Still, I'm a good predictor. And one of my best prognostic topics is our dear helicopter landing. Dear our ship dock, somewhere even a universal landing ship.
Well, yes, of course - "Mistral."
Most recently, I wrote, celebrating that the second pair of Mistrals, which were to be built here, our leaders refused. Not that I directly predicted this, but all the pathos of my mistral series called for it. At least to this.
And now a much more significant coincidence has happened.
It turned out that in Russia there are no such fuel and lubricants that are necessary for the operation of the Mistral. And combustible (fuel) and lubricants - they say, Comrade Rogozin even wrote about this on his twitter. About the fuel, I, however, did not write - I could not think of such a thing. But about the lubricant - he wrote literally. Want - read here. And for those who are too lazy, I will quote:
“There are consumables for the power plant: engine and transmission oils, liquid and thick lubricants, lapping pastes and washing liquids, etc. And they are all spelled out in the operating instructions. And where to get all this, dozens, probably, names, for French diesel engines and electric motors, compressors and pumps? Again - factory licensed? On foreign raw materials? "
Almost complete coincidence with what Interfax is reporting today!
And explains that
“A total of about 50 fuels and lubricants are required for helicopter carriers. Use to replace European fuels and lubricants produced in Russia is fraught with engine and other systems failure, as well as the cancellation of the factory warranty. ”
I wrote in my series: guys, I say only what comes to mind. Units of problem positions come to mind, and not really hundreds of them! Interfax confirms this statement, citing something that I did not have:
“Refueling of landing ships at sea is provided only from tankers equipped with fuel and lubricants quality control systems certified by NATO standards. We have such tankers on navy no - and never will be. It’s also impossible to imagine the option of renting foreign tankers to be included in the operational naval group of the Russian Navy with the participation of Mistral to carry out any combat mission. ”
Finally, they guessed what I had warned about three years ago (!!):
“Even in peacetime, the operation of the Mistral will most likely become a real agony for our sailors, not to mention the endangered period, and even more so about real hostilities,” said a source in the defense industry.
Citizens! I say: this is not the last! We must follow the press, and we will see how many more of those questions emerge.
Cursed questions of our time. "Mistral"
"Mistral" in St. Petersburg ... At first, I simply did not believe in the seriousness of talking about buying it.
What do we have on this topic on TV?
1. Promotion of the merits of the French steamer: they say, even the States do not have such a steep, multifunctional ship. And he will teach us modern technology.
2. Doubts of type A: why does Russia need such a ship? Where to land landings? Probably, again the deal "with the corruption component"?
3. Doubts of type B: why give money abroad, would give better to our shipbuilders. And in general, shameful to us - to us! - buy ships, the Soviet Union was able to do everything himself. And yet - let us scare off the buyers, what ships we now have and boats take. Probably, again a deal ... see p.2.
4. Guessing: the purchase of these dock-helicopter carriers is not a matter of quickly equipping the Navy (with ships that are unclear why we are needed); and not receiving foreign technology. And the question is political: France will give us support in the EU for this, and there’s a lot more and even, you see, recognizes Abkhazia.
5. Announcement: an unprecedented example of trust between Russia and a country from NATO. Like, now everyone will reach out to us.
6. Doubts of type B: how, the French will give us their latest technology! Give a piece of iron, an empty trough. We will stay with the nose ... Well, obviously a deal ... (Section 2)
I have the mood to talk about the item 6.
However, why not start from the beginning, at least briefly?
By pp 1 and 2. The steamer is really cool. Especially if you use it correctly. That is, as part of a large mix of disparate forces, it would be nice with an aircraft carrier. This is in full-scale hostilities.
Surely we have already gathered to conduct full-scale military operations on the sea routes? And to us there, to the landing site, will they sail?
And for any humanitarian rescue deliveries, the Mistral is too cool. I would say more than too much. They boast: in 2008, in the Gulf of Guinea, 5,7 and drugs were intercepted! And what, for this, you need a monster with a displacement of more than 20 thousand tons? Although yes, our “Peter the Great” was also famous for fighting with Somali pirates ...
According to paragraph 3. There are doubts. If we assume that we need Mistrals quickly, then, indeed, it is better to buy. Our half-dead factories are completely unknown when they will build this, and there is no guarantee that they will ever be built at all.
It must be said that the Soviet Union, the post-war one, could really do everything on its own, if it gave anything to the side, then from political imaginations, and only to the allies. But the pre-war, albeit under Stalin, - no. The leader of “Tashkent” is Italian, the cruiser “Kirov” can be said to be half Italian. Even Hitler bought in 1939-m heavy cruiser "Lutzov", however, unfinished. He was never completed to the "squadron" state, but, standing on the joke, he shot the Germans well ...
And Russia bought, especially in large quantities - on the eve of the Russian-Japanese war. In the same France they took armadillos, cruisers, and destroyers.
Squadron battleship "Tsarevich". Built in France. It turned out to be quite a good ship. On the basis of his project, five battleships were already built in Russia. Four of which are lost in Tsushima ... And about the fifth - read the "Moonsund" by V. Pikul
So, once again: according to paragraph 3 - and nothing particularly terrible, and theoretically, under certain conditions, it may be justified. In the event that explain, for what we need the ships of the type "Mistral", and it is fast.
There is another option for Section 3: The Ministry of Defense deliberately does not want to give money to our plants. Drink and do nothing. More precisely, they drank, they will make a third of what they should have, they will ask for the same amount, they will drink again ... and so on, until, having spent four times more years and money, they don’t roll out something that will be brought to another ten years and a hundred billion to mind And at the same time, people will be sawing, for the Ministry of Defense, not close ones, and maybe even hostile ones.
And here it is the Ministry of Defense itself that needs to be sawn off, but - 1) is much less; 2) to those who need it; 3) and will have a lively and fairly positive result, and quickly enough: one floating ship and licensing documentation.
Another thing is: will we be able to get something useful from the licensed construction of French ships, even the most supernatural. But this question overlaps with point 6, so let's get back to that later.
By pp 4, 5 reluctant to speak, not in the know. Let me just say what is clear from the most general considerations: today they will be friends, tomorrow they will be friends. All of these, we are also such, there is no reason to be indignant. So, in the reasoning of this variability: is the game worth the candle?
Well, now let's talk about modern technologies that the French will either give us, or they won't. Moving on to p. 6.
As one of my boss said, there are two questions in this matter. Even more.
Let's start with, so to speak, pre-technological. Is everything so simple with the basing of our equipment on the French ship?
About weapon we won't even talk. I hope no one is going to reach such idiocy as the installation of French missiles and guns. This, by the way, is common practice. For more than a century ago, steamboats came to Kronstadt from France, Germany, America without guns and torpedo tubes, which were already installed here, made in Russia.
Although here, too, not without a hitch. They say the French have begun to explore the possibility of installing our missiles. So we have to give them some information. And if we consider that today “installation” is far from only the overall and connecting dimensions (where and how many holes to drill in the deck), but also all service systems, from ammunition stores to remotes with buttons at the command center, so who is with whom will share technology ?! Earlier than getting “mistral” technologies, will we post ours to the French? Locators, communication lines, communication protocols between informational (“sensor”) systems, command transmission systems, parameter monitoring, launchers? Here, after all, it comes to the very ideology of the combat use of weapons. Tell, explain, give the documentation? Oh well…
But, let's say, I bend over, somehow decided. So what is next?
Next you need to put our helicopters. But they are completely different! Even if, say, the height of the hangar is enough - is this the only problem?
Ka-27 on the deck of the Mistral. But it is, window dressing. To sit down is not to be based. Let Ka-27 total on 9 cm above the regular “mystral” NH90 (5,40 m vs. 5,31 m); but, firstly, this may turn out to be critical, and secondly, but is this the only thing!
And the storage of ammunition - they are here and they are completely different! And do not think that storage is just shelving and air conditioning. There is also a test equipment, preparation for use. Our depth charges, as you understand, are tested on completely different consoles than the French. And rockets, and torpedoes, and sonar buoys. And all this is rigidly spelled out in the regulations and instructions. Who will it put? are the French in France, or are they just taking their own and - to Kronstadt?
And the system of storage and refueling, which is not a trifle, when the ship is based a half or two dozen vehicles? Our and French requirements may differ fundamentally. Why are there any complicated requirements! Our hydraulic fluid will be poured (that which fills the hydraulic system of the helicopter, all kinds of boosters-drives, analogue - brake fluid in the car), will pour our hydraulic fluid into the French storage tank, which is located somewhere in the enclosure of the helicopter hangar. And French gaskets will fall down - not because they are bad, but because they are designed for contact with French hydraulic fluid, and not with the Russian one. And, unfortunately, our helicopters, on the contrary, can only work with Russian, but not with French.
Well, gaskets will not fly, but they will begin to crack, age ten times faster than on the passport, because the hydraulic composition is not the same ... And after a year and a half, the working pipelines will run. Who checked it? Who will check it out? because time is needed, methods, equipment, money.
Gaskets - this is me for example, of course. With these concrete pads, everything is likely to be fine. I want to show how everything is not as simple as the first glance. It is known where the devil is - he is in the details ...
Hell, even the brackets on the deck, to which the sunk helicopter is attached with stretch marks, so that the wind does not blow away - we have them, our design has been worked out over half a century of landing OUR helicopters on OUR ships. There are such brackets on the Mistral flight deck, only they are the result of half a century of FRENCH practice. I'm not saying that the hooks on our cables may simply not go to the French brackets. But the landing of helicopters is many times more difficult than simply hooking the cables with hooks onto the brackets on the deck. Her technique, technical support - the fruit of years of experience, probably overshadowed by accidents and disasters. Deck helicopters are made and made with her, through suffering. And what, to refuse it? But the system is certified, rationed, guest, described in the instructions and manuals ... well, this can be considered a constant refrain, that's about everything.
There are also means and equipment for flight control, procedures and equipment for preparing the aircraft themselves, technology and material support for repairs on board ... You see, the operation of any technology is an extremely complex task, and it is solved on the basis of a certain concept of operation and combat use. Differences in this concept can lead to a fundamental incompatibility of the capabilities of the “operational environment” with the maintenance requirements of this object. If you joke: we have acetylene welding prescribed in the instructions, and a fire extinguishing system is turned on in the Mistral hangar. This is a joke, in fact, everything can be much more complicated, less obvious and more dramatic in its consequences.
Let me not say the same thing about Tanks and armored personnel carriers? It is clear that there can be anything from the instability of French coatings to our exhaust gases and ending with the electromagnetic incompatibility of “theirs” in-ship telephone communications with our tank radio stations. And who can tell where I'm joking? I cant…
Mistral dock chamber. You can see very well what may cost plus or minus a meter in the dimensions of the landing craft. Literally one meter more - and now one boat instead of two ...
Can you imagine how many such pitfalls that decision makers have no idea about? And for those who have a concept, they don’t give a chance, and they won’t listen.
But there is one more layer. A landing ship is being made for marines. Every country that has marines has its own ideas about its use, from which it follows not only the requirements for weapons, but also the organizational structure of the units and units. And a combat organization, that is to say, all sorts of options for arranging combat structural units.
For example, there is such a thing as a battalion fighting group (I don’t know what it’s called here, but we definitely have something like that). This is a kind of detachment on the basis of the marine battalion, which includes reinforcements that are not part of the battalion itself. Well, let's say, a mortar company, an engineering platoon, a platoon of anti-aircraft missile and artillery complexes, a special communications department ... I improvise, but you understand what I'm talking about.
I remember that in 1980 the number of such a battalion group in the American marines was about 1500 people, while the number of the battalion itself was probably 600.
This is what I? Moreover, the French were counting on the Mistral, driving it under the military organization of their army. And here it is different, maybe very, very different. Maybe the “Mistral” for our marines will be “neither two nor one and a half”: there is a lot for a company, a battalion cannot be planted ... and put two and a half companies and a half-platoon of MANPADS on the devil? What to do with them then? There are no such "groupings" either in the tactical studies or in the field (combat?) Statutes.
Or should we change the tactics and structure under the “Mistral”?
I hope I managed to show at least the misty outline of this huge tangle of thousands of problems. There are no problems about which you and I even have a clue that even a question will not come to mind. Not a single person at all can this tangle be imagined; hundreds of specialists are needed to at least ask questions, draw up a list of obvious and possible problems.
But this is not necessary if the decision is political. Buy some, and others will suffer. And it is also useless to suffer if it turns out that the Mistral Navy is needed, like a cancer dress coat ...