The development trends of the Russian fleet, the possibility of transforming the Maritime Collegium into the Admiralty of Russia, the appearance in the waters of the seas and oceans of new warships based on offshore airfield platforms are discussed by the chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Russian hydroaviation, captain-flagship of the hydroaviation Peter Khomutovsky.
Admiral Gorshkov saw the warships and merchant ships of the Soviet Navy the first line of defense of the Soviet Union in the oceans. In his opinion, - Tanks, airplanes and even ground-based nuclear missiles are a passive element to contain global conflict, a kind of blank for use in land theaters of war. In the event that local conflicts develop into a world war, navy ships that have the ability to maneuver in the waters of the oceans will be the main element of world geopolitics in the struggle for naval dominance. The warships in the arsenal of which Her Majesty is armed with a cruise missile are of strategic importance for the country's defense, since they allow waging a so-called contactless war and solving the tasks of global confrontation and destroying various targets on enemy territory.
However, the position of Admiral Gorshkov came into sharp contradiction with the land leadership of the Armed Forces of the USSR. In the leadership of the USSR Armed Forces, the main opponents of Admiral Gorshkov were supporters of the "continental strategy" of the then Chief of the General Staff, Marshal N.V. Ogarkov.
Marshal Ogarkov’s “Continental Strategy” was based on the preferred development of strategic nuclear forces and air defense, envisaged planning an all-European conflict using tactical nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles. In this case, funds were earmarked for the development of the land component, which were intended to create three carrier fleet groups and to develop the ocean infrastructure. Also, because of this, the program for creating Lun EKP drums, the aircraft carrier killers, which were planned to be used not only in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic, but also in the polar maritime theater, was not implemented.
“Mysterious”, otherwise you will not name, the decisions of the previous leadership of Russia of previous years led to the fact that at the beginning of 2004, a contract was signed for the sale to India of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov, which was a symbol of the power of the Russian Navy. According to estimates of marine specialists, one such ship solved the tasks of anti-submarine support for the entire water area of the Barents Sea. This ship, which received the name Vikramaditya, will not bring the delivery to the Indians and to this day it has not become part of the fleet of India. He does not want a ship named Admiral Gorshkov to leave his native waters! At various times, the heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers Minsk, Novorossiysk, Kiev, the cruisers Zozulya, Fokin, Murmansk, about twenty destroyers and large anti-submarine ships were sold "on needles". Trade in the fleet of heavy ships led to the fact that the world's oceans became unavailable to the St. Andrew’s flag, and Russia, in essence, lost its status of a great maritime power.
В stories The Navy of the USSR and Russia, such incidents have already happened. In the 50s and 60s, Marshal Zhukov, who did not like the fleet and Nikita Khrushchev, who unexpectedly became the leader of the USSR and did not understand the significance of the fleet, destroyed about 400 of the latest ships, including seven cruisers, which were then being built and were already in high readiness for joining the fleet. Almost all of the sea was disbanded and destroyed. aviation, which was part of the air forces of the fleets and trained to destroy naval targets. The Amur Flotilla was liquidated, and the magnificent river monitor ships armed with 130-mm guns were cut into scrap metal.
It has now become fashionable to reflect on the new look of the fleet and the types of warships by people who are very far from naval problems, but who are interested in participating in the very process of discussing naval ideas and trends, sometimes the most fantastic. However, the general trend is alarming - not only naval officers and admirals, however, more and more retired, but sea romantics see the Russian fleet consisting entirely of dreadnoughts and armored coastal ships. There is a strange boom and renaissance from the time of battleships and cruisers to gain dominance at sea, as if it is supposed that the era of naval battles of World War I or World War II will come. At the same time, the fact that the most productive, in the sense of the destroyed merchant and warships of the enemy were, namely, the converted merchant ships, the so-called raiders, is ignored. The war at sea showed that large surface ships were an ideal target for enemy aircraft and submarines and flooded literally within a few days after going to sea and defended in ports under the protection of air defense weapons.
At one time, even Admiral Gorshkov, for all his commitment to creating unusually exotic ships, according to the principle, if there is in the US Navy, the USSR Fleet should also be, at the beginning of the 80's, came to the conclusion that it was not promising. vulnerability of aircraft carriers, aircraft carrying cruisers and destroyers. In his opinion, in the situation of the presence of nuclear-missile weapons and high-precision missiles, an aircraft carrier, cruiser or destroyer became an ideal target for the enemy.
Thus was born the idea of using offshore aerodrome platforms, with a 15-20 displacement of thousands of gross registered tons, which had an onboard and anti-aircraft missile system, which would only be temporary bases for carrier-based aircraft. Deck planes were planned to be delivered to the area of possible conflict on heavy ekranoplanes or seaplanes like the Be-2500. Fuel and ammunition were supposed to be covertly delivered on nuclear submarines removed from combat duty and converted into transport ones. The flight engineering staff was supposed to be placed on special, hospital or cruise ships in order to ensure their post-flight rest.
Thus, with the minimal cost of the sea airfield platforms, their maximum combat effectiveness was achieved. After all, on an aircraft carrier, as a rule, no more than two or four deck planes are operated at the same time, and it is used as a means, rather of psychological pressure on the enemy from the sea, and not as a means of fire action. At the same time, the aircraft carriers, as in their time, the battleships will be destroyed, in the first battles at the beginning of the conflict at sea.
The history provides a huge number of examples of how the battleships and cruisers were destroyed or seriously damaged by enemy aircraft when they first sailed into the sea. Also, the aircraft carrier and the sea airfield platform are incommensurable by the cost of construction and operation. If the average cost of an aircraft carrier with a displacement of 50-60 is thousand brt. about 4 billion dollars, then the cost of the platform with a displacement of 15-20 thousand thous. no more than 200 million dollars depending on the availability of defensive weapons. At the same time, the tactics and strategy of using the fleet and carrier-based aviation based on the use of sea-based aerodrome platforms make it possible to appear in the shortest possible time in the areas of emerging conflicts, without the use of expensive aircraft carrier groups, for whose maintenance huge funds are needed.
The cost and time of construction, sea airfield platforms also can not be compared with the cost and duration of the construction of aircraft carriers. In addition, if there are a sufficient number of offshore airfield platforms, they can be placed in the places of alleged conflicts, such as Syrian or Somali, in the required quantity.
The analysis shows that when setting up the production of universal ships based on offshore aerodrome platforms - the Russian Navy will receive about fifty of these watercrafts within two to three years, which will make it possible to consider the issue of a new vision of using the fleet. The fleet will act not only as a passive defender of the maritime borders and frontiers of Russia, but also as a conductor of Russia's geopolitical interests in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean and especially in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Now in this region, political passions are going wild from contradictions between the parties to conflicts in different countries.
In recent times, Admirals Gorshkov, replacing Admiral Gorshkov, such as Chernavin, Masorin, Popov and others, have become too enthusiastic about underwater games and have failed to realize the idea of creating a new fleet image based on offshore aerodrome platforms. In Russia, the controversy about the importance of aircraft carriers for the Russian fleet does not subside. Until now, even among the professors of the Naval Academy there is no common understanding on this issue, just as politicians, the military or industry have no such understanding.
For example, the leadership of the Krylov State Scientific Center in St. Petersburg, which, having all the possibilities for scientific approbation of all areas of development of the means of struggle in the high seas, has not yet developed its authoritative conclusion regarding the new look of the fleet and the use of sea aerodrome platforms, although I have sent for consideration a civilian version of a small passenger submarine cruise and passenger ship and a Dingo amphibious aircraft based on a sea airfield platform. At the beginning of 2000, this project was discussed with V.N. Yukhnin - General Designer of the Northern Design Bureau, but for various reasons was not accepted for implementation.
The epopee of building aircraft carriers is costly and very long, but if the Northern Fleet does not appear within two to three years, the naval airfield platforms, the combat stability of the Northern Fleet's submarine cruisers, Russia's main nuclear shield, will be reduced to zero in the near future. After all, the main enemy of nuclear submarines of the Russian fleet is US aircraft, which has the ability to neutralize the work of submarines, despite all the tricks of submarine commanders. The emergence of naval airfield platforms in various, operationally important, areas of the world to perform tasks in the field of naval activities will show the presence of the Russian fleet in peacetime. In particular, actions will be taken by the Russian Navy forces to create and maintain a favorable environment for the implementation of the priorities of Russian foreign policy to solve the problems of political and economic sustainability that are friendly to Russia and countries.
Very curious and such a fact. Three years ago, L. Strugov, director of the department of shipbuilding and marine engineering, wrote an article - Ekranoplans to be!, But more than three years passed, and there is no ekranoplane even in the project, not to mention the fact that at least one of the projects would be put into production famous designer R. Alekseev. Even, the infamous Lifeguard, the prototype of the super secret Eunit Lun Ekranoplan quietly dies in the shops of the Volga plant. It is sad to write about such "achievements" of shipbuilding in Russia, especially with regard to the management of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), which simply ignores the needs of the Russian fleet in the design and construction of new warships, especially of the aircraft carrier. According to information recently received from USC, the fleet of Russia before 2020 will receive 96 auxiliary vessels. About warships do not say - military secrets! Translated from the marine "Aesopian" language of USC to the public, it turns out that each year about two auxiliary ships will go to each fleet and flotilla. However, now the needs of the fleets are at least ten auxiliary vessels.
In contrast to Russia, naval strategists of the current sea robber - the US Navy - get the newest ships of all types in a timely manner, including aircraft carriers for navigation in the waters of the World Ocean, despite the huge US national debt !!! At the end of the twentieth century, the doctrine of “US Naval Power - 21” was considered and approved in the USA, which considers the tasks of increasing the power of the US Navy. These tasks are accomplished by building up and integrating combat and support capabilities into a “unified network of forces,” which, in the opinion of the US Navy command, will effectively accomplish the interrelated operational tasks of the Navy. Such as a “strike from the sea”, that is, a long and massive strike by deck aircraft with high-precision weapons, a “sea shield” representing the implementation of a global defense guaranteeing the security of its forces and a “sea basing” consisting in ensuring the operational independence of the US aircraft carrier groups .
To implement this concept, the command of the US Navy assumes to have the main classes of naval forces in excess of 375, which in peacetime will have 12 carrier-assault groups and 12 expeditionary attack groups, as well as staffing special groups of surface ships of air defense and anti-missile defense and nuclear-powered submarines with guided missiles on board for navigation in neutral waters. After all, aircraft carriers in neutral waters with deck planes of various purposes on board do not require obtaining permission from other states for basing, intermediate landings or overflights. Therefore, Nimitz-type aircraft carriers are sometimes represented as four acres of US territory, which, by order of fleet command, can be sent anywhere in the world’s ocean, without asking anyone for permission to accomplish the task assigned by the US leadership. And all this is due to the fact that in the USA, there is a development program for both the military and the cruise fleet on 40-50 years in advance, which does not change when the political and military leadership of the country or the high command of the fleet changes. At the same time, projects are being promoted and launched into a series of new types of warships, which such a likely US opponent as Russia does not even have in perspective. The US Marine Department is well aware that the aircraft carrier and amphibious groups of the United States fleet of constant readiness using the oceans as a home site and having modern water craft for sailing to hot spots will allow the US Marine Corps to solve all the tasks assigned to it to protect national interests. America.
Over seven departments and organizations are currently involved in naval problems in Russia - the Maritime Collegium, the Main Headquarters of the Navy, the United Shipbuilding Corporation, the Department of Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the Agency of Maritime and River Transport of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, Rosmorport and even St. Petersburg Marine Council . All of them have mixed interests. So it turns out that the Russian fleet is still armed with outdated warships, and the emergence of cruise ships is not being considered even in the long term, that is, progress and breakthroughs in the creation of a modern military and passenger fleet are not observed. Especially, this concerns the construction and use of combat ships based on offshore airfield platforms, the use of which in the event of a crisis situation allows the Russian fleet to create a permanent presence in those areas of the world’s ocean where tension is expected. Thus, the construction and introduction of ships on the basis of naval airfield platforms to the Russian Navy complies with the tasks of the Marine Doctrine and contributes to the observance of Russia's geopolitical interests.
At present, pennants of ships and vessels of the rival countries of Russia dominate in numerous marine areas, and the St. Andrew’s flag abroad is only occasionally observed due to opposition to pirates.
In the opinion of many maritime theorists, the situation in the naval mechanism can be improved by the resumption of the activity of a single naval body - the Admiralty of Russia, which existed before the revolution, but was abolished by the Soviet authorities. The activities of the Admiralty will allow to systematize the work on the revival of the fleet, eliminate the practice when the fleet composition is determined by short-term programs for the construction of unnecessary or obsolete ships, which are subject to the influence of market factors.
If a decision is made to transform the Maritime Collegium into the Admiralty of Russia, an authorized fleet body will be created, which will add coherence to the entire decision-making system on the creation of new ships and vessels for the military and cruise passenger fleet of Russia.
In addition, the resumption of the activities of the Admiralty of Russia will make it possible to involve in the creation of programs of combat and cruise passenger ships, both budget funds and funds of philanthropists, as was the case after the Russian-Japanese war, when the restoration of the Russian fleet occurred in the shortest period.
In the future, the emergence of branches of the Admiralty of Russia in such regions of Primorsky and Kamchatsky, in Chukotka, and also in the cities of Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, critical for the development of navigation of the Far East is possible. Taganrog and Novorossiysk, that is, in those regions where before the revolution existed provincial admiralties of the Russian Empire.