable additional modules expand the range of tasks to be solved. Thus, one ship of a new type can replace specialized pennants of different classes, even if not simultaneously.
The new versatile ships will not only strengthen the defense of the Arctic and simplify the implementation of various events. Consistently performing different functions, they will partially replace the entire auxiliary fleet - and will accelerate the achievement of the necessary defenses in the northern direction. Even the four planned ships will have a noticeable effect of this kind, and the continuation of construction will lead to new obvious advantages.
- Ryabov Kirill
- "OSK", "Admiralty Shipyards"
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