Brave American GIs take cities by the forces of a single battalion of marines! Neither the lack of Coca-Cola, nor the delay in the delivery of pizza to the front line - nothing can break the morale of the American Marines. Steadfastly enduring the army’s military service, US soldiers crush a ten-fold superior enemy force and hoist a stars and stripes flag (a-k "mattress") on Iwo Jima, Okinawa or At-Tahrir central square in the glorious city of Baghdad.
What? The situation looks quite realistic. The Americans have everything they need to carry out such operations: a fleet of universal landing ships, special landing craft, helicopters, high-speed hovercraft, amphibious Tanks and four divisions of selected thugs equipped with the most advanced weapons. There is even a special term - the amphibious assault group (ADH) of the US Navy. Powerful and compact tool for "projection of force" anywhere on the planet.
Universal landing ship!
A modern "Noah's Ark" capable of transporting and disembarking marines on an equipped or unequipped enemy coast. Huge autonomy and cruising range allow UDC to act independently on the other end of the Earth, and the presence on board of two or three dozen units of aircraft makes it possible to land combat teams in the depths of the enemy’s territory, providing solid fire support to the landing forces.
UDC is not just a landing ship. This is the command center of the entire operation - the headquarters and the combat information center, where all the information about the current situation in the landing zone flows. The Admiral Cabin, a multitude of satellite channels, dozens of working posts for operators and operators ... The universal landing ship presents fantastic opportunities for managing amphibious operations.
UDC is a comfortable floating hospital, designed to accommodate hundreds of victims of military operations, accidents and cataclysms. There are a dozen operating rooms aboard the ship, in which the most complex surgical operations can be performed at the same time - a coastal hospital would envy the medical equipment of the UDC.
UDC has created a new format for amphibious operations. Over-the-horizon landing makes it possible not to expose the ship to the danger of shelling from the shore - during landing, the modern UDC must be located tens of kilometers from the coast of the enemy, remaining invisible to enemy radar and invulnerable to the fire of the barrel artillery. Equipment and personnel are transported to the shore by speedboats and helicopters.
Finally, the modern UDC is equipped with a complex of self-defense weapons, capable of repelling random attacks of broken missiles, enemy aircraft and sabotage groups.
Boats, helicopters, armored vehicles, thousands of personnel units, gigantic warehouses and storage facilities, a command center and a hospital are all one UDC. Power, efficiency and savings. One ship duplicates the tasks of a dozen ships. Is not that great?
No, that's not great. This is ridiculous.
According to statistics, the rate of tonnage required per paratrooper during World War II was 7 gross registered tons. What does this figure mean? Just ordinary human needs - eat and drink. Without any vulgar jokes.
In the long journeys there is a shortage of the most necessary - it is often difficult to find even fresh water suitable for drinking. Soldiers need a camp kitchen with all the necessary equipment. Tents, blankets, medicines. Hygiene products - you do not want your platoon turned into a herd of stinking animals? Often, special equipment is needed (from shovels and binoculars to laser illumination equipment). Optional - air conditioning, Coca-Cola and mobile diesel generators.
Weapons and Ammunition. This is just a nightmare — for example, the Red Army's supply standard for the 1941 model of the year installed an 72 shot per day for one 152 mm gun; in reality, in a tense battle, the ammunition consumption exceeded the norm many times. In our case, thousands of artillery shells will have to be delivered far to distant lands!
It is no secret that the demand for material resources has increased many times over time - already during the Falkland Conflict (1982 year), the tonnage rate per British paratrooper reached 50 gross registered tons. What do you want? Severe weather conditions, a long expedition on the other end of the Earth.
It turns out a simple proportion. Are the Marines 2000 aboard the universal assault ship? Very well, immediately put in the wake of UDC three container ships with equipment, provisions and ammunition.
It is easy to imagine how much fuel the Abrams' gas-turbine engines eat, how much fresh water is required for soldiers in hot desert conditions, and will two, five, even ten thousand Marines have enough strength to carry out a large landing operation in modern conditions? However, this is slightly lower.
UDC - the flagship! A common misconception, actively introduced into the philistine consciousness with the help of vivid but meaningless phrases such as “coordination center”, “combat information server” etc. In reality, when there is a need for centralized management of a large landing operation conducted by the diverse forces of the Marine Corps, aviation и fleet - special command ships come to the rescue.
In the Soviet Union, two outdated cruisers of the 68-bis project were converted for these purposes. “Zhdanov” and “Senyavin” lost part of their armament, in return, the ships received an additional mast with antenna devices, a helipad, a printing house, comfortable cabins for senior officers, cockpit for a musical orchestra and working premises of a staff operational post with a total area of 350 square. meters
USS Mount Whitney - US Navy Sixth Fleet Staff Ship
As for the US Navy, the Americans initially built specialized staff of the Blue Ridge type. Smooth open deck with a multitude of covers of antenna devices, a helipad, modern communication systems, equipped rooms for briefings and press conferences, as well as command posts where up to 200 officers and 500 junior specialists can work simultaneously.
Trying to "shove" all this equipment onto a universal landing craft means turning the UDC into an overly complex and unreasonably expensive design that is not capable of fully performing landing and staff functions.
History with the “ultra-modern hospital” on board the UDC is completely analogous to the story of the headquarters. Evacuation and medical assistance are always carried out by specialized hospital vessels, whose activities are regulated by the Hague Conventions 1899 and 1907.
Hospital ship "Irtysh", Pacific Fleet
Dozens of operating rooms, an infirmary for a thousand beds, an X-ray room, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, functional research rooms, an intensive care unit, a dental room, a morgue, oxygen stations ... it’s a non-trivial task to put all this on board.
Finally, hundreds of victims have nothing to do on a warship - they need to be urgently brought home, while putting as little danger as possible. The best solution is a special floating hospital that meets all the requirements of the Hague Convention.
White color, green stripe along the entire length of the hull, interrupted by three red crosses - deliberate sinking of such a vessel is regarded as a war crime. Whatever the skeptics say, victims who are aboard a hospital ship are many times more likely to reach their native shores than those who remained aboard a universal landing craft.
As a result, instead of one “universal” landing ship, several specialized ships and vessels appear - container ships with equipment, staff and hospital ships ...
But what about an escort? True, a dozen surface and underwater warships. And to them - a dozen naval tankers with fuel, fresh water and technical liquids. In addition, our squadron will need a floating master and several ocean tugboats (rescue complexes) to evacuate damaged and damaged ships from the database area. Plus a couple of mine-sweeping ships ... As a result, a giant compound of dozens of pennants looms, which is quite unlike the "compact amphibious group."
A vivid example - during the Anglo-Argentine conflict 1982, the British "sea wolves" drove a squadron of 86 warships and support vessels to the Falklands! (excluding the group sent to the island of Y. George and the ships that provided the transatlantic squadron crossing).
Paradoxically, but true:
1. Amphibious amphibious groups do not exist, because their existence in today's realities, in principle, is impossible. Landing operations are carried out by the colossal forces of the army, aviation and navy - this is a very expensive “game” in which, in addition to dozens of warships, hundreds of support vessels are involved.
2. The universal amphibious assault ship (helicopter carrier-dock), similar to the American "Wospam" and "Taram" - empty bravado and the release of funds to the wind. Exceptionally large, expensive and useless ships are not able to solve the problem for which they were once created. They cannot even seize the smallest country (as they say, not according to Senka's hat), while their use in any of the modern conflicts is inefficient and wasteful.
The French-Russian Mistral, the Spanish Juan Carlos, the American San Antonio and their counterparts look a little better - these ships are of relatively modest size and adequate cost, however, their scope is limited to colonial disassembly and the suppression of savage riots .
As for the "serious" conflicts ("Desert Storm", etc.), in the course of them, the UDC "Mistral" can be, and even should be. But, it should be understood that the contribution of "Mistral" will be microscopic. UDC does not solve anything in modern war, it requires a completely different technique.
But who are these mysterious conquerors that make a decisive contribution in the transfer of forces of the marines? Who are these monsters that can quickly deliver a million-strong army to foreign shores? They are not shown in parades and in museums, they are not made films about them and they do not write books. The existence of these machines is the Great Secret of the American fleet, which cannot be mentioned in the media. Therefore, instead of the real state of affairs, the Pentagon tells a tale about “amphibious groups” and focuses the attention of listeners on other nonsense.
High-speed transports of the Shipping Command.
Pleiad of 100 Leviathans that can bring democracy to any of the enemies of the State Department. Their size will be envied by the aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” (up to 300 meters in length, the displacement in cargo is more than 60 thousand tons). At the same time, the giants can well claim the "Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic" * - their speed goes beyond the 20 nodes, up to the 33 nodes at the Algol gas turbine lines!
* "Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic" - a prize awarded to the fastest trans-ocean liners in the early twentieth century
Most of them have a civilian past - ordinary Dutch, Danish, British, South Korean (and even one Soviet!) Container ships recruited for the needs of the American fleet. The Pentagon carefully monitors high-speed container ships, roll-overs (vessels for the transport of wheeled and tracked vehicles), dry cargo ships around the world, and dry cargo ships and actively purchases samples of marine engineering. A period of intensive modernization (ramps and ramps, 110V electrical network, cargo arrows, and other special equipment) - and the nightmarish ghost of war enters the ocean - a tank landing ship capable of delivering a hundred Abrams and tens of thousands of other equipment in one flight .
- The former name?
- “Laura Maersk”
- Place of Birth?
- Who are you now?
- USNS Shughart (T-AKR 295), 277-meter roller of the Shipping Command, lead ship in a series of three units.
A little less epic, but no less useful units are periodically found among the Leviathans - cable handlers, tankers, submarine bases, oceanographic ships and mobile landing platforms. Each ship has its own clear purpose, while in peacetime, some of them sleep in conservation, and sometimes perform tasks in the interests of civil organizations. By the way, the bulk of the crews of the Shipping Command are civilian civilian sailors, the military appear on the decks of the Leviathans only during trips to the combat zone.
It is worth making a small digression. Of course, the concept of the Shipping Command does not imply direct participation in the landings on the enemy coast. It seems that the Yankees completely abandoned the idea of large-scale amphibious assault forces - in modern conditions, an attempt to attack head-on at the enemy’s shore is too complicated and risky, threatening to result in unjustifiably high losses. The brave Americans act in a different, knurled pattern - unload tanks in the port of the nearest friendly state, accumulate strength and ... voila! Steel avalanche of armored vehicles rushed across the border.
Goal is Iraq? But why storm the Iraqi coast - let's carry democracy across the border of Saudi Arabia. Goal - Syria? We'll stop across the Turkish-Syrian border. Goal is Iran? We'll stop across the Iran-Iraq border.
This is where the need for Leviathans arises - in a couple of months, the giant transports will deliver thousands of armored vehicles, fuel, provisions, equipment and hundreds of thousands of army and marines personnel to the right port. And then - the war.
The giant fleet of Leviathans is the very means to "project force" in any corner of the planet. Only, in contrast to the cheap threats emanating from amphibious groups, the Maritime Traffic Command is really ABLE to bring democracy to any country in the world.
Comparing Leviathans with “Mistrals”, “Wasps” and “Tarawas” is simply insulting - the UDC is just puppies compared to these mutants. How many aircraft fit aboard the Mistral? 16 Medium-sized helicopters?
Leviathan, without batting an eye, delivers 100 helicopters + spare parts, fuels and lubricants, ammunition and auxiliary equipment to the enemy coast.
Helicopters "Apache" are preparing for loading
Cargo decks of military transport "Bob Hope" (by the way, one of the few that was originally built in American shipyards by special order of the US Navy) is equal in area to eight football fields. This allows you to transport Hummer truck and car units to 900 at a time. To save time, the vehicle is driven on its own power through a folded aft ramp.
Unloading can occur in several ways: through the aft and side ramps, using four cargo arrows with a load capacity of 110 tons, or, if there is no possibility to get close to the shore, using pontoon ferries or using MLP mobile landing platforms (tanks are distilled to the moored board platform, from where they are delivered by boats and barges to the shore).
Most of the Leviathans have equipped helicopter pads (and even hangars) on the upper deck - all this further expands the capabilities of these giant cargo ships.
Unloading equipment using pontoons
MLP at work
The river of truth flows through the bed of delusions. Media reports about the arrival of another amphibious-amphibious group of the US Navy in the Persian Gulf - dummy, stun grenade, snag. The real war begins only after the Leviathans of the Maritime Transportation Command arrive in the intended combat area. In this technique lies the entire strength of the American armed forces - power, mobility, speed of deployment. It is from these giant transports that the greatest threat emanates: without them, the US Army would be locked up, as in a prison, on the North American continent and would not have the slightest opportunity to establish democracy outside its own country.
USNS Antares is one of the fastest cargo ships in the world (Algol-type gas turbine vessel)