As you know, the key to successful interception of an enemy ballistic missile is the timely detection of the launch and transfer of information to the appropriate unit. To this end, the leading countries of the world built and continue to build radar warning of a missile attack and launch specialized spacecraft. Due to its geographical and military-political position, the Soviet Union was not able to place warning radars outside its territory. As a result, a large part of the planet remained what is called a white spot. The solution to this problem should have been new ships, equipped with appropriate radar equipment. Due to their mobility, they could be located in the right area of the world’s ocean, and a radar station, radio intelligence systems and a computer system would allow such ships to detect and track targets, primarily ballistic missiles.
In 1977, all ideas about a large reconnaissance ship for patrolling far from bases and tracking missile launches of a potential enemy were reinforced by the relevant USSR Council of Ministers Decree, which required the creation of such a ship. The document also referred to the development of the Coral intelligence complex. According to the Decree, the Leningrad TsKB Iceberg was to be engaged in designing the ship itself, and about two hundred different organizations, led by TsNPO Vympel, were involved in the creation of the Coral. The project received a digital index "1941" and the code number "Titan".
According to some sources, in creating the 1941 project, the achievements obtained in the creation of civil courts were actively used. For example, it is often claimed that the basis for the body of the "Titan" was the design of a certain ore carrier. There is no evidence of this information, but it is worth considering that the design and construction of other ships with advanced radio-electronic equipment — the ships of the measuring complex used in the space program — was precisely this approach. Regardless of their “origin”, the ships of the 1941 project promised to become at least one of the largest domestic ships. Already in the early stages of design, the dimensions of the Titan were formed: the length of the hull in 265 meters, the width of 30 and the total height around 70. The estimated ship displacement was at the level of 34-35 thousand tons. Thus, the prospective reconnaissance ships were larger and heavier than the latest 1144 "Orlan" heavy nuclear-powered missile cruisers.
With such dimensions required the appropriate power plant. According to the results of brief reflections and discussions, shipbuilding officials, fleet commanders and designers chose a nuclear power plant. For reasons of economy, it was decided to use nuclear power plants previously used at Orlans, but at the same time to apply a number of developments obtained in the design of nuclear power plants for icebreakers. At its base were two bypass water-cooled reactors KN-3 (according to other data, CL-40) with a thermal power of 170 MW. The steam from the secondary circuit of the reactors was fed to the GTZA-688 turbo-gear units, which gave 23 ths. Horsepower. each. In addition, the heat generated by the reactors was supplied with electric power to the target equipment. As an additional power plant, the 1941 project received two VDRK-500 boilers. The latter were located in the bow and stern holds. As it turned out, with sufficiently large dimensions of the ship itself, it was very difficult to inscribe all the elements of the power plant.
The use of nuclear power plants gave the new ship good performance. Despite the considerable displacement and size, it could travel at speeds up to 20-22 knots, and the cruising range was limited solely to food supplies. At the same time, according to calculations, the crew of 923 people (of which 233 officer and 144 midshipman) could be away from the base for 180 days.
Above the ship's hull, a large three-tier superstructure was foreseen with living quarters, control stations and target equipment. On the roof of the superstructure were placed four masts with places for the installation of various antennas, as well as the antenna of the main radar under the spherical casing. A specially developed radio intelligence and radar system “Coral” was connected with several radio-electronic systems, such as the MR-750 Fregat-MA radar, MP-123 Vympel, MP-212 / 201 Vychegda-U, Neman-P And the Atoll. In addition, to monitor the launches there was an optical-electronic complex "Swan". According to some data, it was equipped with an optical system with a mirror diameter of about one and a half meters. With such parameters, the Swan could detect the launch of an intercontinental rocket from a distance of several hundred kilometers. In order to detect underwater objects, the 1941 project ships were to be equipped with the MGU-335M Argun and MG-747 Amulet hydroacoustic stations. According to the project, the special computing complex with two Elbrus-type computers and several EC-1046 should have been engaged in information processing. Probably, other systems were also envisaged on the ships, but the exact composition of the special equipment of the Titan project is still unknown.
Antenna main radar without casing. Photo middle of the two thousandth's.
Since the large nuclear reconnaissance ship of the 1941 project was an interesting target for the anti-ship weapons the enemy, they decided to equip it with a complex of defensive weapons. On the bow and stern of the project, it was proposed to install one AK-176M artillery unit with an automatic gun of the 76 caliber mm. To combat high-speed targets like missiles, the Titan ships were supposed to carry four AK-630 automatic cannon caliber 30 mm. The list of barrel armament of reconnaissance ships was completed by four installations of "Utes-M" with paired large-caliber machine guns NSV-12,7. Also on the ship it was proposed to transport and use man-portable air defense systems and light anti-sabotage weapons. At the stern of the ship, a hangar and take-off area for the helicopter, for example, Ka-32, was provided.
In the middle of 1981, the first ship of the 1941 project, named "Ural", was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad. In addition to the name of the new ship received the tail number CER-33. It is noteworthy that the letters “CER” in the issue spoke of the ship’s belonging to the communications vessels. However, in the USSR Navy there was no such class of ships, and all the existing "CER" actually were scouts. A little later, preparations began for the construction of the second ship of the Titan project, but it was never built. According to the materials of Popular Mechanics, received from the employees of the Iceberg Central Design Bureau, the second ship was laid. However, due to a number of problems, the construction of the second ship with the serial number "811" ended at the assembly stage of one of the hull sections. Soon work was stopped, and the assembled unit was cut into metal. The construction of the Ural itself took about two years, after which sea trials began. Combined power plant with nuclear reactors and boilers caused a lot of complaints. In addition, there were proposals to use the elements of the power plant alternately: the ship had to leave the base and return to it with the help of boilers, and at a certain distance from the coast switch to the NPP. Testing this idea also took some time.
It is worth noting that during the tests of the ship "Ural" a lot of defects and malfunctions were revealed. Some problems arose with the systems of nuclear power plants, but the most annoying permanent breakdowns of the computing complex. On board the new reconnaissance ship, there was too much of the latest electronic equipment to keep everything running smoothly. Correction of design flaws and identification of problems took a lot of time. As a result, the new ship CER-33 "Ural" became part of the Navy only at the very end of December 1988.
Immediately after the commissioning, the CER-33 made its first trip: from Leningrad to a base near the city of Fokino. The transition took a little less than two months. On the way to the Ural Pacific base, I went to the port of Cam Ranh for a few days, where the Soviet naval base was then located. It is said that while they were stationed in the Vietnamese port, the tortoise suffered from guard vigilance: they took her for a saboteur and fired at the Dozhd anti-amphibious complex. It was probably during the voyage across three oceans (Atlantic, Indian and Silent) that the unofficial one was added to the official deciphering of the CER index: “Special sleeper”, and also the ship acquired the nickname “Cabin-carrier”. Despite the large crew size, the size of the ship allowed the sailors to provide good living conditions. In addition to comfortable cabins and cabins at the "Ural" were a full-fledged medical unit, a smoking lounge, a gym, two saunas with showers, a swimming pool and even a cinema hall. Thus, the ship had everything in order to give the crew not only comfortable living conditions, but also to provide it with a “cultural program”.
At the same time, the large dimensions of the Ural played a cruel joke with him. Like several large cruisers of the Pacific Fleet, he spent most of his time not on the dock, but on barrels. However, even in such conditions, he was able to become the flagship of the 38-th brigade of reconnaissance ships of the Pacific Fleet. It is noteworthy that the CER-33 could perform some reconnaissance missions while in port or on drums. The potential of intelligence systems allowed to "see" all the necessary things and events within a radius of several hundred kilometers. There is evidence that, while in the Strelok Bay, the Ural intercepted negotiations between American and Japanese ships located in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. However, the main task of the ship remained long hikes and tracking missile launches.
In the second half of the eighties in the Soviet Union began a transformation that eventually led to the disintegration of the country. They affected the state of the navy in general and the Urals in particular. The fleet could no longer afford the full maintenance and operation of a complex reconnaissance ship. It was proposed to divide the costs between the Navy and air defense / missile defense. However, all these proposals remained at the level of conversations. It was probably the lack of funding that eventually caused the ship’s first woes. Another prerequisite for the further sad fate of the "Ural" is sometimes called the decision to release former students from military service, because of which the crew lost a lot of young and competent specialists.
At the pier in the bay Abrek
In the middle of 1990, a fire occurred on the ship CER-33 “Ural”. Presumably, as a result of a short circuit, the cable routes caught fire. The fire spread to the aft engine room units. The fire was extinguished, but the stern was out of order. There was no money to repair it. After this incident, no long-distance campaigns were out of the question. A little more than a year later, another misfortune happened: the nasal engine room burned down, on which, after the previous fire, the entire burden of providing the ship with electricity was laid. Now Ural has lost the ability to perform any tasks. The reactors were shut off, and the power of vital systems came from emergency diesel generators.
In addition to fires on board, the Ural was exposed to other hazards. So, in 1990, the infamous fire of the main ammunition of the Pacific Fleet occurred. The CER-33 at that time was literally a couple of kilometers from the warehouses, but the crews of the ship and the tug came to the rescue could take it to a safe distance. In the fall of 1991, the Ural, a victim of a fire, left the barrel during a storm and began to drift. It was possible to return the immobilized ship to its place only after a few hours.
Throughout the nineties, the large atomic reconnaissance ship CER-33 "Ural" stood on the barrels, and then at the pier in the Bay of Arrows and waited for their fate. Due to financial problems and the lack of any prospects, the crew of the ship was constantly shrinking. Over time, the CER-33 was made a floating barracks. Such a "duty" unique reconnaissance ship performed for several years. The fate of the "Ural" was decided at the beginning of the two thousandth. According to the results of the design and equipment survey, as well as the analysis of the prospects, the command of the Navy decided not to restore the ship. Repair would cost too much, and the equipment of the end of the eighties already did not have high prospects. Therefore, tentatively in 2001, the ship CER-33 was laid up near the pier in Abrek Bay (Strelok Bay). Ironically, next to the "Ural" stood the heavy nuclear missile cruiser "Admiral Lazarev" (formerly "Frunze"), belonging to the 1144 "Orlan" project. Developments on this particular project were actively used to create a reconnaissance ship.
In 2008, a tender took place, after which the neighbors along the pier were “separated”. The cruiser remained at the place where it still stands, and the Ural was towed to the city of Bolshoy Kamen to the factory Zvezda. According to reports, ship recycling has not started so far or is proceeding at an extremely slow pace. Last summer, Rosatom executives spoke about the possible use of the CER-33 ship for repairing other ships with nuclear power plants. At that moment, Ural itself was waiting for the start of dismantling and cutting.
Finally, it should be said that a couple of years after the decision on the final write-off of the Ural - in December 2004 of the year - the first large reconnaissance ship of the 18280 project Yury Ivanov was laid at the Severnaya Verf plant. The laying of the second ship of this type is expected soon. Very little is known about this project, but it is hoped that the new ships, despite their smaller size compared to the 1941 project, can at least partially replace the decommissioned Ural.
"Ural" in the factory "Star" E, coordinates: 43 ° 7'6.61 "SSH 132 ° 20'6.43" VD
On the materials of the sites:
For help and important remarks to the article, the author expresses gratitude to the chairman of the Union of Veterans of the ships of the measuring complex named after Admiral Yu.I.Maksiuta A.M. Kurochkina