"Moscow" - Soviet and Russian anti-submarine helicopter-carrying cruiser, the lead ship of the 1123 project
Appearance and design
Initially it was assumed that the new ship would be a further development of the 61 project sentry ships developed in the mid-fifties, but it would carry other weapons, as well as increase its capabilities thanks to several helicopters on board. In this regard, and also wanting to save time and effort, CDB-17 (now Nevskoye Design Bureau) in August 1958 completed the work on the technical proposal. According to this document, promising ships had to be built on the basis of the already built hulls of the 68-bis cruisers. At that time, the construction of such ships was frozen and the new project could help to use the already manufactured units.
The customer, represented by the Ministry of Defense and the relevant departments of the Navy, considered the proposal of the TsKB-17 and recommended starting the full development of a new anti-submarine cruiser-helicopter carrier. In December, the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers 1958 was issued, according to which TsKB-17 was to develop the 1123 "Condor" project in the coming years. The handover of the lead ship was planned for 1964 year. In addition, the construction of new ships was added to the shipbuilding plan for the first half of the sixties. Customer requirements were as follows. The ships of the 1123 project were to search for and destroy enemy strategic submarines at a great distance from their bases.
A month after the release of the Council of Ministers decision, the commander-in-chief of the USSR Navy, Admiral S.G. Gorshkov approved the technical task. The fleet wanted to receive a ship with a displacement of about 4500 tons, capable of accelerating to 30-35 nodes. In addition, the technical tasks determined the main capabilities of anti-submarine helicopters placed on board. It was necessary to place on board the cruiser as many helicopters, auxiliary equipment, etc., as needed for the round-the-clock patrol operation of two helicopters at the same time. Thus, taking into account the capabilities and characteristics of the proposed Ka-25, the 1123 project ship was to carry eight helicopters at once.
In the future, views on the required number of helicopters significantly changed. Thus, at the beginning of the autumn of 1959, employees of the TsKB-17 presented their views on the combat work of anti-submarine cruiser helicopters. According to the ideas that had been expressed, helicopters with radio-hydro-acoustic buoys were to take off from the ship at certain intervals. The ship itself would be at a distance of several tens of kilometers from the intended area of the submarine so that it could not notice it. Further, at least one helicopter would provide communication with the most distant buoys and several helicopters would search for the target using their own hydroacoustic stations. With such tactics on one cruiser of the 1123 project it was required to use helicopters from 5 to 14-15. In the case of the greatest number of ships could search work around the clock and without interruption.
Following the results of all analyzes and surveys in the same 1959 year, the customer revised his requirements for the number of helicopters. Now it was necessary to place on the cruiser at least ten such machines, three of which could simultaneously search for enemy submarines. The maximum number of helicopters that met the requirements was 14. However, the change in the requirements for the helicopter group made it necessary to adjust other parameters of the promising cruisers. According to the updated task, the ships of the project 1123 should have a displacement of more than 7000 tons and larger dimensions. In addition, the customer demanded that the new cruisers be equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems and other weapons self defense.
It is exactly the updated requirements from January 1960 that determined the appearance of the future Condor cruisers. The main enterprise of the project was TsKB-17 (chief designer AS Savichev), OKB N.I. Kamov was instructed to complete the development of an anti-submarine helicopter, and the Air Force's scientific research institute-15 was involved in the creation of an anti-submarine helicopter complex. The whole 60 year went to the elaboration of draft designs and the choice of the optimal architecture of the ship. At this stage, several options were considered for the placement of the flight deck and related volumes, as well as the layout of other structural elements, equipment, weapons, etc., depending on them. Perhaps the most daring proposal was the creation of a helicopter carrier-cruiser system catamaran. The two-part design would make a relatively large flight deck, but it significantly complicated the design and construction of the new ship. Therefore, in the end, chose a less daring scheme.
Further changes to customer requirements led to corresponding consequences. So, by the time the technical design was approved, at the very beginning of 1962, the displacement had increased to 10700-10750 tons, and the maximum speed, in turn, had decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the general set of technical characteristics and combat capabilities was considered acceptable and continued work on the project. In the middle of the same year, the technical documentation on the 1123 "Condor" project was sent to the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant No. 444, where on December 15 the groundbreaking ceremony for the head cruiser "Moscow" took place.
The new anti-submarine cruiser-helicopter carrier, in view of its specific tactical niche, received the original hull architecture. The high-breasted aft part of the hull was completely diverted to the flight deck. In order to provide the necessary area of it, the shape of the body was modified in an original way. In the forward part, its lines had the usual V-shaped form for warships, but in the middle part, the camber increased, due to which we managed to bring the area of the flight deck to 2400 square meters. With all the courage and originality of this approach, it is necessary to recognize that an increase in the collapse of the sides had a negative impact on the seaworthiness and handling characteristics. However, when discussing the feasibility of applying such an architecture, the corps decided that the main priority is to ensure the combat operations of the helicopters, and not the running capabilities of the ship.
Immediately below the flight deck, a hangar for helicopters and related equipment was placed. It is noteworthy that the upper overlap of the hangar, which simultaneously served as the flight deck, was installed on the minimum possible number of supports. As a result, it was possible to obtain an optimal balance between the free areas inside the hangar and the strength of the deck.
In front of the hangar was a superstructure with antennas of electronic systems. A chimney was placed on its back surface. Interesting form of the superstructure. In fact, it was a unit formed by several intersecting planes on which antennas and the like were placed. According to some sources, this form of the superstructure was chosen to reduce the radar visibility of the ship. It is not known how far these statements are true, but several decades after the construction of the 1123 head cruiser of the project, such forms of superstructures became one of the elements of the so-called. stealth technologies used in shipbuilding.
The hull with the original contours had a double bottom, turning into a double side. To increase survivability, the project provided for 16 waterproof bulkheads. In the aft hull they reached the hangar deck. It is worth noting that in the 1123 project there was no reservation at all. Nevertheless, by means of some design solutions, it was possible to ensure acceptable survivability of the ship in case of damage by missiles or torpedoes of the enemy. For example, to compensate for the roll after the torpedo hit, the bottom tanks for fuel had a Z-shape. Tanks of this form, according to calculations, if damaged, would be filled with water evenly. As a result, the damaged ship could not tilt too much onto the damaged side. In addition, near the sides provided for several emergency tanks, the filling of which could compensate for the roll to 12 °.
In the fifties and sixties of the last century, the possibility of using nuclear weapons against ships was seriously considered. In the event of an atomic attack, ships of Project 1123 had a minimal number of portholes. They were available only in wardrooms aviation groups and officers, in the infirmary and several residential cabins. All other spaces of the ship, the number of which exceeded 1100, were equipped with electric lighting and a forced ventilation system. As theoretical calculations showed, the project 1123 anti-submarine cruiser could withstand an air explosion of a 30-kiloton atomic bomb at a distance of more than two kilometers. With such an explosion, all the ship's electronics remained operational, and the shock wave could only heel the cruiser by 5-6 degrees. Given the stability, the project 1123 ship could only roll over if a nuclear warhead of the indicated power would explode at a distance of less than 770-800 meters from it.
All used design solutions, as well as constantly updated customer requirements ultimately led to another increase in displacement. The standard value of this parameter eventually reached the level of 11900 tons, and the total displacement increased to 15280 tons.
Directly under the hangar deck, engineers of TsKB-17 placed two engine rooms. In each of them there were two KVN-95 / 64 boilers and one turbo-split TV-12 unit. The power plant of the 1123 project was developed on the basis of the corresponding systems of the 68-bis project, but at the same time received a number of innovations. For example, some improvements of the boilers made it possible to raise their capacity by three tons of steam per hour and bring this figure to 98 t / h. In addition, all units of the ship’s main power plant were installed on shock absorbers that damped vibrations. The power capacity of the 1123 cruisers project was equal to 90 thousand horsepower. If necessary, it was possible to increase the power: when the temperature of the cooling water of the capacitors was reduced to 15 °, the power of the power plant increased to 100 thousand hp. The ship’s tanks contained 3000 tons of heavy fuel oil, 80 tons of fuel for diesel generators, and up to 28 tons of oils. This supply of fuel and lubricants was enough for a hike longer than 14 thousand miles at a speed of 13,5 nodes. An interesting design of the chimney, in which there were devices for cooling the exhaust gases. When the air temperature is about 15 degrees, the gases are cooled to 90-95 °. According to calculations, the ship's visibility in the infrared range has decreased by about ten times compared with the cruisers of the 68-bis project.
Each cruiser project "Condor" immediately received two power plants with a diesel and a turbine generator with an output power of 1500 kilowatts per generator. Thus, the total capacity of power plants was equal to 6000 kW. It is noteworthy that almost all elements of power plants, such as generators, transformers, switches, etc., were developed specifically for the 1123 project. A characteristic feature of power plants has become a relatively small resource. They gave more power compared to the stations of older ships, but they worked less. In addition, in practice, most of the time, both power plants produced only a third of the maximum possible power.
Equipment and armament
The basis of the target equipment of anti-submarine cruisers of the 1123 project was the MG-342 “Orion” hydroacoustic station. Her antenna was placed in a special retractable fairing in the lower part of the body. An 21-length fairing fell seven meters from the keel of the ship. It is worth noting that the Condor cruisers became the world's first surface ships on which they installed a similar hydroacoustic station. Due to the large radome of the antenna during its use, the draft of the cruiser increased by several meters. This change was compensated by the use of ballast tanks. Together with Orion, the MG-325 Vega station operated, the antenna of which was towed.
On the superstructure of the ships we provided places for the installation of antennas of several radar stations. This MP-600 "Sunrise" to detect surface and air targets at a distance of 500 kilometers; MP-310 "Angara" similar purpose, but with a range of 130 km; as well as navigation radar "Don". Initially, it was planned that the Angara would become the main radar station of new ships, but after the start of the development of the Voskhod, it was made back-up. In addition, the ships of the 1123 project were supposed to be equipped with state identification equipment, electronic warfare stations, electronic intelligence systems, communications, etc.
The 1123 cruisers became the first Soviet ships equipped with anti-submarine missile systems. On the tank of the cruisers, a double-beam launcher MC-18 of the RPK-1 “Whirlwind” complex was installed. Inside the hull, next to the launcher, they provided for an automatic drum loader with eight missile ammunition. Uncontrolled ballistic anti-submarine missiles 82Р could deliver a special (nuclear) warhead to a distance of 24 kilometers. According to various sources, its power ranged from 5 to 20 kilotons. In the sides of the ship, in their middle part, under the superstructure, there were five torpedo tubes of a caliber 533 millimeter each. The ammunition of ten vehicles was only ten torpedoes of the types SET-53 or SET-65. On the ships' prows were two RBU-6000 jet bomb bombs with a common ammunition in 144 jet depth charges.
For defense against enemy aircraft and missiles, the Condor ships received the M-11 Storm medium-range anti-aircraft missile system. Two launchers of this complex were located on the deck, one behind the anti-submarine “Vortex” launcher, the other in front of the superstructure. The Storm missile system worked in conjunction with the Thunder control system. The latter was equipped with its own antenna post to search for targets and missile guidance. Each Storm launcher had drum loaders with a capacity of 48 missiles. Thus, the total ammunition load of anti-aircraft missiles onboard the 1123 cruiser was equal to 96. Interestingly, the Storm M-11 complex also had a certain anti-shipping potential. If necessary, it was allowed to use its missiles and to destroy surface targets.
The artillery of the 1123 project ships included two double-barreled 57-mm ZIF-72 installations with the Bars-72 fire control system interfaced with the MP-103 radar. Also on the "Condor" provided two more barrel systems: two firing guns of 45 caliber of millimeters and two double-barreled launchers of jamming projectiles.
Moscow. Visit to Algeria. 1978 year
By the time of the technical design, the anti-submarine cruiser-helicopter carriers had received two hangars. One of them, the largest, as already mentioned, was placed under the flight deck, the second - in front of it, inside the superstructure. It is worth noting that the superstructure was able to find the volume to accommodate only two Ka-25 helicopters. The remaining 12 helicopters were transported in the underdeck hangar with an area of about two thousand square meters. On the ship "Condor" at the same time should be based air wing of the following composition: 12 anti-submarine Ka-25PL, one Ka-25Ц targeting helicopter, as well as one search and rescue Ka-25PS.
It is of interest to equip the underdeck hangar. Especially for the project 1123 created an automated helicopter towing system based on chain conveyors. In case of a fire, a hangar was equipped with three protective curtains made of asbestos, designed to localize the source of fire, as well as a fire extinguishing system. For lifting the helicopters to the flight deck, we have provided two freight elevators with a carrying capacity of 10 tons each. For the safety of the crew around the elevators during the work automatically raised the barrier from the cables. While the elevator platform was flush with the deck, the fence lay in special niches. For the transport of helicopters on the deck of the ships were equipped with tractors.
Under a large hangar housed a cellar for ammunition helicopters. They were placed before the X-NUMX torpedoes AT-30, up to the 1 anti-submarine bombs PLAB-40-250, up to the 120 orientation sea bombs, and also up to 150 buoys of various types. In addition, there was a separate well-protected volume for storing eight special depth charge bombs (according to some sources, the power of these bombs is 800 kilotons). In preparing the helicopter for combat sortie, the crew of the ship took off ammunition from the racks and sent it to the screw elevator with the help of a hoist. That, in turn, delivered torpedoes or bombs with a total weight of up to one and a half tons to the hangar. Torpedoes, bombs or buoys were hung on helicopters in the hangar, and on the upper deck.
Before takeoff, the helicopter was towed to one of the four take-off sites. They had the appropriate markings and were equipped with a tensioned grid. There were no special devices for “catching” the landing helicopter - the dimensions of the flight deck made it possible to take off and land without any special tricks. All four sites received their own equipment for refueling helicopters with kerosene and oil. Another similar system was in the hangar. Aviation fuel tanks contained 280 tons of kerosene.
The appearance of helicopters on the ship led to the emergence of a new warhead. All the personnel of the aviation group have been attributed to the 6 warhead. The jobs of its commanders were located in the starting and command post, located directly above the upper hangar. There was all the equipment necessary to manage the preparation for the flight, as well as tracking its progress.
Tests and service
The head cruiser of the 1123 project “Moscow” launched the 14 of January 1965 of the year, after completion of the tests began afloat. Their course revealed some specific features of the architecture of the ship. The unusual ratio of the length and width of the hull led to the fact that the cruiser had a tendency to be buried in the wave. In addition, the deck was seriously flooded. In the 1970 year, during a trip to the Atlantic Ocean, the head Condor fell into a six-point storm. According to the commander of the ship captain 1 rank B. Romanov, the glass of the navigating bridge (22-23 meters above the waterline) constantly beat the waves, and the bow and stern of the ship occasionally rose above the water. Water flooded the ship damaged some parts of the jet bomb. In addition, one of the motors of the antenna post of the fire control station burned down because of the water. Earlier in the tests it was established that "Moscow" can use weapons and ensure the operation of helicopters in the waves of up to five points.
During the tests, significant changes were made to the crew. Initially, in accordance with the project, the ship should have served 370 people: 266 crew of the ship and 104 - the personnel of the aviation group. Due to the results of the new complex equipment, the required crew size increased to 541 man. Later, during the service, the regular crew increased to 700 people, and in fact on the “Moscow” at the same time served as sailors, officers and pilots to 800-850. It is noteworthy that the number of personnel of the aviation group all the time remained at the same level: about 105-110 people.
On the next laziness after launching "Moscow" at the same shipyard in Nikolaev the second cruiser of the project "Leningrad" was laid. He was launched in the middle of 1966, and by the end of 1968, he was accepted into the USSR Navy. Both ships included in the Black Sea Fleet. Previously it was assumed that they will go to the Northern Fleet. The fact is that at the time of the start of the development of the 1123 project, the Arctic Ocean was considered the most dangerous area in terms of enemy strategic submarines. By the time the "Moscow" was commissioned, the USA had ballistic missiles of submarines with a range that allowed them to be launched from the Atlantic. Therefore, both "Condor" went to the bases of the Black Sea Fleet, the least remote from the Atlantic Ocean.
In the course of their service, the cruisers “Moscow” and “Leningrad” repeatedly went on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Only during his first combat campaign in the autumn of 1968, the cruiser “Moscow” over a month and a half overcame 11 thousand kilometers and provided about 400 helicopter departures. Every day the helicopters "viewed" up to two thousand square kilometers of water area. A little later, in the 1970-71 years, "Leningrad", being off the coast of Egypt, assisted a friendly country. In 1972, Moscow was involved in the testing of the Yak-36. A heat-resistant metal sheet was laid on the flight deck, on which the aircraft landed. In about two years, both Condors already helped the Egyptian armed forces. In this case, the ships did not work as anti-submarine cruisers, but as helicopter carriers. Helicopters, in turn, made trawls through minefields using trawls.
2 February 1975 of the year on the cruiser "Moscow" there was a tragedy. Due to a short circuit on one of the switchboards in the hold a fire started. Due to some features of the ship's design, the fire quickly spread through the rooms. The crew of the "Moscow" requested the help of rescue vessels. By the evening of 16, the fire brigade was able to locate and extinguish the fire, but by that time 26 people had suffered and three had died.
In the same year, 1975 began the scheduled repair of both anti-submarine cruisers. All torpedo tubes were removed from ships as superfluous, and the Thunder anti-aircraft missile control system was replaced with a more advanced Thunder-M. Also, some other systems have been updated and upgraded. A number of sources claim that it was during the repair of the mid-seventies that “Moscow” and “Leningrad” received a new combat information and control system for the IDU-201 “Root”, however, according to other data, this BIOS was installed on ships initially and was only updated.
Two flagships - "Leningrad" and "Springfield"
Later, until the mid-eighties, the 1123 cruisers regularly patrolled the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and from time to time made friendly visits to the ports of foreign countries. For example, in 1978 and 1981, Moscow and Leningrad entered Algerian ports, and in March 1984, Leningrad visited Havana.
Unfortunately, this was the last similar campaign of "Leningrad". At the beginning of 1986, it was put in a major overhaul, which lasted until the end of 87. By the end of this repair, the country was experiencing hard times and anti-submarine cruiser-helicopter carriers less and less went to sea. The fate of "Leningrad" ended up in the 1991 year, he was withdrawn from the fleet, disarmed and written off. Four years later, it will be sold for scrap of a certain Indian company.
"Moscow" lived a little longer. At the end of 1993, this cruiser was last put to sea. After about a year and a half, he was taken to the reserve and made a floating barrack. However, "Moscow" was not destined to serve for a long time in the new status. In late autumn, the 1996 of the year, from the base station PKZ-108, lowered the flag and removed it from the fleet. The following year, the Russian Ministry of Defense and Indian merchants signed another contract, according to which the second anti-submarine cruiser went for recycling.
The third "Condor"
It is worth noting, "Condor" could be not two, but three. Back in 1967, the Neva Design Bureau (formerly TsKB-17) was given the task to upgrade the 1123 project to the “1123M” state. Requirements for the new project implied an increase in the overall dimensions of the ship, an increase in the number and size of the crew’s cabin, a general improvement in the conditions for seafarers, as well as enhanced weapons and electronics upgrades. The aviation part of the project was also to be subject to adjustments: on the flight deck it was necessary to fit six take-off areas, as well as to ensure the possibility of operating the Yak-36 vertical take-off and landing aircraft. In accordance with the updated project, they were going to build at least one anti-submarine cruiser. The lead ship of the 1123M project was planned to be called "Kiev".
According to reports, the "Kiev" would have large dimensions in comparison with its predecessors. In addition, the flight deck, unlike the “Moscow” or “Leningrad”, could be located in the stern and middle parts of the ship, above its left board, as on aircraft carriers. With a displacement of about 15 thousand tons, “Kiev” could transport and use at least 20 airplanes and helicopters for various purposes. Also provided for the installation of anti-ship missile systems and strengthening of anti-aircraft weapons.
The “Kiev” bookmark ceremony was held on February 20 of the year. The Nikolaev shipbuilders started collecting metal designs, but at the very beginning of September-month the new order came: to stop work. The 1968M project was too far away from the original concept of an antisubmarine helicopter-carrying cruiser and approached the appearance of a full-fledged aircraft carrier with a corresponding tactical niche. For this reason, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the shipbuilding industry decided to give the stocks of the Nikolaev plant No. XXUMX for the construction of a new aircraft carrier, which was supposed to be developed in the near future. Thus, the 1123 “Krechet” aircraft-carrying cruiser project appeared. The lead ship of the new project received the name assumed for the cruiser "444" - "Kiev". The new cruiser with the air group had twice the displacement and had other tasks inherent in the then views of the Soviet command on aircraft carriers.
Moscow 1972 year, refueling at sea
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