In the 18 number, “Military Industrial Complex” reported: the American information and analytical agency FAS on its website Strategic Security Blog announced that atomic strategic missile submarines of the Russian Navy made only five exits to combat patrols in 2012. The number of outputs shows, according to FAS, that only five of the nine Russian SSBNs were in combat readiness.
Is a Russian citizen ready to spend on defense just in case? The latter will be understood as the need to have in the naval strategic nuclear forces (NSNS) such a number of strategic missile submarines (SSBN), which due to poor planning, operation, personnel policy, and other factors often inherent in the Russian defense industry (defense industry). complex), more than the minimum required to complete the tasks (without taking into account the specific costs in the organization of service and operation).
The language of the inhabitant
Note that these costs are inherent in all types of aircraft and arms. Nevertheless, consider the marine component of the SNF.
Among the reasons that limited the appetites of the military and the “defense industry” during Soviet times, the main were the limits on production capabilities (built as much as they could), on the repair and technical base (they did not have time to repair, let alone modernize and re-equip), weak material and technical support ( all forces went to the construction of SSBN), insufficient staffing.
Looking at the current attitude of the country's leadership towards weapons programs and towards the whole military reform as a whole, it seems that nothing has changed. As before, as in the USSR, we do not consider resources, do not take into account the costs of the full cycle of the operation of weapons and military equipment up to disposal. In NATO countries, the defense budget is more open to discussion. But the political ambitions of our leaders are very reminiscent of the times of the Soviet Union.
Strategic nuclear weapon (NAO) is a deterrent, that is, it should ideally not be used by the parties in a war. Of the entire strategic triad, only heavy (strategic) bombers (TB) had a practical, unique dual purpose. They could be used in a conventional (non-nuclear) war, as demonstrated by the Americans in Vietnam and other military conflicts of the twentieth century.
Submarine strategic rocket carriers are single-purpose ships designed to solve one main task: delivering a nuclear strike on the territory of a potential enemy. And due to the fact that this is a weapon of deterrence, you need to have it in the quantity that solves this problem, and no more.
Outstanding general designer of rocket technology Vladimir Chelomey created a rather simple, reliable and massive ICBM UR-100. It began to be used in simplified single launcher mine launchers. At one of the meetings, the designer proposed to deploy them in the amount of up to 5000 pieces, so that not a single missile defense, first of all an American, could cope. Then the military and political leadership still leaned in favor of improving the quality of domestic missiles and their security. UR-100 managed to deploy within 1000 units only, but it was a kind of record: no one in the world placed such a number of ICBMs.
Statistics and calculations
How many countries can a “nuclear club” have of strategic nuclear weapons, in particular, naval ones? To assess the important indicators it is reasonable to choose the economic possibilities of each state and the territory of possible attacks. In the development of the latter indicator, it is appropriate to use the number of large administrative and industrial centers and important military facilities.
As practice has shown, the analysis of the required grouping of SNF to combat multiple military and important administrative and industrial facilities does not lead to minimization of the SNF, but stimulates the endless growth of nuclear groups. More preferable as a criterion may be irreparable damage to the economy of a potential adversary.
Let us calculate how many combat units (warheads) are needed to inflict irreparable damage. The main type of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear. Target characteristics - population size, gross domestic product, area and others.
With the explosion of a nuclear charge with a power of one Mt, the radius of complete destruction of ground objects is about four kilometers. One or more of these charges is enough to destroy a large city with a multimillion population and almost the entire infrastructure.
The selection of potential opponents (by the conditions of the problem) is also simple. Regardless of the faces, they are all known world powers possessing nuclear weapons.
What do we see? In terms of population, Russia is almost ten times inferior to China, twice - the United States, however, more than twice France and the United Kingdom separately. This ratio is interesting in that the Russian Federation is no longer the Soviet Union with an 250-million population. Therefore, we need to behave appropriately, including in the formulation of weapons and military equipment programs.
Great advantage for Russia in the area of the national territory. There is where to disperse their resources and troops. The population density in the country is the lowest. But major cities, industrial, administrative, economic and military facilities will be striking, and they are concentrated in Europe, the Urals and the Far East.
In terms of gross domestic product (GDP), Russia today is inferior to all the nuclear powers under consideration: Great Britain and France — only 1,3 – 1,5 times, the United States and China — more than eight and almost four times, respectively.
Now let's look at the SNF. France and the United Kingdom, with the aforementioned GDP, respectively, have four SSBNs, but they have no TB and ICBMs at all. If the strategic potential of Paris or London is taken as a unit, then Russia should have practically the same one unit or up to four submarine missile carriers, China - 16, and the USA - 32. This is with the same number of SLBMs and nuclear charges on each ship. Since the American SSBNs carry 24 missiles, and the submarine missile carriers of Russia, France, Great Britain, and China carry 16 missiles, the US should have 21 SSBNs using this technique. Now Washington has the Ohio-type 14 SSBNs, four more are converted into cruise missile carriers. With less GDP, we have a desire and even plans to put into operation eight to ten Borey-type SSBNs.
I would like to understand: we will again follow the traditional path, or we will choose the long-open countries of the West (and now, obviously, in China), where they value quality and do not chase a simple amount of weapons.
Not by number, but by skill
Until now, we are trying to fight in numbers, especially people whose losses during the years of World War II were simply staggering - more than 20 million. Tanks we had the most in the world, their number reached 60 thousand. However, different types and modifications. Factories wanted to produce a lot of equipment, did not have time to upgrade old designs. Often it turned out that half of the samples were upgraded, the rest did not have time, and there the next generation of weapons and weapons, devices, ammunition, other systems are still in time, a new stage of modernization begins.
It seems that we are always in a hurry somewhere, we all want to catch up with and overtake someone. The same thing happened on navy, and in the Air Force, and in the air defense, and in the Strategic Missile Forces. And now after the dashing 90s, everything has become even more complicated.
As for the NSLR, we do not reach the world standards for the coefficient of operational voltage (KOH). This is the ratio of the time the ship was at sea, on combat service (duty) to the total time of operation. For our current partners (NATO countries), KON was equal to 0,5, and for us, even before 0,25, it was not enough in the best Soviet times. Consequently, as our military leaders argued, the outfit of the ships needed twice as much to perform the same task. And still stocks, as they say, just in case, and now the Soviet Union had 62 strategic missile-carriers against the American SSBNs 41.
The issue of combat readiness of the NSNF is very important. The intensity of combat services has remained low since the end of the 90s. Considering the fact that the combat patrol of one Russian missile carrier lasts from 40 to 60 days (less than the analogous output of the US Navy boat), the Russian fleet most likely did not provide continuous combat service for SSBNs in 2012.
In accordance with the latest political statements of the Russian Navy before 2020, the State Armaments Program will receive 15 strategic and multipurpose nuclear submarines of the Borey and Ash types. Quite recently, one of the largest naval protracted projects was completed, the implementation of which took the country almost 20 years. The nuclear submarine “Yuri Dolgoruky”, the leading X-ray missile system of the 955 “Borey” project, and the sea-based solid-fuel missile “Bulava” were put into service.
Of course, the potential adversary is also not standing still. With 2010 in the United States, targeted funding has begun for the Ohio Replacement program to create a series of new SSBNs - SSBN (X), which should be replaced by the Ohio type SSBNs by 2040. It is planned to build a series of 12 SSBNs for 14 old ones. The beginning of the working draft is 2015. The laying of the first hull of the series according to the plans of the US Navy's 30 summer shipbuilding program will take place in the 2019 year, the second in the 2022, and the third in the 2024. The remaining nine boats, one submarine per year, are planned to be laid in the period 2025 – 2033. The commissioning of the first SSBN of the SSBN (X) type and, accordingly, the withdrawal from the SSBN of the Ohio type is assigned to 2027.
Given the above calculations, it turns out that four of the eight missile carriers declared eight - to cover our KOH and just in case. This is half the new ships. Our “old” SSBNs of the 677BDRM project (in line six, on each 16 SLBM of the R-29RMU “Sineva”) and three SSBNs of the 667BDR with the 16 SLBM R-29Р are not taken into account. For some time they will still be able to ensure the security of the Fatherland.
So, we pay for twice as much grouping as we can afford according to Western standards. The British and French, by contrast, are not ready to do that. They have four missile carriers and two times more per capita income than we do. It turns out that the load on the Russian able-bodied citizen is four times more than in the West. On the other hand, and who will ask him. Apparently not the right country.
It's not just the number of SSBNs. We are primarily interested in the missile system. How perfect is the Bulava ICBM, the main weapon of the Borey SSBN? They wrote a lot about it and opinions were completely opposite.
Our SLBM P-29RMU, its modification “Sineva” and the American “Trident-2” have long been exploited, they have become a kind of standard for naval strategic missiles. The first P-29RMU - as a liquid, the second "Trident-2" - as a solid fuel. And here comes the "Mace" with the performance characteristics close to the characteristics of the French SLBM M-51 and the Chinese JL-2. What is fundamentally changing?
The defenders of the “Bulava” have a place to roam around, they say, it has “such opportunities”, it overcomes the missile defense and does something else “secret”. It is very possible, just pay attention to one characteristic - the weight to be dropped, which includes both warheads (BB), and means of overcoming missile defense, radio engineering protection (RTZ), etc., etc., etc. With such a weight it is difficult to place everything that you want, and even fulfill the requirement for a given number of BBs of a certain power - the main destructive element of the system.
The principle “Everything that I want” was realized only on the largest ground-based ICBM P-36М2 “Voevoda”. She has 211 tons of starting weight. But it is separate история. Returning to the SLBM, you can recall the story that in our country for some reason is not very fond of, but increasingly trust in fairy tales and ridiculous predictions. This refers to the separate development of the Arsenal design bureau and the Miass mechanical engineering design bureau. The St. Petersburg enterprise offered MBR to the development of the first domestic solid-fuel rocket P-31 of the D-11 complex. KBM - the first studies and projects of the Republic of Kazakhstan for "Boreya" in 80-s and alternatives to the Bulava in the end of 90-s in solid-fuel and liquid versions.
If, however, to fantasize a little, distancing itself from the ambitions of our politicians and the military, under certain circumstances, Russia could simply skip a generation of submarine rocket carriers, extend the life of the existing SSBNs of the 667RDBM project as much as possible and immediately move on to a new generation of carriers for domestic NSNF, like the American SSBN (X) or promising English and French SSBNs.
The Sineva SLBM could well serve the Fatherland. There were proposals for the armament of modern missile carriers with these missiles (and their throwing weight is twice as high as the Bulava). We would not have spent extra money and would have stood on the same bar in terms of development time with the United States and other potential adversaries in the nuclear arms race. But events went on in a different scenario.
Touching missile defense as a counterbalance to the SNF, let us clarify: the successes of the Americans are not as obvious as they frighten us. Now Washington spends approximately 9 – 11 billions of dollars annually on maintaining and developing its missile defense system. What is the result? As the former chief of the Main Staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Viktor Yesin, notes, the United States will need from five to seven GBI interceptor missiles to intercept a Russian Topol-M ballistic missile. On defense only from the Russian ICBMs of the US territory, they will need a significant group of antimissiles. And this is an almost impracticable program. However, as in the beginning of 70-ies, when the ABM Treaty was signed.